Jazz General Manager Kevin O'Connor discusses signing free-agent small forward Josh Howard.
What Howard can bring: He rebounds his position just about as well as any small forward for rebounds-per-minute. He's played on teams that have won and won consistently and been to the Finals and averaged double-figures in the Finals. There are some things in his background that he regrets and we talked about those things, too, and what he learned from them. We touched on everything. We touched on the fact that he's had a year off; he's going to have to get the rust off a little bit and all of those things. But all in all, you're getting a guy that's a quality NBA player that's had an ACL and now let's see how he responds to it. Al [Jefferson's] had an ACL. Let's see how he comes back.
Howard's athleticism: What it does is it gives us an opportunity to get a mid-range shooter and a slasher that maybe we haven't had in the past.
Possibly stealing him from other teams during free agency: The opportunity that he'll have is to come in and play. Because, again, you play six games in eight days. So, you're going to get deeper into benches and we're not trying to establish ― we're not saying, 'OK, we're going to play the young kids irregardless.' They've got to earn it. And if they earn it, then it's great. If they don't, then they're not going to play as much.
Depth during compressed 66-game season: Give the Miller family credit. We said, 'Look: Here's what we're attempting to do. We're attempting to develop the young kids and still win.' And sometimes that's a little tougher deal. But I think this season is going to dictate that that's a necessity.
Chance for a package trade: I think we're going to continue to look. But I will say this in this respect: Everyone thought Dallas had too many people last year and they won the NBA Championship.
Risk versus reward: Here's the way I look at it from our point of view a little bit. The risk is limited but the potential for reward is enormous. Let's say that we didn't carry a third point guard; that's [Alec] Burks can maybe play at the point, all right? Well you still have to pay a 13th guy, OK? So, at most, our exposure is very, very limited.
Brian T. Smith