Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Those aren't pillows!"

For those who don't know, that's a quote from the great movie "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" which stars Steve Martin and the late John Candy. What does this quote have to do with anything? Well, at the point in time when this quote happens the protagonist (Martin) is lulled into a false sense of security, only to have his entire world shook from their foundations. Shortly after there is a reference made to the Chicago Bears. That's a tangent though.

The point is (yes there is one) the Utah Jazz have been reported (via KFan 1320 when I was on hold with them for 30 mins trying to talk) to have traded Jason Hart to the LA Clippers for Brevin Knight. Yes, I know what you are thinking.

Steve Martin feels just like I do right now . . . kinda . . .
  "Wait . . . what? Hart for Knight? Those aren't pillows!!!!"

Does this deal matter? You better bet your black ass it does. It matters plenty, maybe just not in the way you'd think. Deron Williams, aka: he who makes Utah so Jazzy, plays a lot of mpg. Last season he played 37.3 mpg, and the season before, 36.9 mpg. At the least, he's going to play around 35 mpg (But in reality, more like 37 mpg again). The NBA game is 48 minutes total. 48 - 35 = ???

Yup, 13 minutes to fight for between Brevin Knight and Ronnie Price. (At the most, not including games where there is foul trouble or, knock on wood, injuries) Last season Hart averaged 10.6 mpg, and Price 9.6 mpg. Brevin clocks in at 23 mpg. He's not going to play that much, if he plays at all. He is slightly injury prone, but that may not even be an issue. Hart played in 57 games last season and his play on the court hurt the jazz more than his availability to play. I think that this move (which gives the clippers a $2.5 million dollar contract for 1 season, and the jazz that a $2 million dollar contract for 1 season) does nothing useful for us but saves us $500,000.00.

This means that this trade alone makes little sense, but there is something else happening in the big picture. We're saving half a million for something. KOC let loose that there was some numerical contract hiccup in C.J.'s new deal. I would think that these two issues -- the trade for Brevin and C.J.'s contract -- to be slightly related on some level. The Jazz could be making space to sign C.J., while fitting him under the cap a bit more in the future.

Back to the Clippers, Hooray! Look at that jersey, he's been playing since the days of Mark Price and Craig Ehlo! Still our 2nd string PG? Oklahoma, I yearn for thee!
Photo by NBAE / Getty Images Photo by some card company Photo by NBAE / Getty Images Photo by NBAE / Getty Images

Maybe I'm all wrong about this, but what needs to be clearly stated is that, on its' own, this trade makes no sense in the big picture as both contracts expire this 2008-2009 season. Brevin is an upgrade for sure, but he may not even have to play a single game to make an impact for us this season. Money is a big deal, and every team has to maneuver around to maximize it. This could be a deal that makes more sense in the big picture -- once the big picture occurs.

At the very least, this is a slight upgrade at face value . . . as long as this is talking about the 3rd PG spot, and not upsetting the depth chart to make space for a 5'10 guard who is horrible at shooting, doesn't have three point range (the Jazz sets rely on a PG who can hit the three), and never is healthy.

The Associated Press and are also carrying this story.