OPINION – The NBA trade deadline is tomorrow and the Utah Jazz are among the most talked about teams. Everybody is assuming that they will trade either Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson. From the rumors and speculation, there are several teams interested in both of these players, and the majority of the media and the Jazz fans are fully expecting the Jazz to trade one of them.
Jefferson and Millsap are the top two scorers and the top two rebounders on the team, and yet, most people that follow the team expect them to trade one of them.
If the Jazz are considering trading one of them because they have a plan to bring the team back to the point where they can compete for a championship at least once in the next five years, then I support them completely.
However, if the Jazz are considering trading Millsap or Jefferson in an attempt to just make sure the team remains good enough to make the playoffs every year then I’m absolutely against the plan.
If you’re not in it to win it then you need to get out of the business.
I recognize that many people believe that you can’t win a championship in Salt Lake.
I recognize that many people believe that you can’t have top tiered players who choose to stay in Utah when their contracts expire.
I recognize that it would be very difficult for the Jazz to win a championship and that it’s much easier for them to make the playoffs every year.
I also recognize that the best things in life aren’t easy.
The best things in life take hard work.
The best things in life require dedication.
The best things in life frequently come after several failures.
Most importantly, I recognize that tough times, failure, hard work, and sacrifice are well worth it when you achieve your main goal.
I hope I’m wrong, but it feels like the Jazz organization is working hard to make sure that they are a decent team every year with little concern for becoming a title contender.
I hope I’m wrong because I’d much rather follow the Jazz when they are working hard to find a way to compete for a championship even if it means that they miss the playoffs several consecutive years before they hit their stride.
I can’t get excited for a team that makes the playoffs only to get swept like the Jazz did last season if I can’t see signs of significantly better days ahead.
On the other hand, I would get excited for a team that misses the playoffs, but has put things together to create the potential to compete for the championship. Yes, that means that this year I’d rather be a Lakers fan than a Jazz fan because the Lakers have more potential. Even though few people think it’ll happen, most people realize that the Lakers currently have the talent and potential to compete for a championship even though they’re currently not on track to even make the playoffs.
Most of the current trade rumors have the Jazz trading Millsap or Jefferson for one or more players of similar or lesser value just to prevent the possibility of losing them in free agency. If I see a headline about the Jazz being involved in one of the current trade rumors, I’ll be incredibly disappointed. However, if I see a headline in which the Jazz trade away several key players for either one top tier player or multiple first round draft picks, I’ll be excited for the future.
Take a shot at something big. If it backfires and the team free falls in the standings then you take the fall, get up and go at it again.
Leo Wright is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his own and not representative of St. George News.
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