Besides trying to corner the market on players named Williams, the move benefits Utah in several ways. But what is most surprising about the trade is how quickly the front office moved to try and improve the team.
Both trades received praise and criticism from the media. Before knowing the fate of Harris, the Mo Williams trade seemed odd because it added a fourth point guard to the roster.
When the Harris trade came to light, though, the Jazz did not lose any salary because we used the trade exception we gained from trading Mehmet Okur during the 2011 offseason. The lack of financial flexibility would make signing an impact-free agent difficult. Add to that the fac that Williams has already played nine seasons in the NBA, and we are getting a player who may start to decline soon.
The trade for Marvin Williams brought in an impact player but sent off Harris, who was starting to become comfortable with the Jazz system. Williams has not met the expectations of a second overall pick, plus he has a player option for the following season. This player option takes away money when the Jazz will have several top players on the market as unrestricted free agents.
I see both trades as positives for the still-growing Jazz. Both players improve on the team’s horrible outside shooting record, for example. Mo is a career 38.7 percent three point shooter while Marvin has shot 32.9 percent over his career. Both players excel off the ball as spot-up shooters. While both are athletic enough to take their man off the dribble, they can hit a spot-up jump shot consistently. For the Jazz, which needs shooters to unclog the lane for post players, this is more beneficial than Harris’s ability to drive the ball. Mo is a more traditional point guard than Harris is and will better distribute the ball to the proper option. Adding Marvin also allows Gordon Hayward to move to the shooting guard position, where he played better in his first couple of seasons.
This biggest addition to the team, however, will be the veteran toughness the two new players will add to the Jazz. With several key players still developing, adding some toughness will help the team.
The big question now for Utah is where, exactly, does it go the rest of the offseason. After already making big moves this season, does the team stand pat the rest of the summer and prepare for the cap space next summer, or does it continue to move pieces of the roster to change a core that was swept during the first round of the playoffs last season?
For more information check out July 12 edition of Davis Clipper.