COMMENTARY | The Utah Jazz have played all the right notes recently.
Since Jan. 7, they've collected an 8-9 record with victories over the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat.
Here's the problem: The more they win, the more Duke star Jabari Parker slips further from their grasp.
The Jazz, who play in a predominately Mormon state, desperately need Parker, who just so happens to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But not just because of that ecclesiastical link. They need him because of his ability to put the three-dimensional circle through the two-dimensional one.
As of right now, the Jazz are missing three pieces to their proverbial puzzle: (1) a 3-and-D specialist, (2) a stretch 4 and (3) a go-to scorer.
David Lindsey & Co. can take care of Nos. 1 and 2 through free agency, but because the Jazz are in one of the smaller NBA markets, No. 3 is going to have to be carried out via the draft.
That means Utah needs to stop winning and start falling behind some of the six teams who currently possess worse records, which, unfortunately, won't be as easy as it sounds. Especially since the Jazz didn't shed talented veterans like Marvin Williams and Richard Jefferson during the Jan. 20 trade deadline.
Williams, who's averaging 10.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and Jefferson, who's collecting 9.9 and 2.9, have been key to the Jazz's recent success and could very well be the reasons why the team misses out on Parker, which would be devastating.
With a J-note on his chest, the 6-8 small forward could be bigger than Mount Timpanogos.
As a freshman, Parker is averaging 19.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest on 47.9 percent shooting, proving he can be the main man the Jazz so desperately need.
Incorporate him into a core that already consists of five lottery picks -- i.e., Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks and Trey Burke -- and the Jazz could be contending for a playoff spot next year.
I can see the fans' signs now: "Elder Parker. Called to serve in the Utah Jazz Mission."
It could happen. The Jazz just need to get out of tune.
Jared Bray is a regular contributor for Yahoo Sports covering the Utah Jazz. He's also the Utah correspondent for Balitang America, a nightly news program of The Filipino Channel.
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