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The Jazz could have used some of their other assets to get more business done. But O’Connor said the club could connect with no willing trade partner to complete any advantageous significant deal before or during the draft.
"Nobody was that interested," O’Connor said.
The notion that the Jazz could or should make a dramatic move was a sound one. They have traffic along their front line, jamming up the development of emerging big men Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. And they have holes to fill.
Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson are entering the final year of their deals, as is Devin Harris, and players with expiring contracts are attractive commodities in the modern NBA. Millsap, in particular, despite his being undersized, had to have value for some team, given the more economical numbers in what’s left of his contract and his reputation as a pro’s pro. Jefferson’s deal, though, was and is heavy.
Whispers swirled in the run-up to the draft that the Jazz wanted to make a move into lottery range. As mentioned, they need plenty of perimeter help, and the presence of Weber State’s Damian Lillard, a player they had scouted in a huge way, seemed to be on everyone’s mind.
Lillard ended up going to Portland at the sixth spot.
The prospects, then, for what might happen provided a lot more excitement Thursday than anything that actually did.
Beyond the Williams deal, if it happens, draft night left the Jazz to find dramatic improvement along other avenues, although those are narrow. There are no interested big free agents for them to lure in. And outside of trades around the draft, the Jazz rarely engage in blockbuster deals. They could add a few minor pieces and they hope to make progress from their young core working hard to improve over the offseason.
But they need major progress — and a real star — to lead them from the brackish backwater of being a lower-level playoff team to the rare and refreshing clear water of becoming a true contender.
None of that was gained out of the numbing humdrum of an extraordinarily quiet draft on Thursday night.
GORDON MONSON hosts "The Big Show" weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 1280 and 960 AM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.
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