Deron Williams was occasionally surly and borderline pouty, and you might recall the infamous high heat he threw at a certain rookie last season when he didn't like what was happening on the court. Even with his flaws, the two-time All-Star was the undisputed leader of the Utah Jazz. While leadership isn't quantifiable in boxscores, the role of go-to guy and leader — someone who could either make plays or push and help teammates to get it done — seemed to go unfilled after D-Will was shipped to New Jersey. Several people inside of the organization — players and management alike — are hoping to avoid such a scenario next season. But who will emerge out of the offseason as the leader or leaders is one of the intriguing questions being bandied about a franchise that became flummoxed with the loss of strong personalities and presences in resigned Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan and Williams. Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor pointed in the direction of the franchise's two newest veterans — Al Jefferson and Devin Harris — while recently talking about the subject. O'Connor teased Harris and Jefferson at season's end: "I said, 'Myself and Coach (Tyrone) Corbin and you and Al, we're the four guys who are going to get the blame next year, so tie your hat on.'?" In his first season in Utah, Jefferson openly distanced himself from the leadership role outside of the by-example category. Harris just didn't quite feel comfortable enough to be a vocal presence after joining the team mid-season and in the midst of turbulence and turmoil.
Jazz look to find leaders in Devin Harris, Al Jefferson
The Deseret News | Apr 18