Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wolves Give Away Al Jefferson to Jazz

The Utah Jazz have acquired "Big" Al Jefferson from Minnesota for Kosta Koufos and 2 first round picks.

The Breakdown
Jefferson is a great pick up for the Jazz, especially considering they didn't have to give up a rotation player to get a talented center who averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds just 2 seasons ago. It seems that the natural fit is for Jefferson to start alongside Mehmet Okur, as their games complement each other. Jefferson can man the paint while Okur shoots from long range. "Big" Al is a really solid pick if you can get him in the late 30s or 40s. At the very least he'll give you the 17 and 9 from last season, but Al has the potential to get back to 23 and 11. The guy is just 25-years-old, so he still has room to improve as long as his knee injury doesn't turn into something that lingers.

While I'm high on Jefferson next season, now we have to drop Millsap back down the rankings. The signing of Boozer seemed to clear the way for Millsap to get big minutes next year, but the addition of Jefferson means Millsap will serve a similar bench role that he's had to fill throughout his young career. Millsap will still get solid minutes, but he goes back to being a mid-round selection with potential only if Okur or Jefferson go down with a serious injury.

For the Wolves, this move fixes the clog in the front court. Milicic will be the starting center with Love at the PF. Milicic could be a really nice sleeper pick this year. He played the very best of his career with the Wolves last year. That momentum could carry over into next season as he gains confidence being the starting center from day one. Although he's been a disappointment throughout his career, this could be the year he puts up some above average numbers and surprises everyone. In addition, there's no formidable, experienced back up center to really threaten Milicic's playing time. He's a solid gamble in the late rounds of your draft.

Love should be very good this year and this could be his breakout season. He is an amazing rebounder, especially on the offensive end, to go along with his solid offensive game. With Jefferson out of the way, Love is in line for major minutes. Although Beasley will be playing behind him, I don't think he'll threaten Love's playing time. I feel that the Wolves will play Beasley and Love side-by-side a lot because they're supposedly looking to run a lot more this season. According to GM David Kahn, this is precisely the reason they were looking to move Jefferson. The Wolves, in general, could become a fantasy goldmine akin to the Knicks, Suns, and Warriors if they can successfully employ an uptempo offense. Beasley, in particular, could outperform his draft position if the Wolves really start to play a fast paced style and play a lot of small ball. We'll have to wait and see how the Wolves look in the preseason before taking a chance on most of their players.

No comments: