Current Roster by Position
As his fourth decade tapers to a close, John Stockton remains one of the top 10 point guards in the NBA. "Will he be back?" is the question. Larry Miller has said he would beg him to come back, but that he also doesn't want to pay a luxury tax. Little John himself shies away from that limelight, so the last thing he want is to be roasted in opposing arenas and given several sets of golf clubs. I wouldn't put it past him to walk away now just to maintain his privacy, but the Jazz sure could use him for another year.
The Jacque Vaughn experiment is over, or is it? The guy can play, just not in the style of the Jazz. It doesn't matter if you can motor if your team grinds. Of course the pick-and-roll may be prevented by new zone defenses, but Jacque isn't exactly a zone-breaker with his inconsistent outside shot. He could do wonders for a team like the Magic or Clippers.
John Crotty is a serviceable veteran who can keep the ball warm for Stock when he is on the bench. Expect him to stay with the Jazz either as his backup or a mentor to a rookie.
A couple of weeks ago, Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor said that
DeShawn Stevenson was "untouchable." Unfortunately that is a word also used to refer to 14-year-old girls. We know the kid can play; there has even been talk of him playing the point. Let's hope it's not the Point of the Mountain (location of the Utah State Prison).
John Starks was only half the player the Jazz hoped he would be when they signed him to the mid-level exception, and that was before his emergency surgery during the playoffs. His shooting was cold for most of the year and, while he is a decent defender, he is not able to check the likes of Kobe and Bonzi. Starks could return to Salt Lake City for one more year or, better yet, return to Tulsa (retire).
Quincy Lewis has a sweet stroke, but seems to be more comfortable at the "3," especially defensively. With more PT he could develop into a valuable 6th man type.
Donyell Marshall was the major acquisition of the Jazz last year and he fit in very well. He was particularly active on the glass, which seemed to be contagious to the rest of the squad. While teams adjusted to him after awhile, he remains a viable option on offense.
As much as I would have liked the Jazz to trade him for Andre Miller,
Bryon Russell has been a solid contributor to the Jazz on both ends of the court for several years. His confidence seemed to wane when he lost his starting job to Marshall, but he has the skills.
Long, athletic Andrei Kirilenko's arrival is eagerly anticipated, but it will probably take him at least a year or two to get used to NBA-style basketball.
There may not be a spot on the roster for him this year, but
David Benoit played well in his second stint with the Jazz, and would certainly be available in case of injury or trade.
Karl "The Mailman" Malone is as solid as a rock and can continue to play at a high level for at least a couple more years. Zone defenses shouldn't hurt him as he likes to shoot jumpers at this stage of his career anyway.
Danny Manning was a pleasant surprise. What his knees lack he makes up in know-how. He's only really needed to play about 12-15 minutes a game to provide scoring punch when Malone is out. He is a defensive liability, but perhaps a zone will help hide him.
Scott Padgett is too slow to play small forward and too weak to play power forward. Plus, his agent is Dan Fegan of the Shandon Anderson and Howard Eisley contract negotiation fiascoes. So long Scott. Perhaps Ashley Judd is still a fan ...
Not much should be expected of Greg
Ostertag. He was the last pick in the first round. But then he signed that fat contract and he got fat and got bitchslapped by Shaq. He's in better shape now, but his fragile ego and confidence may never recover. Maybe the fact that he can play zone now will make him worth $8 million/per, but don't count on it.
Olden Polynice got in a scrape with the law last year for impersonating a police officer. DeShawn Stevenson's recent troubles should make everyone forget about that. Sometimes Olden impersonated a center, but not at the line where he barely scraped the rim. My guess is that he won't be brought back.