i’ve given this a little thought as well, and i’m not sure that i agree, nick. andrei carries an enormous negative stigma because of his paycheck, and i think that reveals itself often with this kind of thought process.
consider some numbers from the two players (CJ/AK):
rebounds – 3.2/5.1
assists – 1.7/2.8
steals – .97/1.17
blocks – .43/1.22
fouls – 2.6/1.8
now look at those numbers and assume that every whole number in a given category results in a basket by the opposing team or the jazz based on where the ball ends up (i’m being purely hypothetical here, simply for the sake of argument). that means that AK adds an additional 3.8 points per game based on rebounds, 2.2 ppg based on assists, 0.4 ppg from steals, 1.58 ppg from blocks, and costs the jazz 1.6 ppg less, when you compared to CJ’s performance. granted, CJ’s numbers are based on 9.6 fewer minutes per game. but that still leaves AK with an additional (potential) 9.58 points per game versus CJ.
and consider that CJ’s foul numbers would increase half again if we extrapolate him and AK switching minutes played – that puts him at 3.9 personal fouls per game. and AK, assuming he moves from 32.3 minutes per game (where he is now) to 22.7 mpg (where CJ is now), would only be scoring around 8 points per game. CJ’s scoring goes up to 17.5 ppg: CJ starting gives the jazz a 6 point advantage running the numbers out, but he also costs us almost two more fouls each contest – possibly for four points, dragging his effectiveness at starter to only two more points per game.
on top of that, the jazz would go from having an off-the-bench scoring threat that puts up almost 12 points a game to AK bringing that estimated 8 points.
CJ needs to stay on the bench. the fact of the matter is that AK and Raja need to step up their game a bit – along with the entire rest of the team – if the jazz are going to make it out of the first round come april.