A hardy salute to our Jazzmen of 2009-10!
What a year it has been. We got absolutely crushed by our hated rivals on the west coast (Los Angeles), and yet, showed incredible resolve in demolishing our Rocky Mountain rivals to the east (Denver Nuggets). The playoffs were definitely a mixed bag. It was difficult to see the season come to an end, though, it was tougher to witness our team suffer a season-ending, series-finishing sweep.
All in all, it was a season of familiar results... Good enough to produce a playoff appearance and series victory, and not enough to contend for a title. Even when we encountered devastating injuries, we persisted through it and battled for more victories while making another playoff appearance for the Jazz record books.
We've had a great ride.
With that being said, our franchise sits in a tough spot on the continuum of NBA team progression. This group has hit its peak. Our time has expired. We're good enough to compete, and not good enough to win the title.
Over the course of the summer, we'll see how Jazz management decides to carry the franchise into the future. While I believe we need Carlos Boozer on the team in order to maintain our current playoff positioning, I recognize that we probably ought start the rebuilding process to someday (eventually) rise to new heights. Hopefully, our core group of holdovers can carry us through the 2010-11 season. Sometimes a team has to take a few steps back in order to surge forward once again.
My expectations for the upcoming summer of 2010 are as follows:
1. A hardy "goodbye" salute to Carlos Boozer. He's provided us with a remarkable 6-year 'roller-coaster ride' of solid play in the post. We just can't afford him. We'll miss the post presence he gave us. Chicago? New Jersey? Anybody?
2. Re-sign Wesley Matthews and Kyrylo Fesenko. Matthews has a bright future in a Jazz uniform. Fess will be our starting center next season. He's much more valuable than one might originally think...
3. Kyle Korver returns... whatever the cost. How can we let go of the lady-charming, fan magnet? This break-up is NOT happening!
4. Pick someone worthwhile in the draft. It'll be a big guy... Greg Monroe or Cole Aldrich come to mind at #9. Continue the crafty track record of 2nd round drafting...
5. Invite Sundiata and Othyus to the party. Summer league will be good for these guys. They'll both be on the 2010-11 opening roster next season.
6. Acquire assets, assets, assets. Check out OKC and Memphis and how they're rebuilding. They're doing it the right way for small town markets... through the draft. The Memphis 2011 1st Round pick is actually a good place to start.
7. Most importantly... Don't alienate DWill in the process of rebuilding. We need to build while we remain competitive... Too bad we'll have to watch the Lakers win championships (and age...) along the way. Sorry. But the truth had to be said.
Go Jazz! I'm looking forward to the draft.