Waste Management: A closer look at the new garbage-time players for the Utah Jazz

Richard Jefferson will play behind longest tenured jazz man Gordon Hayward (Photo credit: Desert News)

Richard Jefferson will play behind longest tenured jazz man Gordon Hayward (Photo credit: Desert News)

After letting expensive players like Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap walk, and not-so-expensive ones like Demarre Carrol, the Utah Jazz needed some acquisitions to fill the roster. As a result they signed (or more accurately termed, ‘rented’) 3 players with 1 year left on their deals to play this season, most likely to get dumped into free agency after the 2013-2014 season. Here’s a look at the guys who you will see more than you may like this season in garbage time.

Andris Biedrins

Garbage really is the appropriate term to describe the time in which this Latvian big man may play. Biedrins’ career has featured nothing but negatives since his 2008-2009 season when he averaged an impressive 11.9 rebounds a game. Since then he’s had an array of different injuries, faced criminal charges of tax evasion in Latvia, and has been photographed engaging in lewd activities in public while smoking cigarettes.

Classy.

On the court, Biedrins doesn’t give you much offensively, and his 50% career FT percentage makes him more of a liability than anything. Unfortunately,  Enes Kanter and Rudy Gobert’s inexperience might lead to more Biedrins appearances than people will be comfortable with, and Jazz fans know how much coach Corbin loves to play the vets. He’s big and can be thrown in as a rim protector, but he can’t last too long before excessively fouling, which explains one of his many nick names: “one minute man.”

He’s played in the bay area his entire career, so maybe a change in scenery will do something for him, but I wouldn’t expect much good to happen when Beans, Goose, or whichever name of his you want to curse at the television as he heads to the scorer’s table this season.

Richard Jefferson

If I had to pick one word to describe Richard Jefferson’s career it’d be average. In his prime he was a solid player, scoring nearly 23 ppg in 2007-2008. But the tail end of his career has been nothing but abysmally worthless play.

Jefferson simply isn’t a playmaker any more. He’s now two years fully removed as a starter, and he averaged 3 ppg last year. He can make shots here and there and rebound, but he’s never going to lock down on defense when you need it, hit a big shot in crunch time or slam and electrifying dunk like he sometimes used to do.

Jefferson was never used to doing those things regularly, but now you can completely forget about it. The best case scenario for Jazz fans is to hope he doesn’t shoot too many bricked threes. If I had to make a top 10 list of players I hate the most to play with on 2K, he and John Salmons would be a toss-up for number 1 mainly because they have no specialty. If there’s any positives to take away from this it’s maybe he has some knowledge to share to the younger players.

Has there ever been a bigger downgrade in players with the same last name than Al Jefferson to Richard Jefferson? The more we see of the new Jefferson sitting on the bench this season the better.

John Lucas III

Lucas has the potential to play well, he just always gets thrown in when the game is already won/lost. When given good minutes he’s produced. He’s notorious for his performance against Lebron James where he scored 24 points for the Bulls when both Derrick Rose and C.J. Watson were injured. Lucas got a lot of minutes in that season and played well quite often.

After Chicago dumped him to Toronto, Lucas has sunk into irrelevancy. To keep throwing out names of Bulls PG’s, Lucas is comparable to a poor man’s Nate Robinson. Although lacking Nate’s athleticism, he’s small, can shoot well, and he plays with a lot of heart and passion. Expect him to be the new Earl Watson for the Jazz.

Of all the garbage acquisitions this offseason, Lucas may prove most valuable as he can be categorized as a veteran to the younger players as he enters his 9th season of professional basketball, behind only Jefferson as players with the most experience. He’s the one acquisition that has a chance at doing good things.

These players have all had their better days in the NBA, and they all realize the time to collect paychecks in the NBA is shrinking. Really, these players weren’t brought in to play well, they just so happen to be guys with one year left on their contracts that could be dumped the year after. Granted Ty Corbin might start playing these guys more beyond garbage time if there’s trouble early on, a thought that terrifies me, as Corbin is known for doing. As far as management goes remember that it’s for the long term benefit, not short term when these you see these three on the Jazz this season.

 

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