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Time to retool the Jazz

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I'm a Utah Jazz fan, just as many of you are, and have been for a very long time. I remember the move from New Orleans, watching highlights of Dominique just to be disappointed to hear of his trade, the lucky draft picks of John and Karl (don't kid yourself, contrary to what the Layden's would have you think, the picks were more luck than a good eye for talent) and then finally, watching a basement-dwelling team take the power house Lakers to task and mature into one of the elite teams, making it to the NBA finals back-to-back just to have our dreams smashed by a pushy MJ.

But with that said, don't burn me at the stake with what else I have to say. The time to rebuild the Jazz is now, not when John and Karl decide it's time! Just as an ESPN.com article eluded to, the Jazz should trade Karl and tell John it's time to "hang 'em up." With the money, buy out Lopez' current contract if it's possible with the weird NBA rules, and try to entice a couple of free agents to Utah. Then forgive Stevenson. Then with the Russian kid, the Jazz will be well on their way to rebuilding and won't drop off the face of the NBA earth like many teams do, that don't know how to act once the "era" is over.

Of course no NBA titles will be in the immediate future, but I believe the fans will treat the new look Jazz just as they did during the first building phase a decade and a half ago. Otherwise, we get to watch a re-run of last year and who wants to see that again?

Oh, and one last thing, if there's any money left, buy out Ostertag's contract too!

Jeffrey T. Callicott