With the Jazz off to an earlier-than-usual summer vacation, The Salt Lake Tribune’s Jazz beat writers, Eric Walden and Andy B. Larsen, found themselves discussing … the Champions League semifinals? Not for long, though.
For while there may be no more Jazz games to play, there are still plenty of Jazz items to discuss. Plus, trolling Andy about a loss by his soccer team of choice may be entertaining to Eric but likely has limited appeal otherwise.
Given that, they quickly settle in to another edition of the podcast, this time discussing what went wrong against the Rockets, whether winning more regular-season games but being eliminated earlier in the playoffs (against an admittedly difficult foe) constitutes “progress,” assessing who from this roster might not be back next season, and throwing out a few names of potential replacements — some of which you’ve heard, and some of which you maybe haven’t. Here’s a breakdown of the highlights:
At 2:23 • Andy reacts to Eric’s trolling by calling him “a simpleton,” which is neither nice nor true!
At 4:48 • Was this season a success? A failure? What do we call it? Does it matter? And how does this team take “strides” next season instead of “steps”?
At 11:10 • The Jazz seem to expect that big changes might be coming. And maybe there should be some urgency for that, to take advantage of Donovan Mitchell’s star-level play on a rookie-level contract.
At 17:00 • Dennis Lindsey acknowledged the team needs more shooters. Jae Crowder said they need more playmakers. Who might fill those roles? And do the Jazz need a big course-correction that veers more toward explosive offense?
At 24:30 • We’ve established that we don’t think Ricky Rubio will return. What about Derrick Favors? Will they keep him? Should they?
At 27:30 • Could the Bucks’ salary cap woes yield someone for the Jazz to sign? Khris Middleton, Niko Mirotic, and Malcom Brogdon all need new deals, and Milwaukee can probably only afford to keep two of the three. We expect the odd man out to become a target for Utah.
At 31:04 • Let’s say the Jazz can’t land Kemba Walker or Tobias Harris or even Mirotic or Brogdon. What happens then? Andy proposes an admittedly imperfect yet sure-to-be entertaining “Plan D” fallback option.
At 38:25 • Andy presents one other option for upgrading the point guard position, this time via a trade.
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