Big Al is joining the Utah Jazz. To say I am excited is an understatement and I will try to explain the reasons why I am so thrilled with this move. You can read about what Hollinger thinks of the deal here or Kelly Dwyer's take here or even a review of the entire Jazz team from nba.com right here.
- Al Jefferson is from Mississippi. Even better I went with Johnny to go see him play in 3A title game when he was with Prentiss high school.
- When he entered the 2004 Nba draft out of high school I was convinced that the Jazz would take him to try and fill a Karl Malone sized hole at the power forward position with one of their 3 first round picks. The Jazz did take a young power forward, but unfortunately they took the wrong guy in Kris Humphries. Humphries ended up playing two years for the Jazz before being traded.
- After Boozer left the team to go Chicago it was clear that the Jazz needed somebody else in the low post to help out Paul Millsap. Jefferson can be that guy.
- Jefferson should help the Jazz compete against the Lakers and their incredible front line.
- All the Jazz had to give up was a protected 1st round pick (from the Ronnie Brewer trade), their own 1st round pick (which shouldn't be high pick) and *Kosta Koufos.
- Al Jefferson is young and should be still improving.
- After dealing with the Sebastian Telfairs, Kevin Ollies and Jonny Flynns of the world he is going to be amazed at how much easier things are with Deron Williams.
- Jefferson always seemed to pick up his game when it was important. He seemed to want the ball and responded to the moment better than anyone else on the Twolves roster. If anything I think playing for a team that didn't play many big games overshadowed how much of a dominating offensive force he can be when the game is on the line. Someone who can take the ball and score in the paint is a valuable commodity.
- Jefferson is thrilled to be with the Jazz. After all the years of losing I think you can see his motivation with quotes like "I'm going to do whatever it takes. I'm just thankful for the opportunity to be here."
- Jefferson's addition sends a clear signal to Deron Williams that he can stay with the team and compete for an NBA title. The management is willing to take the extra step (and go into the luxury tax) if it means fielding a team that can win.
*the one Jazz fan I know up here told me the following thing after the trade was announced "I actually cheered when I saw he was thrown in."