O'Connor sold his bosses on the idea that it's not an either-or situation when it comes to allowing youngsters to grow and winning games. Likewise, he's not about to sacrifice this season in order to set up a nice draft pick this offseason, especially because Utah has a $10.7 million trade exception it can use in wheeling and dealing.
"Give the Millers credit. We explained to them what we were trying to do — instead of getting a high draft pick, we wanted to try to win," O'Connor said. "And fortunately, we've been able to do some of that. There's a couple of chapters hopefully still to be written."
4. Fans Speak Out
I find the thought of rooting against your team's success to be baffling — especially when only a low-end lottery pick is at stake. Here were some of the reactions Jazz fans had on Twitter after I tweeted that out:
@ptruman: "Experience is a lot more important to current players. And if (you're) good enough to make playoffs, why worry about lottery picks."
@1234BBS: "Playoffs better in short run. Lottery better in long run. Simple business. Not fan analysis."
@djdarenc: "I think it is the allure of magic of lottery. The thought of our ping pong ball being 1st or way up there. My vote is for the PLAYOFFS."
@bryancella: "You can't be a championship team (until you're) a playoff team. Putting ALL your hope in draft is fools gold."
@jaredeborn: "A 15 pick in 2012 is probably the talent equivalent of a 6 pick in 2011."
@pchip12: "Regardless if we tanked or not, Jazz would still need to trade up to get a difference maker draft pick."
And coleman51 gave this relevant comment on deseretnews.com, "Fans may be cheering that the Jazz have positioned themselves for a playoff spot, but behind the scenes, this may turn out to be one of the most disastrous seasons in Utah Jazz history. ... As far as building for the future, that will come to a dead halt."
5. A Final Thought
@DJJazzyJody: It's possible the Jazz will get the best of both worlds. First, their team will gain invaluable experience while making the playoffs. Then, as some have suggested in the social-media sphere, karma will strike Golden State if it truly has been tanking and it either will finish with the eighth-worst record or get leapfrogged, pushing its pick out of the top seven and into Utah's lap.
Tuesday vs. Phoenix, 8:30 p.m., TNT
Thursday vs. Portland, 6 p.m., ROOT
Friday at ESA or ZBBC
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