The game just ended, so I might come across more bitter now than I might otherwise, but I'd like to say, first off, a pox on that bag of douche in Memphis who gave the Lakers Pao Gasol, and another on the referees - the officiating in this series was the most disgustingly awful I've sat through in recent memory. Phantom fouls and obvious non-calls helped ensure the Jazz wouldn't be able to overtake the Lakers in Game 5 in LA, and down the stretch two key bad calls gave the Lakers free foul shots to keep the game just out of reach. Obviously I don't blame the refs for the Jazz being down 19 at halftime - LA did a great job of jumping on the Jazz early and keeping them down for most of the game - but when it's that close at the end of the game (as was the case in all 6 games of the series), the outcome shouldn't be decided by bad calls. The blocking foul on Paul Millsap should have instead been a charge on Gasol, and that Kobe/Williams run in should have been a non-call at worst, or at best an offensive foul on Kobe swinging his elbow at Williams' face. Instead of closing the gap, that's 4 critical points that went to the Lakers.
Anyhow, now that Utah's season is over I have a few thoughts on what they should do to prepare their team for the future, before they sit ideally by and let the Lakers and Hornets run rampant for the next few years.
Elton Brand is an unrestricted free agent. The Jazz should buy him up and make a trade offer to Dallas - Carlos Boozer and someone like C.J. Miles or Ronnie Price, and a draft pick for Dirk Nowitzki.
Boozer's good but he's also inconsistent during the playoffs. And, in reality, he's only an All Star because he has Deron Williams helming the team. After Boozer shrunk during key stretches of the playoffs last year, he only had one really good game in the playoffs this year after being a constant 20/10 guy all year long, which tells me it's time Jazz fans and management realize that, although when all is said and done Williams may be regarded as highly as John Stockton one day, Boozer isn't the second coming of Karl Malone. Boozer is capable of being great when he's the team's second option, but the Jazz will never win a championship in this crowded western conference if they have to rely on him to have big games night in and night out.
With Elton Brand they would have a consistent 15/10 guy, someone who can play tough defense and grab rebounds, and with Nowitzki they'd have someone who not only can create shots from anywhere on the floor, but is a veteran who is hungry for a championship, and who would fit in perfectly with Deron Williams, who is the only untouchable player on the team, although unless an unbelievable deal was put on the table, I'd not surrender Kirilenko, Millsap, Brewer, Harpring, or Korver.
Salary cap aside, if a trade for Nowitzki goes through, then Okur could be shipped out, maybe to somewhere like New Jersey for Richard Jefferson or Detroit for Rasheed Wallace or the Pacers for Jermaine O'Neal, if they could pick up his expiring contract and convince him to take a salary cut to be on a contending team.
With a lineup of William (PG), Brewer (SG), Kirilenko (SF), O'Neal (PF) and Nowitzki (C), the Jazz would be one of the top three title contenders in the league.