The emergence of Bojan Bogdanovic as the Utah Jazz’s top target in free agency may have bumped Bobby Portis out of the picture. Also — Jazz rumored to have interest in Garrett Temple?
With the tip-off of free agency imminent, it would seem that Derrick Favors‘ days with the Utah Jazz are on the verge of being done. Bojan Bogdanovic has reportedly emerged as the team’s top frontcourt priority; per The Athletic’s Tony Jones, the Jazz will meet with the sharpshooter when free agency officially opens.
As part of the ripple-down effect of Utah’s Bogdanovic pursuit, another free agent big man — Bobby Portis — may be out of the picture for the Jazz.
Per Jones, the Jazz were set to meet with the restricted free agent in Los Angeles. Now, with the Bogdanovic meeting taking precedence, that meeting has reportedly been put on the back burner.
Portis finished last season with the Washington Wizards and put up better than 14 points and eight board per contest for the year. He also emerged as a legitimate deep threat, knocking down a career-best 39.3 percent of his 3-point attempts.
However, there are some concerns about his defensive fit with the Jazz. He was also famously involved in an altercation with then-Chicago Bulls teammate Nikola Mirotic, which resulted in the latter missing significant time.
You also have to wonder if he was a textbook example of a player putting up big numbers for bad teams because someone has to.
On the flipside, Bogdanovic had a career year of his own while helping the Victor Oladipo-less Indiana Pacers reach the playoffs. Along the way, he averaged 18 points a night and boasted an effective field goal percentage of 57.5.
As with Portis, you’d be giving up some things defensively with Bogdanovic, but the 30-year-old is much more established as a floor-spacer. He’s never shot below 35.5 percent from distance in his career, has been over 40 percent in back-to-back campaigns and has taken over 43 percent of his shots as triples over his career (compared to 25 percent from Portis).
I, for one, was intrigued with the Portis idea in concept. However, if you’re really looking to unlock your offense, Bogey is by far the safer bet. The Mike Conley–Donovan Mitchell–Joe Ingles-Bogey-Rudy Gobert starting line-up could be one of the best offensive units in Jazz history.
He has the experience edge, too.
There’s also the possibility of a double sign-and-trade situation with Bogdanovic; the Pacers are reportedly pushing hard to bring former Jazzman Ricky Rubio in to the fold.
Still, if the Jazz can’t get something done with Bogdanovic, they could re-engage on Portis.
Elsewhere, the Jazz are said to be interested in LA Clippers guard Garrett Temple, a player with whom they’ve been linked to in the past, and with good reason.
ESPN’s Marc Spears was the one to report on Temple and the Jazz, naming the Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets as other potential suitors.
The 6-6, 195-pound vet is a pro’s pro who offers positional versatility, aided in no small part by his huge wingspan, and has been a plus defender throughout his career. Offensively, he’s heady with the ball and he’s been much-improved as a 3-point shooter in recent years.
If the Jazz can get him on a low-dollar deal, it would be a major win for the team’s depth.