The wildest offseason in Utah Jazz history continued on Tuesday with the team reportedly coming to terms with free agents Jeff Green and Emmanuel Mudiay.
July 4 — Independence Day in the good ol’ USA — isn’t until Thursday, but the Utah Jazz have already enjoyed their fair share of fireworks. The big burst came over the weekend when the team came to terms on a four-year deal with free agent sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic, but the free agent frenzy continued on Tuesday.
Per the man of the offseason, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Jazz continued to shore up their roster for a possible title run by reaching agreements with free agents Jeff Green and Emmanuel Mudiay.
Both players will sign on for the vet minimum, which is all the Jazz have to offer in the wake of the Mike Conley trade and using their room exception to bring on big man Ed Davis.
Green, who will be 33 on opening night, has been a big-time bucket-getter over the course of his career. Last season, he put up 12 points a night for the Washington Wizards and shot 35 percent from distance, his best mark since the 2012-13 season.
He may not be an elite floor-spacer, but, even in the twilight of his career, he plays with bounce offensively. Green can mix it up inside and get to the tin as well as score from the perimeter. His 39 dunks last season would only have trailed Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors with the Jazz.
Defensively, his performance has ranged from being a hot mess on the court to giving LeBron James problems. The long and short of it is that he’s never been someone you can consistently count on there. However, being 6-foot-9 and 235 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan does give him some switchability and positional versatility on both sides of the ball.
There’s a chance he actually starts for the Jazz, with Bogdanovic playing the three and Joe Ingles going to the bench. Really, though, the Jazz will be able to employ a wide array of lineup combinations with their new roster.
Speaking of, the second signing of the day came in Mudiay, a guy that was highly touted as a lottery pick, struggled with the Denver Nuggets early, then had a career year with the New York Knicks last season.
All told, he started in 42 of his 59 appearances with NYK and averaged 20 points, five assists and four boards per 36 minutes. He also shot 45 percent from the floor and 33 percent from deep, which isn’t amazing, but represents a sizable progression from his first few years in the Association.
His effective field goal percentage of 49.3 was a career high. And in a Jazz system that generates more open looks than any league-wide, with a vaunted developmental program working for him, we could see continued progression in that area in Utah.
Bottom line: the Jazz got a high-lottery talent that’s still just 23 years old on a minimum deal.
That’s big time, folks. If he doesn’t pan out, you’re not hurting too much as Mudiay is just a depth piece at this point. If he moves toward realizing the massive potential pundits talked about when he was drafted, the signing makes your front office look like geniuses.
Alas, Mudiay’s signing happened because the Jazz were forced to waive Raul Neto on Sunday.
Neto has been a fan favorite, solid back-up and plus/minus god over his four years with the Jazz. Unfortunately, he’s also been incredibly injury prone, and with the salary cap for next season coming in slightly lower than the Jazz had hoped, the team had to waive him to have the requisite space to complete the Conley trade on July 6.