The Utah Jazz are stuck int he middle of the Western Conference and have a big decision to make.
Al Jefferson is going to be a free agent this summer and the team is itching to develop younger players stuck behind him in the rotation like Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. And there definitely seems to be a desire to try and feature Paul Millsap more.
It would make sense then the Jazz would think about trading Al Jefferson. And if they do, the rumor, according to Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops reports, is the Spurs will be there to catch the burly post player, one of the best in the game. And this brings an interesting dilemma for both the Jazz and the Spurs moving forward.
From the Jazz's point of view, they get some value for a successful player that they do not appear willing to resign and is preventing younger players from playing.
Jefferson is indeed one of the best post players in the game, averaging 17.1 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game. He is a pretty sure bet offensively, shooting 47.8 percent from the floor and has the ability not only to dominate the post with his wide array of post moves, but also the ability to step out and hit jumpers.
He would be a great addition to any team.
But would he be a great addition to the Spurs?
San Antonio, in order to do the deal, would likely have to give up a point guard and would try to dump Stephen Jackson's expiring contract. Is that worth it to have Jefferson for the last quarter of the season and the Playoffs? What about Jefferson's role in San Antonio? Could he become a role player with fewer shots and could he give the necessary defensive effort that a championship-caliber team like San Antonio expects?
And what would this acquisition say about San Antonio's confidence in Tim Duncan's health for the rest of the season? Do they need Jefferson to make sure they have that bruising post presence down the stretch?
These are big questions. No one doubts Jefferson's offensive proficiency. It is his other credentials — on defense and in the wins department — that continue to raise questions as he prepares to enter free agency and move on to the next phase of his career (assuming Utah also decides to move on).
The rumor has the Spurs very interested. So these questions might have to be answered in a big way sooner rather than later.