vryadli wrote:And one more thing surprises me in recent history (one is strange belief in power of shuffling "pieces" in Minnesota Phoenix style) :
There were a lot of talk about keeping DWill happy... about keeping GH happy ... now there some talk about keeping DM happy...
But, I don't remember talks about keeping Gobert happy. Yes, most people recognize his importance but that's all. He just did his work day in day out or else trade him .
He showed tons team loyalty and fighting spirit for number of years, he definitely had a dream of winning The Ring WIITH JAZZ - and got practically nothing in return. No loyalty whatsoever. OK, may be he don't need spotlight, but currently the situation is just one step short of neglect. And such treatment of loyal star for small market team is straight and fast way to decades of complete irrelevance. And now Jazz is almost there.
No wonder that he lost quite a bit of fire. I don't think he is as wise as Dunkan and is treated much worse.
The Ringer NBA podcast, someone mentioned that Rudy is often pissed when he's open and not getting the ball.
They also said that as great as he is, he can be rendered less effective in the playoffs by 5-out lineups -- that is there are 5 players who are good enough 3 point threats that he has to be pulled out of the paint.
Donovan just shot 53/51.6/94.8 in this series (career wise 44/35.5/82.4). Yet the Jazz still lost. Maybe he takes another step and becomes much more efficient, maybe 47/39/85.
But the Jazz need more talent.
I don't think the Jazz will get a FRP for Ingles as someone suggested.
Barring a one-sided trade, Jazz have to improve through the draft. They have to find players who over perform expectations like Rudy (#27) and Mitchell (#13).
Draft can be a crapshoot as the Jazz found with Exum (#5).
In a way, Jazz have been both lucky and unlucky, kind of like the Blazers, another team seemingly caught in a cycle of mostly first or second round exits.
Blazers seemed headed to be a lottery team until Lillard started balling out since his rookie year. So while they've been in the playoffs most of his career, they've been unable to break out of the tread mill cycle.
Similarly, prospects for the Jazz looked bleak after Hayward left but Mitchell obviously kept them in the playoffs.
Would either of these teams be better off if for instance they were in the lottery for 2 or 3 seasons? Doesn't mean they'd be back in the playoffs yet but maybe they'd have more young talent than they do now?
Still the key seems to be the ability to hit every draft pick, even those in the mid first round. That is unless you're the Lakers which keep attracting the best free agents or soon to be free agents.