Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The emergence of Wes Matthews and Eric Maynor

Nobody could have expected Wes Matthews and Eric Maynor to contribute like they have so far this season. Here are a few reasons why:

-We all know Sloan has a tendency to not play rookies. He will sometimes, but it is extremely rare.

-Matthews was undrafted, and doesn't have a guaranteed contract.

-Maynor was going to be the 3rd string point guard. 3rd string point guard on a team with D-Will as the starter = garbage time only.

-Matthews was behind Kirilenko, Brewer, Miles, and Korver on the depth chart.

-Maynor seemed too small and scrawny to play in the NBA.

But here they are, being huge contributors to the Jazz this season. Matthews is rated as the Jazz #1 defender, and Maynor is playing like the best backup point guard we've had in a while.

CJ Miles will return this Friday, and Kyle Korver should be back soon as well. The team should be at full strength in a week or two.

So all of a sudden the Jazz have a ton of guys who can flat out play. You've got a starting 5 of Okur/Boozer/Brewer/Matthews/Williams with backups being Millsap/Kirilenko/Korver/Miles/Maynor/Fesenko/Price. That is a deep team, and it's going to be tough to keep everyone satisfied with the minutes they are getting.

Thanks to the added depth that the two new rookies give, if the Jazz were to make a trade, they have a few chips to deal with. The expiring contract of Matt Harpring's corpse is an attractive piece. Korver's contract is coming off the books.

Even if they don't make a trade, these two guys have probably altered what the Jazz will do next offseason. If Matthews keeps it up, he's made some of the Jazz wing players expendable. With a young, cheap, talented, solid all-around player like Matthews around, perhaps the Jazz won't be as inclined to re-sign Brewer or Korver this offseason.

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