All That Jazz
Jerry Sloan may be a leading candidate for Coach of the Year, but he still needs players to coach.
Keon Clark, Curtis Borchardt and Ben Handlogten already occupy the injured
list. Clark and Borchardt are both still a good month away from returning,
and Handlogten is gone the rest of the season. Now Matt Harpring, their
leading scorer is out the rest of the season.
When the Jazz had their roster set in October, they looked the worst team
in the league on paper. Had people been told in advance that Clark would
be out until after the All-Star break, that last year's first round draft
pick would spend at least half the season out, and that Matt Harpring would
only play 31 games this season, more would have lined up behind ESPN's
Frank Hughes's 9-73 prediction.
First of all I'm shocked the Jazz didn't waive Ben Handlogten. He was a
good player but he's out for the year. They could've waived him and signed
a free agent, then invited Ben to try out next year.
Now all they can look at are trades, and they don't have much to offer
besides cap relief to high-priced teams. Would Phoenix throw in a draft
pick if Utah would just take Tom Gugliotta off their hands? Would Atlanta
like to start over and swap Sharif Abdur-Rahim for Jarron Collins?
Jazz fans may have had their hopes until now that #8 playoff spot was
possible. And with a healthy Harpring, it was. They've still won their
past two homes games without him. But now it's time to just enjoy the
Kirilenko show and hope for a lucky lottery landing next summer.