I think the fan issues go deeper than just roster uncertainty, and as a fan all those empty seats scare the heck out of me. I'm a geek fan, I love the jazz and talk about them with co-workers, friends, and family. For the past few years, maybe 2-4, I have seen an increase in apathy towards the jazz among the casual followers and sports fanatics. When I ask people about the team, I usualy get a laugh. When I ask why they aren't interested I usually get a "They always lose" (not true, but they have never won it all) or a the "Lakers will beat them" and even a few "do they still play in Utah?"
Based on my talks I figure that alot of people believe the NBA is a gimmick, the deck is stacked against the Jazz and as soon as things look good the Lakers trade for Gasol or Howard or Nash. If the team doesn't have a fighting chance, why get emotionally invovled?
The other reason is that so many people don't have a chance to casually watch the team and become acquainted with it, or form a connection. The games used to be KJZZ available to everyone. So the guy without a dish or cable could still connect with the team, and become a fan. That is gone, and the folks with cable can follow the Lakers or Heat on higher quality broadcasts.
Finally, I think the laggin economy, 12 years of war, and uncertainty of the future has alot of people saying 'there are more important things to worry about than basketball'. I have had people tell me so. I don't mean to start a Dem. Vs Rep. discussion in this thread, just reporting what people have said.
Looking at the bigger picture and the moves the Jazz have made since Larry passed, I'm thinking this is who the Jazz are. Somewhere along the way Gail and Greg decided that they would rather field a team of 'nice' guys than trying to compete at the highest level without regard to character or community impact. The Jazz aren't the only team to do it. Without really looking into it I would say that Cleveland, Toronto, Orlando, Atlanta, and Phx are doing similar. And why would they extend a risk when the only reward is to lose to one of the super teams in the 1st or 2nd Round?