I believe the time has come to trade Andrei Kirilenko. It’s been long overdue. As was eloquently brought to our attention below by 00-Tag (And YES, I realize that it’s only conjecture), Andrei has been involved in trade talks for some time. It seems that the Warriors are always the destination of choice because of Andrei’s versatility and athleticism aligning with Golden State’s uptempo and frenetic style of play.
Yet, it’s true. Kirilenko doesn’t belong here. It’s too painfully obvious to see. He doesn’t fit. He’d be better off playing for another team. Would the Jazz be better off without him? That’s difficult to know for sure. We’d certainly miss his defense. AK definitely brings several intangibles to the court… hustle (which has been less frequent), blocks, steals, put-backs, and passing. Yet, our deliberate, mechanical approach stifles his ability to produce more. AK just doesn’t function well in the half-court set. He looks terribly uncomfortable playing on the wing. His shot hasn’t improved. And his numbers continue to stagnate and even plummet while logging fewer minutes for the Jazz. And to conclude, we won’t even mention his contract! It’s completely suffocating our ability to re-tool. Do we wait out the next two years until his contract comes up? Or do we change course and try something new? I suggest we change course!
Here’s what I see on the trade market:
The Intriguing: AK47 & CJ Miles to GSW for Corey Maggette, Jamal Crawford, & Branden Wright
This would be an explosive trade (both for good and bad). Maggette and Crawford love to have the ball in their hands. They can score at will. When was the last time the Jazz had wings that could create their own shot? Brewer, Maggette, Crawford would create a dynamic set of wings. B. Wright would certainly be the gem of this trade. We’d get a big, athletic PF to develop in place of Boozer or Millsap. Question… Would Maggette & Crawford fit into Sloan’s offense? Would they play team-ball? Not likely. These guys are ball hogs. That’s the reason GSW wants to get rid of them. Also, this trade doesn’t help our salary situation. It only prolongs it. Even still, I’d consider doing this trade.
The Possible: AK47 to Philly for Samuel Dalembert & Willie Green
Jazz fans have complained about not having a defensive center to help clog the paint. Well… here’s an attempt to solve that problem. Dalembert had a lousy season for the 76ers, but still had averages of 6.4 points, 8.5 rebounds & 1.75 blocks. Perhaps with a change of scenery, Dalembert could have a big impact for the Jazz. If the experiment doesn’t work, his contract comes due in two years, no harm… no foul. Green would purely be filler. The salaries align perfectly and expire at the same time. Personally, I’d consider doing this trade also. It’s time for a change-up.
The Questionable: AK47 to Milwaukee for Luke Ridnour, Dan Gadzuric, & Charlie Bell
OK. So, this trade isn’t so enticing. However, we’d solve our back-up point guard problems immediately. We’d see gradual, salary flexibility within our roster as well. I doubt Milwaukee would do this trade… since they have to re-sign Charlie Villanueva and Ramon Sessions this summer to contracts. Their salary situation is completely over-packed.
The Ridiculous (or is it?): AK47 & CJ Miles for Tracy McGrady
We all know that Houston plays better without him. For us, it’d be a one-year experiment, and salary dump, and then would prepare us for the summer of 2010. Interesting enough, Houston is probably planning for the same thing… that’s why I don’t believe the Rockets would do this trade. Would I do it? Call me crazy… but… Yes.
The Reasoning: Hey, if these trades blow-up in our face, Boozer, Memo or Millsap leave for greener pastures, and we line-up a lottery bound bunch of questionable talents next season… take heart! The Jazz could potentially have 2 lotto picks (New York’s & possibly our own if we fall short of #17) in the most loaded 2010 draft of recent memory. We could re-tool rather quickly.