Posts

Favors, Jerebko Lead the Way in Jazz’s Rout of Nuggets

Utah Jazz Tickets

With no games on the Saturday or Sunday, it seemed like a good opportunity for a Salt City Hoops Q&A. To my surprise, only question came in about the team as presently constituted1. The rest focused on potential future Jazzmen, including G-Leaguers, trade targets, or free agents. 

On to the questions!

 

What would have to happen to replace Derrick Favors in the starting lineup? – @caseygreer2

Casey chimes in with the only question about the Jazz on the court, as opposed to a potential personnel move, so he’s first in line.

First off, Favors is a huge asset to the Utah Jazz. It’s hard to imagine the Jazz being able to find a more talented backup center for the minutes Rudy Gobert rests or (God forbid) any games Gobert misses. On the current roster, those minutes would be taken by the steady but offensively limited Ekpe Udoh, or in theory second-year man Tony Bradley, who has yet to play 10 NBA games or 30 NBA minutes.

That said, fans often question Favors’ fit in the starting lineup, probably with good reason. Advanced stats make it pretty clear that the starting lineup is outplayed pretty handily by the Rubio-Mitchell-Ingles-Crowder-Gobert combo, and it’s not really close. Starters have tallied a 0.6 net rating to date, while the same lineup with Crowder in for Favors scores a 17.5 net rating. Across the board, the numbers favor a Favors-less, Crowder-ful team on the floor. Shooting is better and the ball moves better; only rebounding percentage is slightly better with the Favors lineup.

So what has to happen for Crowder to get the start and for Favors to come off the bench? Honestly, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already, given what I perceive as Quin Snyder’s affinity for a stretch four on the floor. Last season Crowder was new to the Jazz and less prepared physically, so not making the change then was understandable. This season the sample size is still fairly small. At some point, if the results stay the same or close, I think Snyder makes the change unless he feels like he would lose Favors in the process.

I have more thoughts about how that rotation might work, but if I get into that, this will become an entire column, not an answer to a single question.

 

Do the Jazz have any rights to (SLC Stars forward) Willie Reed? Or does he just play for the Stars? – @deige22

In short, he just plays for the Stars. Only NBA assignees (Tony Bradley in the Jazz/Stars case) or players with Two-Way Contracts (Naz Mitrou-Long and Tyler Cavanaugh) have contracts with the NBA affiliate. As such they are only eligible to be called up by that affiliate, not by other teams.

The vast majority of G-League players sign a contract with the league, not the NBA affiliate, and this is the case with G-League draft picks like Reed. The Stars have no exclusive right to call him up to the Jazz; any NBA team that wants to call Reed up can do so. That said, the Stars selected him, so the Jazz may have had some interest in evaluating him up close. They seem somewhat pleased with the pick, having filmed his introductions with the front office and interviewing him during a Jazz game2. If the Jazz want to retain Reed longer term, they could opt to offer Reed either a Two-Way Contract or a full NBA contract (presumably for the minimum salary, although the Jazz could use an exception to offer more). Either option would require the Jazz to clear a roster spot.

In his first three games, Reed has likely turned some heads somewhere in the league, averaging 30.7 ppg on .755 FG%, 13.7 rpg and 1.3 bpg. If he keeps that up for long, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see someone call him up. He’s very long (although not a stretch four or five – a potential strike against him in today’s NBA), and he has NBA experience.

 

What’s the next significant move the Jazz make and when? – @Jazzies12

There are a couple ways to answer this question. The first is that any move Dennis Lindsey makes could be significant. When the Jazz claimed Joe Ingles off waivers, nobody called that a significant move, and yet he has been proven to be an NBA starter and a huge asset for the Jazz. In hindsight, that was a significant move.

That said, I assume you mean a SIGNIFICANT move, like bringing in a high-level player who is already proven and a good fit, then adding the Jazz development and system like a cherry on top. The short answer is that it could happen any time. There could be a blockbuster trade tomorrow (but I doubt it), or there could be a move at the deadline that qualifies as significant. In my opinion, the best chance for a significant move is a free agent pickup during the offseason, and we’ll talk about that more later.

 

When is Favors eligible to be traded (not that I want that – he played really well yesterday – just curious on options)? – @trueblueclint

That’s a simple answer, so I won’t belabor this one. Because Derrick Favors was signed with Larry Bird rights and the Jazz are over the salary cap, Favors can’t be traded until January 153.

 

I’m really curious about trade ideas, mostly dealing with Favors or Alec Burks. Seems like expiring contracts don’t carry the same weight they used to. I feel like the Jazz need more shooting, any thoughts on who and what they’d cost? – @dallas_sawyer

It is true that expiring contracts haven’t been as valuable in recent years as they once were, but with a larger crop of good free agents in 2019, we might see a shift.

Even with Burks’ resurgence this year, I sense that the Jazz and Burks will part ways next July 2019, when he will be an unrestricted free agent. It may be his decision or the team’s, or it may very well be mutual. If I’m reading those tea leaves correctly, it would make sense to move Burks if the Jazz get a chance to gain some kind of asset, as long as that asset doesn’t hamper future flexibility.

Favors is a different story. I don’t know if the Jazz will pick up the guarantee for the second year of Favors’ contract, but the harsh reality is that the Jazz need him for the reasons stated above. The Jazz might survive without power forward Derrick Favors, but they really need backup center Derrick Favors. He shouldn’t be traded unless it improves the team, and that would have to include a capable backup center either coming back in the deal or joining the team some other way.

Finally, I agree the Jazz could use a little more consistent shooting, but improving shooting via trade doesn’t necessarily equate to improving the team. For example, the worst three-point shooters so far have been Ricky Rubio and Dante Exum. Any shooter the Jazz acquire in a deal likely doesn’t take minutes from either player, but from a someone who is shooting better (like Burks at .579 from three). Donovan Mitchell is also shooting a subpar percentage, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to sit him so that a career great shooter like Kyle Korver can launch some threes. For the moment, I think shooting improvement comes from in-season improvement, but obviously that assessment could change if it continues to be a problem at the 20, 30 or 40-game mark.

 

Do you think the Jazz are real players in free agency, or should they focus on the trade deadline to build next year’s roster like they did last season? – @JamonWinegar

Everything I’ve read (no inside information from me, sorry!) tells me that Plan A is free agency. The Jazz feel like they can be players not at the very top of the free agent list, but in the range where they can still get a player they want. More on those types of players later.

In order to abandon Plan A in February in favor of a deadline deal, the Jazz would want to get a similar type of player with a reasonable amount of time left on a contract. If they can’t do that, I think they wait and roll the dice in the summer. There’s an exception for deals involving taking on expiring contracts, as those don’t affect Plan A.

 

Do you think the Jazz will go after Tobias Harris or Khris Middleton in free agency? – @newbymiles89

I think both players are on Lindsey’s radar, and are exactly the type of player the Jazz expect to compete for next July, not the Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving tier. Both are 20-point scorers, but are somewhat under the radar, Middleton due to playing with the Greek Freak, and Harris because he’s been around the league a bit. Given a choice, I’d pick Middleton, but nothing happens in a vacuum, and Harris isn’t a bad consolation prize.

 

Thanks to everyone for the questions! We’ll do this again in a few weeks!

Ken’s connection to the Jazz started in the mid 1980s in the old Salt Palace and hasn’t really missed a beat since. Ken lives in the Phoenix area, where he and his wife operate their own business. Ken tweets at @k_clayt.


  • Utah Jazz


    November 11th, 2018

    Last year’s Jazz started the season 16-24 and were surrounded by questions about the makeup of the roster. The Ricky Rubio…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    November 9th, 2018

    In the winter of 2004, Gordon Hayward was attending middle school in Brownsburg, Indiana, and Tom Gugliotta was an overpaid…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    November 9th, 2018

    Gordon Hayward arrived in Utah in 2010 a promising, wiry 20-year-old and grew into an NBA All-Star by the time he left the team…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    November 7th, 2018

    Once again, the Utah Jazz are off to a shaky start. Just as they did last season, the 2018-19 Jazz have started the year with a…Read More

Utah Jazz Tickets
Official Utah Jazz Tickets On Sale Now!

Source link

Q&A with Utah Jazz forward Tyler Cavanaugh

Utah Jazz Tickets

Tyler Cavanaugh signed a two-way contract with the Utah Jazz in August. The second-year forward was kind enough to let me ask him some questions about joining the Jazz.

Utah Jazz fans should be excited about adding Tyler Cavanaugh to the roster. Every team is always searching for a stretch-four, and that’s exactly what Cavanaugh is. At six-foot-nine, Cavanaugh’s shot is pure. He shot a rock solid 36 percent from deep last season as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.

Cavanaugh went undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft after playing four years of college basketball at Wake Forest and George Washington. The Hawks were one of the worst teams in the NBA last season, which led to a lot of playing time for the younger guys, including Cavanaugh. That stint in Atlanta definitely set him up for this next part of his career in Utah.

Getting into the Q&A, I asked Tyler a total of five questions. He’s busy preparing for the season, so I didn’t want to hinder him with a boat load of questions. I’d like to thank Tyler for being more than willing to answer the questions I had for him. With that being said, let’s get started.

Q: You spent your rookie year in Atlanta under coach Mike Budenholzer. Quin Snyder comes from the Hawks organization and is very similar to Coach Bud. They both preach moving the ball, in particular. How excited are you to play under Coach Snyder and do you see any similarities between him and Coach Bud?

A: I’m very excited for the opportunity with the Jazz organization. I’ve heard great things and in my short time here have been very impressed with how everything is run. The system Coach Snyder runs is similar to Coach Bud and I am eager to help any way I can. Continue to learn and grow within the system is my goal.

SAN ANTONIO, TX – NOVEMBER 20: John Collins #20 and Tyler Cavanaugh #34 of the Atlanta Hawks look on during the game against the San Antonio Spurs on November 20, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)

Q: You got your two-way contract with Atlanta converted into a standard NBA contract last season. Does that give you confidence that the same could happen this year with the Jazz?

A: It’s obviously a much different situation here in Utah than it was in Atlanta, so I am just focused on improving each and every day regardless of if I’m with the Jazz or Stars. I’m excited to be part of a playoff team and learn from the veteran guys on the team.

Q: Who did you learn the most from in Atlanta? The Hawks obviously weren’t very successful, but I always appreciated the fact that they played hard and competed every single night. That takes character.

A: I learned a lot from all the veterans about just controlling what you can control and going out and competing every night. Mike Muscala and Ersan Ilyasova were two guys I learned a lot from just because they play my position and I was able to watch them both a lot. Just how they handle themselves in a professional manner every day.

Q: Did you happen to watch any Jazz playoff games this year? How deep do you think they can go this time around?

A: I watched a few of the playoff games last year and I think the sky is the limit for this team. I’m eager to see how far we can go.

Q: Can you tell Jazz fans who may not be familiar with you about your game and what you like to do on the court?

A: I am a stretch four big who can step away from the hoop and shoot threes, but I also like to mix it up inside. I pride myself on playing hard every time I am on the floor.

Next: Utah Jazz rank 2018-19: Naz Mitrou-Long scores No. 17 spot

Again, I would like to thank Tyler for taking the time to sit down and answer some of my questions. I look forward to doing more of these Q&A’s in the future. Good luck to Tyler for the upcoming season. It’ll be exciting to see him develop under the Jazz’s watch.



Utah Jazz Tickets
Official Utah Jazz Tickets On Sale Now!

Source link

Dan Clayton

Utah Jazz Tickets

The Jazz are mostly done with their 2018 offseason. Salt City Hoops readers, on the other hand, are not.

There were still a ton of great questions in this week’s offseason Q&A. Specifically, readers wanted to hear more about the deals signed by Utah’s incumbent free agents, and also had questions about how to secure Ricky Rubio’s future, about future targets, and about whether or not the Jazz are done transacting.

Dive in!


Did the Jazz overpay Derrick Favors & Dante Exum?

@_am_h

I don’t think so, and in particular, I think the contract details that have come out about both guys make them look like very good deals.

Exum’s base salary is $27.3 million, which is right in the range most people foresaw and basically equates to an Mid-Level deal. (An MLE contract from another team would have come to $27.1M.) Utah basically gets him on a deal as though they’d matched an offer sheet starting at the MLE, as far as his base. And if he makes the extra $1.9M per season, it’s because he is performing at a level where you don’t mind paying him up to $11M per season. My educated guess: the half million of likely incentives for Exum are probably based on him participating in some form of development program. That means the other $1.4M would be contingent upon some sort of performance threshold. We don’t know the details yet, but it’s safe to assume that if Exum is earning that extra $1.4M check, it’s good news for Utah, basketball-wise.

Same logic applies to the $2.8M of yearly incentives in Favors’ contract. His $16M base salary is a little richer than what I had forecast, but that extra cash bought the Jazz a completely non-guaranteed second year. I had guessed on a starting Jazz salary of up to $15M1, but I wouldn’t consider $16M base an egregious overpay, since the Jazz bought some extra 2019 flexibility for that extra million. And, as with Exum, if they’re paying the extra $2.8M, it means they’re getting a high-performing Favors.

I will say this: the percentage of each guy’s salary that is incentive-based — 17% for Exum and 15% for Favors — is pretty significant. I’ll be interested to find out exactly what those are tied to.

Raul Neto’s deal was also very reasonable: at $2.1M per season base, that’s just a few hundred thousand over Neto’s minimum salary. The deal also includes $50K of likely incentives (again, probably development-related) and $50K of unlikely bonuses (probably stat-based), as well as a July 6 guarantee date on year two.

Explain more the significant of these incentives in regards to the cap. When do the incentives “hit” the cap?

@lairddoman

Performance incentives count against a team’s salary cap when they are considered “likely,” which means a level of performance the player hit the previous season. Unlikely incentives aren’t counted initially, with two caveats. 1) Likely and unlikely incentives are included when calculating whether a team is over the “Apron.” That way a team that is subject to a hard cap at the Apron wouldn’t spend money thinking it was safe, and then accidentally (and illegally) go over if a guy reaches the performance threshold. 2) Incentives that are paid will count on a team’s salary at the end of the year, so if you’re trying to stay under the tax, it’s better to budget as though they will be paid out.

So, is that it? No more moves? I understand it, but it’s kind of frustrating seeing nothing new.

@JazzNationBr

Wouldn’t a changeless Jazz roster equal too much risk in a really loaded Western Conference?

@_am_h

So first of all… yes, it sounds like the Jazz are pretty much done, barring a too-good-to-be-true trade offer falling into their laps.

And I understand both of your trepidation — after all, it’s more exciting and comforting when a team makes moves. But the Jazz decision-makers think they can be significantly better than last year without a major roster overhaul, and they might be right. That doesn’t mean they’re simply betting on internal improvement, either. What they’re really betting on is that the baseline of this team is better than their final 48-34 record. Their approach this offseason shows that they believe their point of departure is much closer to the 29-6 finish than to the season overall. Rudy Gobert missed a third of the season, Thabo Sefolosha missed half and Dante Exum missed all but 14 games. Their best offensive player was still learning up from down, even while averaging more than 20 a game, and Jae Crowder joined the team with two months left.

So they’re trusting that there’s value in seeing what a healthier version of this group could accomplish, while keeping their options open for later. Of course, there’s no guarantee that staying the course will yield amazing results, but I’ve seen several models that project the Jazz as a top Western Conference team.

Is there any upside in not using our $8.6 million Mid-Level Exception this Summer?

@zarinf

Well for starters, I don’t know who they’d spend it on. The MLE won’t be enough to get the big-name restricted free agents away from teams with matching rights. And the unrestricted guys still available would be depth pieces at best. For example, Greg Monroe and Alex Len are traditional centers, and the Jazz are a team with all of its center minutes pretty much spoken for. Wayne Ellington is a really good shooter, but Utah already has like seven guards. 

There’s also something to be said for flexibility. Keeping the MLE on the shelf keeps salary off of the 2019 books, and it also keeps options open to swing an uneven trade without crossing over into the tax. But mostly, I think it just comes down to the fact that the Jazz like their depth across all positions, and they’d prefer not to pay $8.6M to someone who doesn’t really represent an upgrade.

 

Since the Jazz have some cap room to spare (if Georges Niang is our 15th), do you expect a front-loaded Ricky Rubio contract extension this summer or is it too early/unwise to make that commitment considering Exum’s future?

@Sporkaccione1

Do you think a preseason Rubio extension is possible?

@kja2064

Well for starters, Spork, the Jazz don’t have cap space this summer, so they can’t do a renegotiate-and-extend deal where they bump his 2018-19 salary and then base an extension off of that amount. The most they could offer in an extension would be an extra four years, starting at $17.9M.

It’s possible, but I think the Jazz would prefer to go into next summer with options. If they extend Rubio at that amount, it would be hard to hit the summer with a max slot available in case the right free agent says yes. Don’t get me wrong, retaining Rubio might wind up being the right call, but I think the Jazz would like the opportunity to at least check in on some free agents before making that determination.

Speaking of which…

If Rubio is re-signed to a similar average annual value contract, will Utah still have enough room for one big FA in 2019?

@kja2064

Can Jazz keep Rubio and/or Favors and still open significant cap room or do they have to let one or both of those guys go? for next offseason

@jazzies12

If the Jazz let Favors, Raul Neto, Alec Burks, Ekpe Udoh and Thabo Sefolosha all go next offseason, would they have enough money to re-sign Rubio and still sign another freee agent to a max contract?

@dozer5001

A popular theme there.

Let’s start with what space the Jazz could create and then you can work backwards from there. If the Jazz cut everybody who’s not guaranteed (except Mitchell), and rescind all of their free agents, they’re about $49 million under, minus a cap hold for their draft pick (let’s say $2M) and five empty roster holds (~$4M total). It’s probably a no-brainer to keep Royce O’Neale at the minimum, which adds $1.6M but brings off one of those $850,000 roster holds.

So start with about $42M and work backwards depending on whom you want to keep. Keep Rubio at somewhere around his current $15M salary and you have $27M left to offer to a free agent. Let Rubio walk and keep Favors and you have $23-26M, depending on which incentives he hit in 2018-19. Keep both and you’re back to where you’d get more mileage by just operating as an exceptions team. The good news in Favors’ case is that the late guarantee on his second year (July 6) means Utah can make that decision after they see which free agents are returning their calls. 

The Jazz set themselves up to try to use their cap space next summer. Who do you think should be their top 3-5 targets?

@rflcaa

There will be a huge selection next summer, the result of a bunch of one-year signings this year. And assuming that the Jazz could be coming off another successful season with a promising core, they should be able to get an audience with some key guys.

The headliners of next summer’s free agency will be stars like Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, all of whom have player options. Karl-Anthony Towns will be restricted and thus impossible to pry away from Minnesota, as is the case with Indiana’s Myles Turner. Everyone there might be out of Utah’s reach.

From a basketball perspective, the best fits would be another big wing or combo forward type, someone who’s a dynamic scorer and can also defend. That’s why we keep coming back to names like Khris Middleton, Tobias Harris and Klay Thompson. Those would be my three guys to keep an eye on, and probably in that order. 

Next summer seems to have an inordinate amount of players due to the nature of the contracts signed this summer. How could this affect the Jazz and the league as a whole next summer?

@JazzHoopsLife

For starters, it seems like some agents are getting fired next year, right? It feels like everybody got the advice that they should just kick the can to next year to get paid, and so many dudes took that advice that now there are going to be a LOT of mouths around that trough next July. There are currently 130 players who are slated to receive at least $10 million this upcoming season, and as many as 59 of them could be free agents in 12 months. Then add in guys coming off of scale contracts — like Towns and Turner — and you have a LOT of guys expecting to be paid next summer.

It probably won’t affect free agency much at the top. Enough teams have money, and the megastars always get paid. But once you get down past the first and maybe second tiers, there’s a good chance we’ll start to see some signings that look like bargains. As always, though, it depends on how many marquee free agents stay home, because that’s the variable that determines whether 15 teams have cap room, or half that number.

 

When can each of the guys who we brought back be traded?

@lairddoman

Oooh, good one. 

The guys who signed free agent deals — Favors, Exum and Neto — can be traded as early as January 15. Normally, signees can be traded starting December 15, but because all three of those players signed using Bird Rights and received raises above 20%, the Jazz have to wait a little extra before they’re trade eligible.

The guys who had their contracts guaranteed — Sefolosha and Udoh — can be traded at any time. Grayson Allen can be traded starting August 1, 30 days after his rookie contract was signed.

Everybody else is fair game at any time.

What is Niang‘s nba skill that will allow him to contribute to the Utah? I agree he’s having a great summer, but he’s also 25; he should be better than most Summer League players.

@caseyadamson

In general, it’s pretty dangerous to take too much from a Summer League performance at all, and I don’t think that’s why the Jazz like Niang. They like him because he’s big, moves the ball well, is a decent shooter, and is smart. In short, he’s just really skilled for his size and knows how to get things done on the basketball court. Sometimes a player’s NBA skill is just that: being able to figure out the game. Think about it this way: four years ago, not a lot of people could identify Joe Ingles’ NBA skill, either. But the Jazz liked his mindset and his between-the-ears game, so they took a low-cost flier on him. And that panned out. They like Niang for some of those same reasons, even though it’s way early to know if he’ll pay similar dividends.

How sensitive are players coming out of their rookie deals? Granted they can get more re-signing versus a matched deal, but do you think players/agent take offense when their drafted team says, “Go find out what you’re worth?” As happened with Zach LaVine, Otto Porter or *ahem* yeah, that guy.

@iPrinceJester

That second contract is most players’ first opportunity to really get paid. So yeah, it can come off a little heavy-handed when a team overplays its considerable leverage and refuses to pay a guy a single nickel more than he can get from the open market. Rationally speaking, players can probably understand why teams don’t want to bid against themselves when there’s no need to, given how restricted free agency is set up. But emotionally, it’s certainly easy to see how it could bother a person to see their livelihood and self-worth subjected to the callousness of game theory and cap mechanics.

It’s obviously bothered Hayward — likely the object of your “ahem” — when the Jazz sent him to find a max contract elsewhere instead of just ponying up. By contrast, this year they have a very happy Exum telling the media that he feels “taken care of as a person.” Could they have saved a few bucks by waiting for Exum to bring them an offer sheet? Maybe2. But giving a player in Exum’s situation a sense of security and backing has got to be worth some dollar amount. 

Where is Jabari go considering he seems upset about his current situations. Will Jazz target him next season?

@O_Uchiy

I’d still keep an eye on his hometown Bulls and on Brooklyn, now that the latter can get to around $12M in space. If not those two, Sacramento and Atlanta are obviously getting calls from every RFA whose agent is trying to find some leverage. But ultimately, it could be a rough ride for Parker.

The Jazz are obviously intrigued by Parker’s potential to be a dynamic scorer, but it’s also fair to wonder how he’d fit in Utah’s defensive culture. I can’t get a real solid read for how interested they’d be if he became a free agent after next season, but I also think that’s still pretty unlikely. Offer sheets to RFAs have to be for two or more years, so the only way he’s a free agent next year is if he takes the paltry $4.1M qualifying offer.

If I tell you Jabari won’t sign his QO and the Hawks and Kings don’t want to spend money on him, then he must leave through sign-and-trade. Do you think Milwaukee can do a trade with us to release space (for Middleton’s 2019 opt-out)? Would the Jazz do it if they can get JP at $11M?

@Sirenazjj

I’m sure the Jazz have done their due diligence on this, so the fact that they’re not introducing Jabari at the practice facility right now tells me it’s probably not that workable. First of all, it’s tough money-wise: to get Jabari at $11M, the Jazz would have to send out at least $6.23M in salary, and the Bucks couldn’t take more than $11.78M. So the only players that work in straight-up deals are Crowder and Burks. Do the Bucks have any need for those two?

The reality is that the Bucks are in no hurry here. Every day that passes just deepens their leverage and increases the amount of sweat on Jabari’s brow. They’re in control of this situation, so they won’t accept a trade package they’re not wild about.

Understanding it’s a unique market, with so many players taking less favorable deals for them, what are your thoughts on potential of moving toward franchise expansion in the future for more potential landing spots for players?

@Dgthatisme

Yeah, I think both the league (welcome in 1-2 big markets) and players (30 more NBA jobs available) would welcome expansion under the right circumstances. It wouldn’t completely solve the specific cap shortage that led to this year’s wild rush on one-year deals, though. I catch your drift: two more teams means at least a couple of additional MLE slots each summer. But the expansion process is pretty drawn out isn’t something they could do as a quick fix for a specific micro cap environment. When the Board of Governors weighs expansion, they’re far more interested in evaluating the impacts five, 10, 20 years down the road, etc. 


Thanks all for the questions!

Dan Clayton

Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City, but contributes regularly to Salt City Hoops, FanRag and BBALLBreakdown.

Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton


  • Dante Exum


    July 3rd, 2018

    Our staff got together to weigh in on Derrick Favors’ new contract, what’s left in the NBA free agent pool, and the…Read More


  • Free Agency


    July 2nd, 2018

    We’re not even two days into free agency, and already there is clarity on the Jazz’s roster plans, cap situation, and…Read More


  • Dante Exum


    June 27th, 2018

    By this time next week the free agency craziness will be underway. Which makes this the perfect time to get one last June Q&A…Read More


  • Free Agency


    June 29th, 2017

    The advent of the free agency period is usually brings excitement. But this offseason, Jazz fans are experiencing more…Read More



Utah Jazz Tickets
Official Utah Jazz Tickets On Sale Now!

Source link

Dan Clayton

Utah Jazz Tickets

We’re not even two days into free agency, and already there is clarity on the Jazz’s roster plans, cap situation, and immediate future.

Derrick Favors agreed to a two-year, $36 million deal on Monday afternoon. That leaves the Jazz with just their own free agent rights and salary cap exceptions as they finish shaping their 2018-19 roster. But that leaves some questions: How do those work? Who’s Utah’s competition? What’s the latest on restricted free agent Dante Exum? We dive in with our latest offseason Q&A.

Some of these questions were submitted before the Favors decision was announced, so I took the liberty of reframing a couple of them so that they’d still be applicable. 

Who has cap space left?

@KantsImperative

This stuff can change by the hour, and it’s also difficult to know which free agents’ rights are still being held by a team and which aren’t. So I’m going to answer in terms of who can still create cap space by renouncing guys. Current as of 6:13 EDT on 7/2.

Big money: Atlanta, Chicago and Sacramento can all still create $20 million or more of room without trades.

Medium money:

  • If Brooklyn orders its transactions right, it can spend about $7M more before signing Joe Harris to his new deal and signing Ed Davis (Room MLE of $4.4M) and Nik Stauskas (min) using exceptions. That number will go up if they buy out Dwight Howard.
  • Philadelphia has about $13M left, plus the Room MLE.

Exceptions teams: With Thabo Sefolosha’s guarantee and Favors’ agreement to sign, the Jazz now don’t have the option of operating like an under-the-cap team, but their MLE is intact. The Clippers can create $14M or so if they waive/rescind everybody, but it’s more likely they’ll keep at least one of Patrick Beverley ($5M non-guaranteed) or Avery Bradley (UFA), at which point they might as well operate as an exceptions team.

In addition to those two, Charlotte, Cleveland, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans and Orlando have the full MLE intact. Denver, GSW, Houston, OKC, Portland1, Toronto and Washington have their taxpayer MLE intact.

Mostly done spending: Detroit (Glenn Robinson), Milwaukee (Ersan Ilyasova), New York (Mario Hezonja), San Antonio (Marco Belinelli) and Minnesota (Anthony Tolliver) have all used a portion of their MLE. Dallas has a small amount of cap room left, but plans to use it to re-sign Dirk Nowitzki. Phoenix spent its cap space on Trevor Ariza, but still has the Room MLE (and can waive guys to open up $5-8M more in room). The Lakers have committed all but about $5M of their cap space, even if they order Lance Stephenson’s signing (at the Room MLE) last. Indiana spent the last of its space on Tyreke Evans, but has the Room MLE.

Can MLE be aggregated with cap space or other assets?

@dennybradk

No, none of the salary cap exceptions can be combined with cap space (or with other exceptions). The only time when that sort of aggregation is legal is when compiling salaries for trade matching purposes (within certain guidelines).

How can the Jazz use their trade exceptions?

@Awwwliver

They can only use them to acquire players whose entire salary would fit inside each exception: The $2.4M from Hood or the $3.7M left over from Johnson. They can’t be used to sign players, they can’t be combined to create one $7.1M exception, and they can’t be lumped together with the MLE or anything else. It’s basically just to acquire a single player.

Which is why the reality is that most trade exceptions expire unused, especially smaller ones like these. There’s a small chance the Jazz could use a TPE to take back an additional player in a trade if the team they’re trading with wanted to dump more salary. For example, trade Thabo ($5.25M) for a player making up to $9.2M and then take another player making $3.7M or less into one of the TPEs. Something like that could help a team trying to reduce payroll.

Do you think we’ll see a 5-out lineup by the Jazz with Jae Crowder and Sefolosha as the “bigs”?

@hessrp

Maybe in unique situations, depending on what an opponent is doing. But I think by and large, if you re-sign Favors it’s because you plan on him using most of the backup center minutes. 

For what it’s worth, even with Gobert missing 27 games last season, the Jazz didn’t have a single lineup that didn’t feature a center log more than seven minutes all season. I just think Quin Snyder regards 5-out lineups as being more of a “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency” type ploy. Which makes sense to me when you have two guys who are above average paint protectors AND rim divers.

Crowder and Sefolosha seem to have similar (though not identical) skill sets. Who do you envision gets more minutes of the two, and what factors might influence Snyder’s decisions on that matter?

@rylzlewis

At least at first, it will be Crowder. Sefolosha is a 33-year-old coming off a major injury, and also has to serve a short suspension to start the season. So out of the gate, it will be Crowder, but shot selection and defense will probably determine a lot of it over the course of the season. Sefolosha can do a bit more with the ball in his hands, but Crowder has more natural athleticism. The reality is that we’ll see plenty of both guys. It helps that both of them are legitimately multi-positional players, so Snyder will find a way to deploy them.

It’s also worth mentioning that both of them are on great contracts and therefore would both be very tradable if the Jazz decide they have an embarrassment of riches at SF/PF and could address a need elsewhere.

If Favors decides to sign elsewhere, who do the Jazz go after since we’d be limited to the MLE?

@bookofzook

This question was submitted before Fav committed to sign a 2-year, $36 million deal. 

If the Jazz sign Favors, Dante Exum and Raul Neto will that be it? Will they or could they make another move?

@CurtisHulet

It sounds as though they’ll use all or part of the MLE to add a depth piece. They’re probably not getting a major impact piece at that level, but there a lot of really nice players available for all or part of the MLE this summer.

 

Who do the Jazz use the MLE on?

@LilBax

Which stretch 4s might Jazz be targeting?

@sjuanhijo

Based on the market set thus far in FA, what remaining candidate(s) seems like a good fit for the MLE?

@Stockton2Sloan

Grouping these similar questions together.

The depth chart after Favors re-signed is pretty chock full of rotation-quality guys. So you’re looking for someone who would upgrade a rotation spot. The most obvious spot is to find a shooting big to provide depth behind Favors and the tag-team of smallball 4s the Jazz have on their roster. That’s why names like Nemanja Bjelica and Davis Bertans keep coming up. Luc Mbah a Moute would be great, but he’s a little bit similar to Sef & Crowder as a big defensive wing who can play some stretch 4 as a corner spot-up guy. I think Bjelica might be the guy they’re monitoring. Which wouldn’t be great news for Jonas Jerebko and his non-guaranteed contract. 

What’s your thought on what level of contract that a team would have to offer Dante for the Jazz to not match it? I think, and could be wrong, the Jazz might be the highest on Dante’s upside as anyone!

@mollyfud

I answered a similar question last week and my view on it hasn’t changed much. If they can get him in the high seven-figure range, it’s a no-brainer to match. In the $10-12M range they’d wince a little before matching. And if it gets up into the mid-teens, then the decision gets tougher. But I’m one of those people who still think Exum can be special in the NBA. Guys who have one elite skill have long NBA careers. Guys who do two things at an elite level have a really strong foundation to build on. Exum has the tools to be elite at perimeter defense, and elite at getting from point A to point B with the basketball. I wouldn’t give up on him. 

As for your final point, there are teams out there who still like Exum. I’m not sure if that will translate to an offer or not, but he still has believers.

Is there any value in trading for Carmelo Anthony? I get that he is on the downslope of his career but could be a stretch 4 we need and his defense could be mitigated by Rudy Gobert. Plus we would take a few draft picks for our trouble.

@caseyadamson

I don’t think the Jazz would have any interest in Melo. At -3.0 Wins Above Replacment (or, put differently, 3 losses above replacement), Melo was damn near the worst rotation player in the entire league last season. OKC played much better when he sat. Pretty much all he does anymore it hit shots, but at .503 true shooting, you’re actually making your offense WORSE every time he shoots. It’s just not a fit.

Also, not to pick on Casey here, but we need to revisit the whole “Gobert will cover for a bad defender” philosophy. Gobert certainly enables the Jazz’s perimeter defenders to play a certain way, but that doesn’t mean that he has magical dust he can sprinkle on a bad defender to make them good. That’s just not how the Jazz’s team defense is built. There’s a reason they took proven rotation-quality players like Rodney Hood, Joe Johnson and Alec Burks and gave their roles to the somewhat less-heralded Royce O’Neale, Crowder and Exum, respectively: the defense is elite when five guys know their jobs and stick to a system. When that system is working, it can turn good defenders into great ones, but if you put guys who don’t give a crap next to Gobert, they don’t just magically give a crap. And there’s a lot of evidence from the past two seasons to support that, which is why certain players (even good ones!) aren’t on the Jazz anymore.

Is there ANY chance that Milwaukee would not match on Jabari at the MLE? Also, could the Jazz sign Favors and Exum quickly (and lower than cap holds) and use whatever space they have left combined with the Room MLE on Jabari? 

@trueblueclint

1) I think Milwaukee would match at the MLE. I also think Jabari can probably find better offers than that somewhere. But we’ll see.

2) No, they can’t combine cap space with exceptions. And the Favors signing ensures that they’ll stay over the cap anyway.

If there’s a chance Love is available, do you think that changes how DL approaches (or approached) the meeting with Favors?

@1tobeamup

I’m sure they at least broached the topic of sign-and-trade scenarios when they met with Favors, but clearly they were more focused on getting him to stay.

The reality, though, is that the Jazz likely don’t have the assets to swing a Love trade. If the Cavs make Love available, it’s going to be a rebuilding trade. They’ll want young pieces and picks, and all of the Jazz’s assets in those categories are either of middling value or are off the table. 

(Now that Favors made his decision), do you expect more Jazz dominoes to fall? Or will that wait for Exum?

@awwwliver

Now that we know for sure that the Jazz are an exceptions team, it doesn’t really matter if they make an MLE signing and then re-up Exum, or re-up Exum and then use the MLE. Obviously Utah would like to understand Exum’s price point so they don’t accidentally commit themselves to paying the tax, but by now they undoubtedly know what he’s asking for well enough to ballpark it. I think it’s more a question of those players holding out to see if the five teams who still have some flexibility — or the eight teams with the full MLE — want to make them a priority. For example, Bjelica isn’t going to sign for $5 million until his people have done due diligence with all of the MLE teams.

Any indication on your end that Tony Bradley is ready for some backup 5 minutes?

@trueblueclint

Let’s find out! Summer league starts in a few hours! (As for now, I’m still not counting on Bradley to be a rotation piece. But he can prove me wrong, starting tonight.)

If Isiah Thomas has no market, would you like to see the Jazz swing for the fences and try to sign him to the MLE and see if they can make it work? Have plenty of defense (especially if they back Dante), IT could be scoring punch we need, no?

@mollyfud

With Ricky Rubio, Donovan Mitchell, Exum, Grayson Allen, O’Neale and even Joe Ingles getting some minutes at the two guard spots (and possibly Neto!), I’m just not sure I picture a big enough role for IT that it’s worth investing the full MLE. He was also a negative-value player last year by VORP. He just doesn’t really move the needle for me. 

How do Jerebko and Nemanja Bjelica compare on offense and defense?

@jtaylorbentley

Bjelica is probably just a bit more skilled overall. He can score the ball in more ways than Jonas, and he’s a little better as a ball mover. Defensively, Jerebko’s style is about hustle and disruption, whereas Bjelica is solid in more traditional defensive schemes. Neither guy has the lateral agility where you want them switching onto guards a ton, but both are good in hedge-and-recover situations, and Bjelica is probably a bit more solid guarding the low block. Bjelica is probably better overall, and in general probably fits Snyder’s vision of having multiple guys he trusts to make decisions with the ball. The Jazz also think Bjelica might have some unexplored potential after having an inconsistent role in Minnesota.


That does it for this week. We’ll probably do this one more time next week, depending on how active things still are and whether or not there are questions.

Dan Clayton

Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City, but contributes regularly to Salt City Hoops, FanRag and BBALLBreakdown.

Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton


  • Dante Exum


    June 27th, 2018

    By this time next week the free agency craziness will be underway. Which makes this the perfect time to get one last June Q&A…Read More


  • Free Agency


    June 29th, 2017

    The advent of the free agency period is usually brings excitement. But this offseason, Jazz fans are experiencing more…Read More


  • Free Agency


    June 30th, 2016

    NBA free agency is already heating up, and we haven’t even reached the witching hour. Teams supposedly have to wait until…Read More


  • Free Agency


    June 29th, 2016

    With hours to go before the NBA’s free agency period begins late tomorrow evening, the Utah Jazz certainly have their…Read More

Utah Jazz Tickets
Official Utah Jazz Tickets On Sale Now!

Source link

Dan Clayton

Utah Jazz Tickets

By this time next week the free agency craziness will be underway. Which makes this the perfect time to get one last June Q&A in.

So we’ll send you into free agency with answers to a bunch of great questions submitted this week by tweeps and readers. There are still a bunch of questions about the impending free agency decisions involving Derrick Favors and Dante Exum, so let’s start there before looking at some external targets and Jazz roster questions.

Here we go…


Favors and Exum

Let’s assume Favors and Exum are Dennis Lindsey’s only priority in free agency. What combined salary is workable with our cap situation? I realize there are other factors like years on the contract and how deep we would be willing to spend over the line. But notionally what can we spend annually?

@Stockton2Sloan

Let’s start by assuming that the Jazz aren’t ready to pay the luxury tax yet. Lindsey has hinted that they’d pay it in the right scenario, but I don’t think you necessarily want to trigger it for a team that’s still not a primary contender. If you decide to go over now, then repeater penalties could make it harder to keep the core intact later on, when the Jazz are closer to the mountaintop. Based on that, I’ll answer your question with the goal of keeping Utah under the $124 million (or so) tax line.

Utah could lay out $30M combined for those two dudes and still dodge the tax just by waiving one of the non-guaranteed guys or letting their minimum-salary free agents walk. But 1) then the Jazz would be really limited in using exceptions (even the minimum salary exception) throughout the season. And anyway, 2) it probably won’t take $30M to retain those two, based on this year’s free agent market. So I guess my answer, notionally as you put it, is that the Jazz don’t really need to worry about affording those two guys. They can pay the market value for both and still keep evade the tax, so the bigger question is really around how aggressive they want to be with their exceptions. It’s more likely that they get the pair back for something in the $20-25M range, which would allow them to also think about adding a player or two using exceptions.

If Dante gets a big offer sheet, is it safe to say we move on from him? What do you think about Grayson Allen filling in those minutes if we let Dante go?

@bwthornock

Well, “big” is relative, but in general, I’m hearing that the Jazz want to keep him. I don’t think drafting Allen really changes the calculus that much around Exum; when you draft a guy at No. 21, you’re probably not expecting him to play a huge role instantly, and Linsey’s draft-night comment about playing time seems to confirm that they’re looking at Allen as a depth piece right now. But back to the Exum part of your question…

What kind of offers Jazz won’t match for Exum in your opinion?

@_am_h

If Exum signs a deal starting in the high seven-figure range — which is a real possibility, given how many teams are limited to salary cap exceptions — then I don’t think there’s any way the Jazz decline to match. If the offers creeps up into the low eight-figure range, say $12M or so, they’ll sweat a little bit before they ultimately match it. It’s if the offer gets up into the mid-teens that I really don’t know what the Jazz would do at that point.

And it’s not like an offer starting at $15M is entirely out of the question. I don’t think this particular market will bear that kind of deal out, but that would basically be the modern equivalent of what other mid-lottery and first-round guards got before they became stars. That said, anybody offering that amount to Exum is betting on the come.  

What is a realistic contract amount for Exum and Favors if Jazz bring one or both back?

@BrynerNiner

All told, I still think Exum will find an offer starting in the $9-11M range. There’s just too much talent there for him to not have a believer somewhere (including on his current club). And Favors is a top-10 free agent (or higher, depending on opt-ins) by Wins Above Replacement, so I still think he’ll get the low to mid teens. Although if dominoes fall the wrong way where either guy’s positional market is concerned, the money could dry up and push those numbers south in a hurry.

 

How many teams need a big AND have cap space for Favors?

@lairddoman

Here’s a way-too-cursory glance at the other 29 teams.

Several lottery teams will have (or can create) cap space: Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, Sacramento. Some of those teams have young bigs, but they all just need to get better in an overall talent sense, so it wouldn’t shock me if they sought a veteran like Favors.

More than half of the teams definitely won’t be operating with cap space: Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, GSW, Houston (once they sign CP3), Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Orleans, OKC, Orlando (unless they let Aaron Gordon walk), Portland, Toronto and Washington. San Antonio is a bit up in the air depending on what happens with Kawhi, but they’ll probably be an exceptions team.

In between, there are some interesting teams. Indiana will have some room (more so if Thaddeus Young opts out), and because Myles Turner is a shooting center, you could probably play him and Favors together. If DeAndre Jordan opts out, the Clippers are one move away from having space for Fav. If the Lakers strike out on big-time free agents, they could offer a lot of money on a one-year deal. Enes Kanter opting out could create room in New York. 

Philly can create some room, but it’s tough to see how Fav fits there.

 

Potential Targets

If Jordan leaves for Dallas via free agency or trade, does this put the Clippers in the market for Favors? Could Jazz work a sign-and-trade involving Favors to try to get Tobias Harris back?

@MarshallDjm

Now that the Clips traded for Marcin Gortat1, they may just try to tread water with him as their center for a year. Directionally, what you’re describing is possible, I just don’t think the Clippers would surrender a player as valuable as Harris. Maybe if if some extra goodies were attached.

But you’re onto something here: Fav’s rights could actually turn into a decent asset since few teams can acquire him for more than the MLE. The catch is that if he gets too big a raise, then it gets harder to make numbers work in a trade because of something called Base Year Compensation rules. BYC basically makes it so that if you give a guy a big raise in a S&T transaction, you’re limited in how much money you can take back. In the hypoethetical Harris-Favors deal, it’s not really an obstacles, but it could make the math harder in some cases. Especially if the guy on the other end is also BYC (like the popular Jabari Parker sign-and-sign-and-trade transaction that many Jazz fans have been dreaming about).

Is a trade for Kevin Love too far-fetched? Do we wait to sign him as a free agent? Would he want to come here?

@awesomedestroyer

The problem with a Love trade is two-fold. 1) The popular perception that the Cavs will be eager to unload Love if they lose LeBron James appears to be untrue. Which isn’t to say he’s untouchable, but they view him as a central piece to a post-LBJ future, so no team is going to steal him with a bargain-priced offer. And 2) the Jazz’s trade assets aren’t actually that great when you consider that Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are off the table. I just don’t think Utah has the pieces to get anywhere near what the Cavs would consider a fair offer.

The Jazz could instead approach him next offseason, as you suggest. Although he’ll be 31 by the time the 2019-20 season begins, so at that point you’re likely getting a player who’s further from being the 25-and-12 guy he was before taking a backseat to LeBron. 

Thoughts on whether the Jazz have a realistic shot at Paul George especially if the reports about Mitchell recruiting him are true?

@1tobeamup

I gave a pretty detailed answer on this a couple of weeks ago, but the quick version: I don’t see a realistic path to making the numbers work, unless OKC wants some of Utah’s rotational pieces (like Alec Burks, Jae Crowder, etc.). And I’m not sure they would.

How do you feel about picking up Jabari Parker?

@the_joshprovost

Parker has the potential to be such a dynamic scorer that I think you explore it, especially if it feels like Milwaukee isn’t going to match. But the Jazz have traded really good players in the recent past because they didn’t mesh with the team’s defensive identity, so that’s a valid concern. People like to say of subpar defenders, “Oh, Rudy will cover up his inadequacies.” But that’s not really how team defense works. Gobert is amazing defensively, but Utah’s defense is elite when it are able to operate almost a single organism: five tentacles, but one brain. It’s why guys who were in the rotation at the start of the season finished the year elsewhere or on the bench. So where Parker’s concerned, you’d really have to feel like he has both the will and the smarts to improve on that end.

Who are your top 5 free agent targets for the Utah Jazz? Realistic preferred not feel free to go all Fantasy Island.

@StewieStoney

If we’re not constrained by reality, then just start at the top of the free agent list: LeBron, PG-13…

But more realistically, I do think they’ll look at some of the available shooting bigs, especially if Favors leaves. The guard and wing spots are getting a little crowded, but I’d expect them to gauge interest with the likes of Parker, Young (if he opts out), Nemanja Bjelica, Anthony Tolliver, Rudy Gay… If a star player is willing to sit down and listen to their pitch, Utah will happily set up the meeting, but don’t get your hopes too high on the PG-13 class of free agents. Also, don’t overlook the possibility of adding a rotational big via trade.

How do you feel about (Magic free agent) Mario Hezonja, and do you think he’s a guy the Jazz would try to get?

@Jazz6thman

Before the draft, I commented a few times that Hez could be a worthy gamble for somebody, including possibly the Jazz. We finally got a glimpse of what the former top-five pick can do with the leash off. But he’d be a flier/project on the wing, and the Jazz just drafted another wing project. Even with Exum in free agent status, the Jazz have Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Allen, Royce O’Neale, Burks, Jae Crowder and Thabo Sefolosha who play some wing minutes. So at this point, I think Hez would have to come really cheap and be OK with a deep bench role.

Do you believe if the Jazz has better options than Sefolosha, Ekpe Udoh and Jonas Jerebko, that they will use the MLE or Bi-annual? Are there better options at this “price”?

@JazzNationBr

Sure, there are guys out there who are better and could be had in the exceptions range. There are going to be some really good free agents signing at the MLE, taxpayer MLE and BAE this year, but who knows if the Jazz can get to them. For example, Trevor Ariza is slightly better in the Thabo mold, and Bjelica offers more macro value as a shooting bench big than Jerebko. But there’s no guarantee the Jazz can get those guys, and they might just decide that there’s value in keeping guys that already know the culture. They’re also all on cap-friendly contracts that preserve the Jazz’s 2019 flexibility. So I think the most likely outcome is that the Jazz keep at least one and possibly all three of those guys unless they find themselves in a position where they need to clear room because an impact player is interested. 

That question is a good bridge to some questions about the Jazz’s own guys.

Current Roster/Miscellaneous

Sefolosha’s guarantee date is July 1. No chance that’s picked up, right? Especially in line with Jerebko/Udoh July 9 guarantee dates.

@Mark_R_Pereira

Well if becomes guaranteed after July 1, so Utah will at least know if they’re getting any traction or meetings with first and second-tier free agents before they have to decide.

I have actually gotten the sense that they want Sefolosha back. They value his skills and leadership, and if you replace him, you’re probably doing so with a guy you have to sign beyond this year, cutting into 2019 cap flexibility. I would venture that Sefolosha is the most likely of those three guys to remain a Jazz player.

Is there any cap incentive to move Alec Burks if all our free agents re-sign and we go into next season with the current roster?

@EricLilly7

Oh sure, the cap incentive would be that you can use the salary cap exceptions (like the mid-level, bi-annual exception, and looser trade rules) without worrying about butting up against the luxury tax. Of course, the Jazz can get that same breathing room by letting the non-guaranteed vets walk. If you assume $9M for Exum and $15M for Favors and keeping the end-of-roster guys on minimum deals, the Jazz are within $4M of the tax line (where they forfeit certain kick-backs and pay a dollar-for-dollar tax) and within $10M of the apron (where trades and assets get further limited). Trading AB or waiving the non-guaranteed guys would allow them some room to operate with their exceptions if someone they liked became available at the MLE or if a trade opportunity presented itself involving taking back a little extra money.

Do you foresee a lot of 4 small line-ups with Ingles being the biggest guy of the 4? Also, when coaches play said line-ups, do they really ignore rebounding?

@iPrinceJester

Ingles might nominally be the tallest non-center on the court at times, but he’s not a 4. He’s closer to being a PG than a PF, especially on defense. That’s why in most of Utah’s four-out lineups, someone like Crowder or Sefolosha was still on the court with Joe. I suppose that could change given the number of guards currently on their roster, and on the offensive end, it doesn’t really matter who you call the 3 or the 4 in those 4-out configurations. But defensively speaking, Jingles can only be the 4 in certain situations.

Which teams have good internal development programs? Which teams don’t have good internal development programs?

@O_Uchiy

That’s a really good question, one I can’t begin to answer in a paragraph or two. The easiest thing to do is to look at which team’s draftees have panned out in a meaningful way, but some of that can also be attributed to drafting right (or wrong).

Off the top of my head, I’d say Boston, Denver, Indiana, Milwaukee, Philly and Utah can all point to some major individual successes. Orlando, Chicago, Memphis and Phoenix have mostly had their young guys plateau or even peter out. Brooklyn too, which makes me sad to say, because I like their coach and think they’re built on the right principles. They just don’t have a lot of huge development successes they can point to yet in the Kenny Atkinson era. Jury’s out on the Lakers.


Great questions this week! We’ll keep it going next week, with free agency in full swing.

Dan Clayton

Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City, but contributes regularly to Salt City Hoops, FanRag and BBALLBreakdown.

Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton


  • Dante Exum


    March 17th, 2018

    While the Jazz keep rolling through their March schedule, we have a lot of work to do to roll through all the storylines, news…Read More


  • Dante Exum


    October 8th, 2017

    Right up until the moment when 230 pounds of shooting guard landed right on top of him, Dante Exum was having a terrific…Read More


  • Dante Exum


    April 14th, 2017

    What if I told you that the NBA’s leader in real plus-minus hasn’t really even been mentioned in the race for Most…Read More


  • Dante Exum


    November 1st, 2016

    After an active NBA offseason, several different media outlets ranked the 30 teams’ starting units and benches. The Jazz…Read More



Utah Jazz Tickets
Official Utah Jazz Tickets On Sale Now!

Source link

Dan Clayton

Utah Jazz Tickets

It’s about time to get down to business — literally.

Draft week is upon is, which means it’s officially time for teams to stop talking and start transacting. We’re actually into the deal window now; many trades involving picks happen in the immediate lead-up to the draft. For example, two summers ago when the Jazz acquired George Hill with their pick, the deal was made and announced in the days leading up to draft day1

So things will get noisy between now and Thursday, and then of course we have the free agency period following close after. So there are, understandably, a lot of questions out there. Let’s dig in.


Is there any way the Jazz would get involved in taking on Chandler Parsons for the No. 4 pick. What would the other pieces of such a deal have to look like and what does that mean for Derrick Favors and Dante Exum?

@Stockton2Sloan

Aaron’s referring to the rumor that Memphis would part with No. 4 if it gave them the opportunity to get out of the remaining $49 million commitment to the perpetually broken Parsons. But there’s almost no recent precedent to a team using a top-5 pick just to dump salary. Since 2000, only 10 picks in the top-5 have been “sold” in draft-week trades — half of those were just small move-back deals, and the others were generally for stars like Elton Brand and Ray Allen. The closest thing to a pure salary-dump trade involving a top-5 pick was when Minnesota acquired Ricky Rubio in 2009 by taking three bad salaries back from Washington. But even in that deal, they still had to give up starters Randy Foye and Mike Miller.

I think when it comes down to it, Memphis will similarly want some basketball value if they’re going to move a blue-chip draft asset. And since the Jazz are over the cap, they’d have to send $19.1 million of salary in order to acquire Parsons anyway. Would Memphis be interested in Alec Burks + Jae Crowder + Tony Bradley? What about Joe Ingles + Thabo Sefolosha? Ricky Rubio + Jonas Jerebko? It would limit Utah’s available to make a run a 2019 free agent, but I think Utah would do it if a package like that was really enough for Memphis. The thought of adding a Luka Doncic-type player to the roster with six to seven years of team control is just too enticing.

It wouldn’t impact Favors’ or Exum’s status. Since the Jazz would be making the trade as an over-the-cap team, they could do that and still keep those two’s FA rights intact.

Should the Jazz go get Rudy Gay? Better than what Joe Johnson gave to the Jazz?

@1tobeamup

Rudy Gay opted out if his $8.8M player option. Does he fit as a stretch 4 for this squad? His ’17-18 per-36 numbers are on par to his career but is he no longer a starter on a contender?

@iPrinceJester

Just saw that Rudy Gay is opting out. You think he is looking for more money or more years. Any chance Jazz are interested?

@kpoindexter78

Gay’s opt-out inspired a ton of curiosity among Jazz fans. The 12-year vet is still producing, albeit in a smaller role. He played just 1231 total minutes for the Spurs last season, but he averaged 19 & 9 on a per-36 basis. The problem is: he’s not really a stretch four in the strictest sense. Sacramento used him that way more than anybody (35.6 percent from three), but last year he was just a 31-percent shooter from deep, and he’s never taken a really high volume from there. He’s a much better midrange shooter than any of Utah’s other PF options, but that doesn’t seem to be what Quin Snyder is after, at least out of the starting 4 spot.

Now, does he make sense in the Johnson role: a savvy, go-get-some-buckets type player off the bench? Maybe, if you think he’s an upgrade over Crowder in overall terms.

In terms of what Gay might want as a free agent, this opt-out might not entirely be about money. Remember, last summer he opted out of more than $14 million so he could go sign with the Spurs at the $8.4M mid-level. He might be hunting for the right role and situation as much as anything.  

Philly has four second round picks. Would they possibly be interested in trading 26 and 38 for 21? They are not drafting 6 players.

@therawns_jazz

Yeah, the Sixers will make some deals on Thursday. And trading up to No. 21 could make sense for them since most pundits seem to think there’s a tier break right around where the Jazz are picking. So Utah could be in a good position to extract an extra asset in a move-back deal. That said, I’m not sure Utah wants to come away from this draft with three players, either. Remember that they currently have 12 players under contract for next season already, and that’s without accounting for bringing any of Exum, Favors or Raul Neto back. So I think they only make that deal if, a) they feel like they have a beat on a player in the late 20s (a la Rudy Gobert), and b) they have a good stash candidate or two in mind for the second round.

Not Jazz related, but doesn’t a trade of Gordon Hayward plus something (Boston’s Memphis pick?) for Kawhi Leonard make sense for both sides? SA gets a poor man’s Kawhi + quality draft pick; Boston gets an upgrade over Hayward. Yet this option is mostly dismissed by pundits.

@tombagjr

I actually think the punditry is talking as though Boston is a very likely landing spot for Kawhi. Nobody has quite the combination of draft assets and young stars that the Celtics have, so they’re going to be part of every discussion when a star player is available via trade.

But I’m not sure they’d give up Hayward, or even that they’d have to give him up to be the best offer. A package built around Jaylen Brown and one of Boston’s incoming potential lottery picks2 is probably enough to be the best offer the Spurs will get. If Boston does decide to part with one of its three veteran stars, it’s more likely that the deal would be built around Kyrie Irving, for three reasons: 1) His salary is a lot closer to Kawhi’s. 2) Terry Rozier’s emergence (and multiple ball handling wings) mean you could survive without Irving. And 3) I think Boston would be somewhat concerned about signing a top free agent and then trading him five minutes into his Celtics playing career. But who knows? Either way, Boston is going to be in the thick of the Kawhi talk.

(As I was writing this, Vegas oddsmakers suddenly shifted the odds to make Phoenix the heavy favorites to land Kawhi. It could be based on non-public intel that the Suns are moving into the pole position where Kawhi is concerned. We shall see.)

Hypothetical of course, but would/should/is it even possible for the Jazz to take Luol Deng’s or Kenneth Faried‘s contract if young/rotation prospects were offered alongside them?

@_am_h

The catch here is that I believe the Jazz will likely operate as an exceptions team, which means they don’t really have the cap space to absorb Deng/Faried outright. To take Deng, for example, they’d have to send out at least $13 million in salary — more if he’s coming back attached to another player. That means you’re not actually offering the Lakers the full benefit of a salary dump, and therefore you’d probably get less in return. The Faried thing is slightly more likely because his contract expires after next season and because the Jazz could absorb his salary by sending out just $8.8M. But Denver has fewer assets that would really interest the Jazz.

What do you think are the most important skills to add around Donovan Mitchell and Gobert? Do we need a facilitator next to Mitchell or do we just put the ball in his hands and get another player to help ease his shot-creating burden and not worry about having a “true” point guard?

@tpcardinal

Well the easiest answer is shooting. If you’re going to unleash Gobert as a roll threat, you need to unclog the middle, so you need shooters to space the floor. And that will also help Mitchell have some space to operate.

But that doesn’t mean you want guys who are just shooters. When Rubio and Exum were out against Houston, we saw how the present-day version of Mitchell can struggle when he’s really the only guy who can attack with the ball in his hands. Mitchell’s own growth will solve some of that, but in the meantime, you still need some players who can put pressure on the defense. Rubio and Exum are both really good at that, so if one or both can get up to 35% or so shooting from deep, that might be the answer.

Broadly speaking, Snyder’s system is at its best when there are five guys out there who are great decision-makers. That might be more important than any one particular skill.

What would Rubio have to look like next season in order to find himself with a good offer from the Jazz next offseason?

@_am_h

If the second half of Rubio’s season taught us anything, it’s that he adds a lot of value by being aggressive, whether or not the shot is falling. He just can’t be a guy who gives the defense permission to ignore him, or else the rest of the offense doesn’t work. Ideally they would love to see him sustain his career-best 35 percent three-point shooting before they invest in him beyond the ’18-19 season, but in my opinion, the decision will come down to team success more than anything. If the Jazz can solve the spacing issues to the point where they can field a top-10 offense with Rubio — they were 15th last season, and 11th during the 29-6 stretch — then I think you can make an argument for continuing to build around the same core group.

Which path most likely leads to the Jazz getting a 3rd star, a top 30 player in the next three years: draft, free agency or trade?

@clayson_searle

The Jazz are likely going to be drafting in the 20s for a while now, so they’re not likely to find a player there who could ascend to top-30 status in their first three seasons. Because of the market the Jazz are in, history says an impact trade is always more likely than an impact signing, but Utah’s asset situation also isn’t the same as what it used to be. So it’s going to be tough. I think the Jazz are trying to give themselves a chance to sign that type of guy in 2019, but there’s no guarantee that any of Khris Middleton, Klay Thompson, Tobias Harris or others in that ilk will listen.

As I’ve written before, I don’t think the Jazz necessarily need to think about it in exactly those terms. I get why in the current NBA climate everybody’s focused on the third star thing. But you can also put together a really good team just by having 6-7 smart, talented players who can impact the game in a number of ways. Think Houston: they’ve got two players who can really dominate a game in different ways, but then they’ve got another five (or so) guys who could start on a lot of teams, and who know how to just play winning basketball. And that construction was enough to put them up 3-2 on the Warriors, before Chris Paul got hurt.

The Jazz have a lot of rotation-caliber guys, but they probably need a couple of more dudes that fit that description, especially if finding the third “star” is going to take some time.

Do you like the rumor of Rubio for Kyle Lowry? Rubio is 5 years younger than Lowry.

@O_Uchiy

As far as I’ve seen, this one is less of a rumor and really just an idea floated on SI’s The Crossover. I don’t love this one, mostly because of the $64 million still owed to the 32-year-old Lowry. He’s a better overall player than Rubio, but you’d have to be pretty dang sure he was good enough to dramatically alter your title window. Because he’s going to start declining at some point (he just had his lowest scoring average in five seasons), and his $33 million salary next season would keep the Jazz from being able to add another difference-maker in free agency.

Assuming we mostly stand pat this summer and are operating over the cap, who are some of your FA targets at the MLE?

@chadgud

Trevor Ariza (UFA, last made $7.4M) is a smart and multipositional guy who could thrive in Utah’s system, although he’s 32. Anthony Tolliver (UFA, $3.3M) is more of a specialist, but added a lot of value as a corner-shooting big. Amir Johnson (UFA, $11M) can probably be had pretty cheaply, although he’s not really a stretch big, averaging one attempted three in about every third game. If Danny Green (PO, $10M) or Wilson Chandler (PO, $12.8M) opt out, the Jazz will put a call in. I like Joe Harris (UFA, $1.5M) a lot as a shooter who is used to playing and guarding within a system. Wayne Ellington (UFA, $6.3M) can probably be had cheaply and is a knockdown shooter. Luc Mbah a Moute (UFA, $2.3M) is an excellent defender and an improved corner spot-up guy. Kevon Looney (UFA, $1.5M) will be unrestricted after the Warriors passed on his fourth-year option, but he can play. We talked about Gay (PO, $8.8M) above. Some people believe Mario Hezonja (UFA, $4M) is still worth a flier. Milos Teodosic (team and player options, $6.3M) will likely get cut by the Clippers, reports say. But now we’re getting down into the territory of replacement-level players.

I’ll be doing some pretty aggressive stuff ahead of free agency, so stay tuned.

I know we tend to discuss the Jazz 1st round pick the most but who are some projected 2nd round players who you find interesting in our range or that you would like to see the Jazz move up higher in the 2nd round to target?

@EJ_AyalaNBA

That’s a good question. I am usually pretty late to the game on draft prep because the amount of time I spend watching and writing about the NBA keeps me from following college ball practically at all. So I’m probably not the best person to ask. I will say this: even during this recent stretch where Dennis Lindsey has been on first with first-round selections, the Jazz haven’t gotten a lot out of their second rounders in recent years. Guys like Marcus Paige, Tyrone Wallace and Joel Bolomboy were essentially G League acquisitions, while Olivier Hanlan and Nigel Williams-Goss were simply sent overseas. The last Jazz second-rounder to play 20 games for the club was… Jeremy Evans! That was 2010. Utah has had more luck with undrafted rookies (Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neale) than with their own second rounders.

What are the chances the Jazz package the no. 21 pick and Alec Burks in order to move up in the draft?

@john_keeffer

Burks doesn’t have a lot of asset juice at the moment. He’s on the fringe of Utah’s rotation, and attaching him to the 21st pick probably doesn’t move you to far up the draft board unless you’re taking some undesirable salary back in the deal. I mean, there are teams out there that like AB, and his burst of scoring in May’s playoff games will certainly bolster the believers. But historically, you just don’t move up far by adding a 16-mpg player to a deal.


Thanks again for all the questions. We’ll do this again next week as free agency approaches!

Dan Clayton

Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City, but contributes regularly to Salt City Hoops, FanRag and BBALLBreakdown.

Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton


  • Utah Jazz


    June 18th, 2018

    Early in the second quarter of an April game against the Golden State Warriors, with the reigning Defensive Player of the Year…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    June 16th, 2018

    Instead of mock drafts, spend a few minutes mocking the draft. Jimbo Rudding provides our regular dose of levity here at Salt…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    June 12th, 2018

    The offseason rolls on, bringing us closer to clarity. We’re now just nine days away from what is usually the busiest trade…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    June 5th, 2018

    OK, let’s get back to it. After a week off from the offseason Q&A series, we’re back with another set of reader…Read More



Utah Jazz Tickets
Official Utah Jazz Tickets On Sale Now!

Source link

Dan Clayton

Utah Jazz Tickets

The offseason rolls on, bringing us closer to clarity. We’re now just nine days away from what is usually the busiest trade day of the year in the NBA, and less than three weeks away from the start of free agency. 

To think though all of those possibilities, we’ve been hosting weekly(ish) Q&As here at Salt City Hoops, tackling reader questions about the Utah Jazz’s summer options, asset situation and potential targets. This week, our friends from the inters provided another dozen questions. Let’s dive in.

Assume Paul George drinks the Spider Kool-Aid and wants to join the Jazz. What is the most optimal path to clearing enough cap space? Would we likely have to go into luxury tax to a degree?

@Stockton2Sloan

I’ll start by plugging the cap calculator I built to let Jazz fans tinker with the cap impact of different personnel decisions. The Jazz would need somewhere around $30.3 million in room to be able to sign George to his max deal, and that would require a ton of sacrifices. You could keep the four non-free agent starters (you’d have to renounce Derrick Favors), Royce O’Neale and the first-round pick, and you could opt either to keep Jae Crowder or to hurry and re-sign Dante Exum starting at around $8 million, but not both. That’s it. No Favors, none of the option-year vets, no Raul Neto, and you can’t afford to take any salary back when you trade Alec Burks and Tony Bradley (and potentially Crowder).

The other way the Jazz could do it is by working out a trade. To give PG his max in a sign-and-trade arrangement, Utah would need to send out around $24 million in salary. Would OKC be keen to play along with giving their star forward a way out of town? Would they even want a package of something like Burks, Crowder, Jonas Jerebko (after guaranteeing his salary) and Bradley when they could instead just open up some cap flexibility to go pursue a player of their choosing? What’s in it for them?

So, bottom line: I don’t find the PG talk to be particularly realistic. It’s a good sign for Utah that Donovan Mitchell believes enough in the program to want to go evangelize to his All-Star friends, but my money’s on George winding up in Laker yellow.

When Ty Lawson got traded to Houston, he converted his salary to non-guaranteed. If a player did that under the current collective bargaining rules, would incoming salary count for $0? Could LeBron opt in, convert his salary to non-guaranteed and force a trade anywhere? I’m assuming no, but can you explain why?

@wuhao_phelps

The team receiving salary in a trade always has to be able to accommodate the full salary amount for that season1. The adjustment to reduce a traded player’s salary by the amount of any non-guaranteed salary is only made when calculating the amount of salary that the sending team can receive back2. So even if James’ $35.6M were totally non-guaranteed, his cap number on the Cavs’ end of a trade would be $0 and on the receiving end it would be $35.6M.

And at any rate, any change made to the salary protection on an existing contract is a matter for both sides to negotiate, so it’s not something LeBron could do unilaterally.

How realistic would it be to try trading for 1 year (hopefully more) of Kawhi Leonard? If he leaves we can use his space for Khris Middleton/Tobias Harris/Klay Thompson/Harrison Barnes/Jimmy Butler in 2019. Favors would be a good fit there. I always viewed Fav as a Duncan-lite. Seems like it would be necessary to sign-and-trading Dante Exum.

@Sporkaccione1

As for how realistic it is, that’s really a question of how legit the tension is between Kawhi and the Spurs. Most of the plugged-in local reporters say there’s a lot more smoke than fire where that supposed rift is involved. And reports today indicate that he and Greg Popovich are patching things up.

But even if the beef is real and the Spurs started entertaining offers, would the package you’re describing be enough to outbid 28 other teams for a guy who was a top-3 MVP candidate a year ago? I don’t think the Jazz have the pieces to pull it off, and including Favors and Exum actually complicates the deal since a) they’d have to agree to sign there, and b) both would likely trigger those sticky Base Year Comp rules that make adding up to Kawhi’s salary a lot harder. 

Should the Jazz trade their 2019 pick to ensure they jump ahead of Atlanta and SAS to draft Elie Okobo? Or any other prospect they might like?

@SporadicRegular

I’ve written a little bit about draft trades in recent Q&As. To get above the Spurs (No. 18) and Hawks (No. 19), Utah would need to jump four spots, which recent history suggests is doable if you attach a 2019 1st.

But at that point, the question becomes: are any of the prospects in that range worth taking a first round pick out of Dennis Lindsey’s arsenal? He has been lighting it up on draft nights recently. If there was a prospect about whom they felt as strongly as they did about Mitchell, then sure — after all, they did trade a first to get George Hill and another to get Ricky Rubio. But it’s something to keep in mind. Lindsey does some of his best work with those particular assets, so you’d have to be convinced about a guy. I don’t know enough about Okobo to know if he’s that guy. 

Will you be doing a list of off-season predictions? Especially after the crushing success of the mid-season one. 

@_am_h

Haha, thanks for noticing that I kind of nailed my predictions in that mid-season Salt City Seven column. Some easy ones, some lucky ones and some that were the result of being plugged in enough that I could see the way certain players and relationships were trending.

I don’t have any earth-shattering predictions this off-season, but that’s mostly because I don’t think it will be an earth-shattering summer. I think the Jazz will bring back at least 7-8 of their main 10 or so guys, so the rotation will look very similar. But hey, I’ll play along.

  • If Favors comes back, it will be on a one-year deal.
  • The Jazz will lock Exum in on for three of four years at a dollar figure that will make casual fans nervous but that’s exactly a bargain for someone of his potential.
  • If they add a starting-caliber forward, it will be via trade as opposed to a signing.
  • Thabo Sefolosha will have his $5.25M guaranteed, either by the Jazz ahead of July 1 or as part of a trade.
  • This might finally be the year they trade Burks.
  • At some point this summer, Jazz fans will remember that Ante Tomic exists. The 31-year-old’s contract in Spain is up this month, but ultimately he’ll opt to stay in Europe again.

How long should we expect Mitchell and Rudy Gobert to both be top 20? Rudy is probably already there but by the time Donovan improves to that point how long before we see Rudy start to decline?

@clayson_searle

Yeah, that’s a valid question, especially given the rate of some defensive centers’ decline. FiveThirtyEight had a fascinating look last month at Roy Hibbert, who in about five years went from All-Defense to out of the league. Their verdict: it’s a tough time right now for bigs whose only real strength is patrolling the paint.

The thing is, Gobert is more than a one-skill rim protector. He’s much longer and more mobile than Hibbert, which allows him to be a more complete defensive presence. And he’s already a much more potent pick-and-roll finisher. Those things bode well for how he can continue to be effective, and then there’s the fact the he’s fiery, competitive and still just 25 years old. If he keeps developing his defensively versatility to the point where he can succeed in more schemes and against certain 5-out lineups, then I think he has plenty of time left to let Mitchell come into his own.

I haven’t really answered your question. Let’s assume Don gets there by his fourth or fifth season; at that point, Gobert will still be in his late 20s, the age at which NBA players experience their statistical prime. It could work out nicely.

If Exum can keep healthy, what’s his status next season? Definitely we have a big expectation to him. But maybe he can be a main scorer or still mainly as a defender? I think he has potential to be a scorer if he can be healthy enough.

@Sirenazjj

I’m not sure they need him to be a “main” scorer. Even if he keeps doing what he’s doing on offense, there’s a lot of value in a guy who can bust schemes in a few really aggressive minutes off the bench each half. That said, I think (and as a longtime Exum guy, I hope) that we’ll see a little more than just 6-minutes spurts next season. There just aren’t many guys who can get from point A to point B with the ball just by deciding to. His defensive chops give him a pretty safe “floor” as an NBA contributor, but if he can start to harness some of that raw physical ability into more rim finishes and free throw trips, then he suddenly gets really intriguing again.

Who are the Jazz more likely to pursue: Kevin Love or Paul George?

@TheAccountant90

The easy answer is George, since Love is under contract. It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where the Cavs make Love available3, but the Jazz’s “pursuit” in that case could last roughly as long as a phone call. They could at least get in front of George without needing to go through another team.

If the Clippers decide to go full mode in rebuild, what would Tobias Harris cost? How do you like him in the Jazz? (Locke recently said he would be interested to play for the Jazz.)

@JazzNationBr

I didn’t hear Locke say that, but I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about Harris. I wrote about him for another outlet earlier this season, and applauded his “versatility and Blake (Griffin)-lite skill set.” Some of his moves look eerily like the player he replaced in Clipperland. He can shoot, he can attack off the bounce, he can make good reads, and he’s a decent defender who can even hang with most little guys after a switch. He’s really good. He just came off a year of 19 and 6 (rounded) on 41 percent from three.

I think the Jazz could get him. He has one year left on his contract, so acquiring him now wouldn’t guarantee a long Jazz future for the versatile forward, but it would give Utah the ability to keep him next season regardless of their cap situation4. Expiring contract or not, the Clippers won’t give him away. They don’t need the cap relief. I could see them doing it for a package highlighted by at least one first rounder at some point, but if they do, there’s no guarantee that the Jazz would be their best offer.

There’s a lot of talk regarding the 2019 free agent class but most of the high profile players have POs. I see more trade activity for those players than anything. Thoughts?

@iPrinceJester

There are some Player Option guys like Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and Khris Middleton, sure. But here’s the thing — the expanding cap is going to make it a pretty solid bet that most of those players do, in fact, opt out, even if it’s just to cash in on a raise with their current clubs. Take Middleton, for example. His option is for $13M, but his market value right now is much higher. So he’ll hit the market, at least momentarily. Same goes for Irving, Butler, Kawhi Leonard, all of whom have options at $20 to 22 million but can earn $30M if they opt out (or up to $35M if they make All-NBA next season).

Then there are the honest-to-goodness unrestricted free agents: Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, Eric Bledsoe and Tobias Harris, just to name a few. So it’s a legit free agent class. And that doesn’t count any of this year’s megastars who may sign a 1+1 this summer.

Rank Otto Porter, Love, George and Jabari Parker in terms of best fit for Jazz (in a vacuum, not taking into account any other preceding moves that would be needed) and also in terms of likeliest for the Jazz to acquire this off-season.

@Bilo_LC

Well in general, for fit, I’d mostly just go by how good they are as players, which would probably be: George, Love, Porter, Parker. Fit-wise, you could argue Porter above Love based on age and defensive ability, and you could certainly make a case for Parker to be higher based on potential. But something like that.

And in terms of likelihood… I’d probably go close to the opposite of the above ranking. Parker and Porter first because we know their teams are middling Eastern Conference clubs that have to deal with money crunches5. Then Love, because I think it’s more likely that you’ll catch Cleveland desperate enough to settle for dimes on the dollar, as opposed to OKC. I just don’t really see a realistic way Utah gets George.

What players do you believe to be available for trade? There has been a lot of talk about teams looking to lower their cap hit and shipping some star level players for relief.

@tSlay23

Bona fide stars rarely move just foor cap reasons. Usually if a legit star moves, it’s the result of a confluence of factors: he’s unhappy (Boogie), the team is changing directions (Blake), something is culturally not quite right (Kyrie), or something like that.

And then of course the other issue is that the Jazz aren’t in a great position asset-wise to go get a big name if one becomes available. Outside of their untouchables, their best assets are guys who probably have more value to them than to the NBA marketplace at large, and their picks aren’t going to be low-value late firsts.

So for the big names, it’s hard to know if Utah would be able to be the best offer:

  • I like the Harris idea discussed above.
  • If Love becomes available, you have to at least find out the cost.
  • I don’t think the Dubs or Bucks will make Thompson or Middleton (respectively) available in their contract years, but I’d be keeping my ear to the ground just in case.
  • The Porter talk makes sense considering that Washington is going to be spending $70M on a three-man core that just delivered a fifth straight win total in the 40s for a team that hasn’t been past the second round in my lifetime. 
  • A team could probably make an offer on Harrison Barnes (PO after next season), but I have a hard time getting excited when I see a $24 million salary attached to a negative Wins Above Replacement.
  • Not a “star,” but Nikola Mirotic will probably be gettable at some point. Remember, the Pels initially didn’t want to trade for him with the 2018-19 option picked up, but had to trigger it for the trade to work without Niko’s approval.

If someone who’s a bigger star than that group becomes available, it will probably be a pretty unique situation.


That’ll do it for this week, but thanks for all of the questions! We’ll do more next week, and we’ll keep this going at least into July’s free agency period, provided our readers and tweeps still have questions to explore.

Dan Clayton

Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City, but contributes regularly to Salt City Hoops, FanRag and BBALLBreakdown.

Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton


  • Utah Jazz


    June 5th, 2018

    OK, let’s get back to it. After a week off from the offseason Q&A series, we’re back with another set of reader…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    June 5th, 2018

    Joe Ingles is arguably the greatest Jazz man to ever play in Salt Lake. Perhaps that’s a bit hyperbolic, but Ingles has…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    May 29th, 2018

    Following an NBA team should be fun, and Jimbo Rudding makes sure it is. Jimbo provides our regular dose of levity here at Salt…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    May 22nd, 2018

     Another week, another set of reader questions.At least for this first part of the offseason, we’ll make these Q&A…Read More



Utah Jazz Tickets
Official Utah Jazz Tickets On Sale Now!

Source link

Dan Clayton

Utah Jazz Tickets

OK, let’s get back to it. 

After a week off from the offseason Q&A series1, we’re back with another set of reader questions on the Utah’s salary cap, assets and offseason strategy. We’ll make these Q&A sessions a weekly occurrence at least into early July.

What if the Jazz used part of their mid-level exception to buy out Royce O’Neale’s future free agency? For example Jazz could make agreement with O’Neale to decline his team option and in exchange O’Neale signs new 4-year, $18 million deal with declining salary each year.

@Suspicious_Sal

That’s basically the scenario that led to the Jazz swooping in on Carlos Boozer back in 2004. Boozer, a second-round pick, was set to make under a million dollars in his third season despite having started 75 games for Cleveland the prior year and averaging 15-and-11. The Cavs instead declined his team option, allegedly on the basis of a wink-wink deal that Boozer would then sign a long-term deal to stay.

The problem is that said arrangement wasn’t legal. And when the Jazz saw that Boozer was available2 and offered more money than the Cavs could match, Cleveland had no recourse. Their alleged agreement with Boozer to sign a new contract wasn’t binding because it could have legally existed.

The same would apply here: Utah could do it, but it would have to be done as two separate transactions. And in Royce’s case, it’s not even an option year, technically. It’s a non-guaranteed contract, so the only way for Utah to “decline” next season is to waive him and pray he won’t be claimed off waivers. On the extremely unlikely chance that nobody picked him up off waivers — and a player of O’Neale’s skill level making just $1.4 million would surely be claimed — THEN the Jazz could sign him to a new deal in a separate transaction. But don’t worry; Royce’s long-term future with the Jazz is pretty safe. The Jazz hold his rights for this season and next, following which he’ll be a restricted free agent. So they control the next several years if they want to.

Let’s say the Jazz re-sign Dante Exum to a 3 year deal; is there a way to front-load the contract year 1, have it cheap ($5-6mil) in year 2, then average out his 3rd year? Obviously the goal of this would be to have more cap space for summer 2019. Let’s pretend he agrees, is this even doable?

@Jeromice12

Yes, to a degree. The year-to-year value of a contract can only decrease by a certain percentage. In the Jazz’s case with Exum, that’s 8%. So if his starting salary were, say, $9 million, then the lowest his second year could drop would be $8.28 million. For his second season to be just $6M, he would have to have a 2018-19 salary of no more than $6.52M — and I think that’s going to turn out to be too low for Exum.

Was @Suspicious_Sal right [when he said that the Jazz can’t use the veterans’ non-guaranteed salaries in trades]? There’s no way the Jazz can get the Nuggets’ 14th pick? What kind of moves can the Jazz do on draft day?

@JazzNationBr

Yes, Sal was right about the change in how non-guaranteed contracts are counted in trades. Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Jazz’s non-guaranteed veterans count as $0 of outgoing salary in trades. The Jazz could get around this by amending the amount of guaranteed salary, but then the player might have less trade value since he would come with guaranteed dollars attached.

So yeah, it’s tough to imagine how the Jazz might get involved in the rumored scenario where Denver parts with No. 14 in order to move Kenneth Faried’s contract. In order to acquire Faried’s contract on draft night, Utah would have to send out at least $7.92 million in salary. It’s possible; they could guarantee the contracts of Thabo Sefolosha and one of Ekpe Udoh/Jonas Jerebko and trade them to teams with trade exceptions, or they could see if someone wants to gamble on Alec Burks’ expiring deal. They just can’t make the deal in as straightforward a way as some were hoping. 

As for trading up, check out my answer from the start of the last Q&A about what it generally costs to move up from Utah’s pick range.

Some people says there’s no way the Jazz can re-sign Derrick Favors and bring in a very good free agent. But what if the FA take less money and comes in a sign-and-trade deal? For example, Paul George for Burks, Udoh and Sefolosha. Is it possible? And for the other team it’s better to get a little than nothing.

@JazzNationBr

I don’t think it’s very likely that a free agent of George’s stature would take a discount, especially to play in Utah. Especially with his hometown Lakers allegedly ready to fork out the max for him, he would likely want the full $30M he can earn. That means the Jazz would have to be able to send out roughly $24M. So the Burks-Udoh-Sef package you suggested is still $4M light, and that’s if the Jazz fully guarantee Udoh’s and Sefolosha’s salaries before the trade.

And I’m not sure OKC would take that deal anyway. In that scenario, they’re heading into the luxury tax range for two fringe rotation guys + a vet whom they traded away four years ago. I think if that’s the best they can get for PG-13, wouldn’t they do better to just open up some flexibility under the tax line so they can afford to spend the midlevel exception on a solid rotation player?

Do the Jazz keep Favors or do they trade for Kevin Love or Otto Porter?

@TheAccountant90

Occam’s Razor says Fav staying is most likely, right? I could see both Porter and Love3 becoming available, but both of those scenarios are relatively low-probability outcomes, considering the Jazz’s trade assets and what 28 other teams might offer in each case. I see the Porter thing as more likely than Love, but far more likely than either of those is the idea that Favors returns on a short-term deal that allows the Jazz to take a swing in 2019.

 

I read an article that mentioned the Bucks should look at a sign-and-trade of Jabari Parker for Favors and Burks to make the money work. (It would) give the Bucks a solid 5 while reducing the redundancy of two prime scorers that must run at the 4. What are you thoughts on feasibility and fit?

@jnorthman

Sign-and-trade transactions are a lot more complicated than they used to be, and it wouldn’t help that at least one and probably both of Parker/Fav would trigger what’s called Base Year Compensation rules in that scenario. I won’t bore you with the details of BYC, but the quick version is this: when a player gets a raise of more than 20%, it changes the way his salary counts in a trade. It makes it extremely complicated to make 1-for-1 trades work within the salary rules.

So as for feasibility, it’s tough. Fit-wise? Yeah, I think the Bucks are a team that makes sense as a Favors suitor. And while there are varied opinions out there about how Jabari would fit with the Jazz’s defensive culture, I think he’s such a dynamic scorer that it’s a worthy gamble. No, he’s not a sure thing, but Jazz assistant GM Justin Zanik would certainly have intel as to Parker’s mindset and approach from the years they were together in Milwaukee.

(What is the) likelihood of trading, for the other teams cap space, one or more of Thabo or Jerebko, or cutting them and then resigning at one of our veteran minimum spots?

@jnorthman

As explained above, the veterans’ contracts can’t really be used that way because of new rules on how non-guaranteed salary is handled in trades. And if the Jazz did trade either guy, they wouldn’t be allowed to reacquire him at any point during the season. They could technically do what you suggested at the end of your question: cut them and then (if they cleared waivers) re-sign them for a lower amount. But that’s not exactly a great way to sow goodwill, and the player might instead sign elsewhere if the Jazz did that kind of a maneuver to screw them out of some salary.

If Jazz can trade Burks, Thabo & Jerebko’s non-guaranteed contracts with this year’s 1st for Otto Porter (a big if, for sure)… what does that do to the Jazz cap flexibility for rest of this offseason and next year? Does a move like that preclude them from re-signing Favors or Exum?

@Bilo_LC

Well first, there is a small problem with your hypothetical. The Sefolosha & Jerebko contracts only count towards the salary in the trade if Utah guarantees them first, so the Wiz would have to actually be OK keeping them. But to answer your bigger question: Utah could still sign their own free agents (Favors and Exum) using Bird Rights, but acquiring Porter would make it basically impossible to add impact free agents from other teams for the foreseeable future. I’m also not sure if Favors would be interested in re-signing if he knew that Porter was coming to further cut into his role and minutes.

Do the Jazz try to move Burks or do they keep him and give him another shot at cracking the rotation? He upped his trade value in the playoffs but was also behind two rookies in the wing rotation for the season.

@TmanKy

Looking at the depth chart right now, I’d say that Burks is behind six players who play at least a big chunk of their minutes on the wings: Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Jae Crowder, Sefolosha, Exum and O’Neale. Based on that, if the Jazz can parlay his postseason scoring burst into some interest, I think they have to do it; $11.5 million is just too much to pay the seventh wing on your depth chart.

Cole Aldrich and 20? (A package of Udoh and Tony Bradley almost makes the salaries work.)

@therawns_jazz

I assume you’re asking if the Jazz could acquire Minny’s No. 20 pick if they absorbed Aldrich? Since only $2M of his nearly $7M remaining salary is guaranteed, I don’t think that’s enough of a salary dump to score Utah a first-rounder. Minnesota would probably rather just waive him and eat the $2M than give up a pick in a supposedly deep draft. (Historically, teams score a first-rounder for every $8-10 million of dead salary they absorb.)

I watched a little on Kevin Huerter and he is pretty intriguing since he clearly hasn’t filled out his body yet. Really good passer to go with maximum (shooting) range.

@bezerkin

I make it a point not to pass myself off as a draft expert, given how little NCAA ball I watch. I just spend too much time on the NBA to do much more than read what other sites say about each prospect, and so much of draft coverage is just derivative of the main 2-3 sites anyway. If Huerter really is what some people say he is — a Klay Thompson Lite kind of player — then that sounds like a fit, but I’m the wrong guy to weigh in on whether or not that’s a realistic trajectory for him.

OK, this is more outlandish than a @JimboRudding halftime act, but it’s a fun thought exercise. How would the Jazz possibly land LeBron on a 1+1 deal for the most money James could get per the CBA?

@Run_Pappy

OK, I’ll play along (even though you’re right about it being a pipe dream). LeBron can make $35.7 million or so this upcoming season4. To open that amount of cap space, the Jazz would have to:

  • Renounce all free agents (Favors, Exum, Raul Neto).
  • Waive all of the non-guaranteed vets (Sef, Jerebko, Udoh).
  • Trade two of the following without taking virtually any salary back: Ricky Rubio, Ingles, Burks, Crowder. 

You can mess around the cap calculator to find a specific path to $35.7M, too.

Hypothetical: Jazz trade for Porter using exciting guys and a pick. Can the Jazz get to a Conference Finals with a top 3 of Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Porter?

@caseygreer2

Probably, but I think the answer depends as much on Mitchell as it does on whether or not they make that trade. Remember, Otto has averaged 10-and-6 in his 31 playoff games to date5, so there’s not a ton of evidence at this stage to suggest that he alone gets the Jazz another 3-4 second-round wins against the likes of the Warriors or Rockets. Those two teams are going to continue to be historically elite, and the Spurs6 should be better when they add an MVP candidate back into the mix. Whether or not the Jazz can knock those teams off their respective perches is probably a question of just how good Mitchell gets, and whether Gobert is still on the Jazz when he gets there.

I’m sure you’ve seen all the Otto Porter talk. How likely is it he is traded? What is a realistic package the Jazz could offer that gets it done? And is that package worth trading for him? How would he fit on the roster?

@tombagjr

My last answer notwithstanding, I like Porter, and think he’d fit well with the Jazz. Utah clearly likes him, too. That said, the fact that he could be available is the result of the fact that he’s getting paid like a star ($26M next year) despite not consistently looking like one yet — especially in the playoffs. His macro value isn’t that different from Favors’; Otto is clearly a better floor spacer, while Favors gives you different defensive options and will cost far less.

Because of that salary, the Jazz would have to send out at least $20.73M to get him. One way to do that: involve Favors himself. The Wiz are a team that has long been linked to Favors in the rumor mill, given their apparent need for a starting-caliber center. If the interest is mutual, Favors could agree to a sign-and-trade that lands him in the capital for far more than they could give him in free agency7. A Favors-Burks OR Favors-Sefolosha-Bradley package works salary-wise. So does Burks-Sefolosha-Jerebko, but in that case, the Wiz would probalby want some more goodies.

With the projected cap space, players who may leave, free agency market, No. 21 draft pick and internal player development, how would you compare next season’s ceiling to the ceiling of the season the Jazz just had?

@_am_h

Probably not that different, to be honest. The Jazz already proved they can hang with anybody in the West outside the Warriors-Rockets class. Raising the ceiling at this point means putting themselves in a position where they can challenge those two in a series, and getting there is likely a function of Mitchell reaching his full potential. That doesn’t happen overnight, but Mitchell and the Jazz are on that path, which is a remarkable thing to be able to say just 90 regular season and playoff games into his career.


Thanks for another great batch of questions. We’ll do this again next week!

Dan Clayton

Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City, but contributes regularly to Salt City Hoops, FanRag and BBALLBreakdown.

Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton


  • Utah Jazz


    June 5th, 2018

    Joe Ingles is arguably the greatest Jazz man to ever play in Salt Lake. Perhaps that’s a bit hyperbolic, but Ingles has…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    May 29th, 2018

    Following an NBA team should be fun, and Jimbo Rudding makes sure it is. Jimbo provides our regular dose of levity here at Salt…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    May 22nd, 2018

     Another week, another set of reader questions.At least for this first part of the offseason, we’ll make these Q&A…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    May 16th, 2018

    We’re picking up where we left off with a massive bunch of reader questions.Our first offseason Q&A was bursting at the…Read More



Utah Jazz Tickets
Official Utah Jazz Tickets On Sale Now!

Source link

Offseason Q&A: Trading Up, KAT/Rudy, Impact Depth & More

Utah Jazz Tickets

 

(Via timberwolves.com)

Another week, another set of reader questions.

At least for this first part of the offseason, we’ll make these Q&A posts a regular thing as long as there are still questions coming in. There certainly were this week, starting with a question that I love because it sets up one of my pet topics at this time of year: draft trade history.

Realistically who would the Jazz need to add to a deal to move up in the draft? And do you think they will try to move up?

@deige22

Trading up in the draft is harder than Dennis Lindsey has made it look. In the 18 drafts since the turn of the century, a total of 99 deals have been made on or leading up to draft day involving a first-round pick. That means only about five such deals per year actually wind up happening, and only a portion of those are trade-up deals (as opposed to teams acquiring a pick for a player or future assets).

Lindsey’s trade wizardry might make him a victim of raised expectations, as lately he’s seemingly been able to sprinkle his magical fairy dust over his own late picks and turn them into Donovan Mitchell or Rudy Gobert-level players. that type of move is still rare, especially from the Jazz’s current draft range. Here are the 10 draft-day trades made since 2000 where a team started at or around No. 21 (+/- three spots) and moved up, ordered from the smallest jumps to the biggest ones.

  • The ’07 Sixers moved up 1 spot by packaging #21 with a future second and cash. They selected Jason Smith at No. 20.
  • The ’02 Jazz moved up 1 spot by packaging #19 and #47. They selected Curtis Borchardt at No. 18.
  • The ’13 Hawks moved up 2 spots by trading #18 and also absorbing Jared Cunningham. They selected Lucas Nogueira at No. 16.
  • The ’09 Blazers moved up 2 spots by packaging #24 with #56 and a future second. They selected Victor Claver at No. 22.
  • The ’11 Rockets moved up 3 spots by packaging #23 with a future first and cash, and absorbing Brad Miller’s contract. They selected Donatas Motiejunas at No. 20.
  • The ’15 Wiz moved up 4 spots by packaging #19 with a pair of future seconds. They selected Kelly Oubre Jr. at No. 15.
  • The ’12 Cavs moved up 7 spots by packaging #24, #33 and #34. They selected Tyler Zeller at No. 17.
  • The ’10 Thunder moved up 10 spots by packaging #21 with #26 and absorbing Mo Peterson’s contract. They selected Cole Aldrich at No. 11.
  • The ’17 Jazz moved up 11 spots by packaging #24 with lottery rookie Trey Lyles. They selected Mitchell at No. 13.
  • The ’11 Bobcats moved up 12 spots by by packaging #19 with their leading scorer (Stephen Jackson) and key reserve (Shaun Livingston) and absorbing the contract of Corey Maggette. They selected Bismack Biyombo at No. 7.

If we synthesize all that history, it’s easy to piece together a rough guide for trading up from the Jazz’s current spot. Smaller jumps can be made by attaching a second and/or taking some salary back, and bigger jumps require an additional first or some really good/promising players. And you don’t get into the top 10 without attaching a star. Utah really only has two guys who fit that bill, and neither are on the table this summer.

One further note before I wrap up this epistle of an answer: a lot of draftniks are telling me that this year’s draft class has talent into the 20s. That could make Utah content to sit back and let somebody good fall to them. Or it could mean that the Jazz’s pick has good value in the event that there’s someone they secretly covet and a team in the teens decides to move back.

What’s the biggest offer that Dante Exum could get that would make you tap out if you were GM?

@caseygreer2

What is the most you would pay for each of our current free agents?

@AdamFis57149791

That’s tough to answer in a vacuum. Who else is re-signing? What is available on the trade market? How are the Jazz going to use their pick?

That said, here’s my all-other-things-being-equal answers.

  • Derrick Favors will almost certainly get eight-figure offers. I’ve been guesstimating his range at $12 to 15 million, which is basically the low end of starter money in today’s environment. I could see him getting more than that in the right scenario, too, especially on a shorter deal. If the Jazz are the winning bidder and it’s anything north of $15M, it will probably be on a one-year deal.
  • Exum’s value is harder to peg, but teams asked about Exum in February. And the only reason you’d ask about an injured player approaching restricted free agency is if you were interested in him for the long term. So he’ll have some suitors. The Jazz would probably match anything into the mid-teens if they have to, but let’s not pretend that’s without risk. I personally think Exum’s two or three elite skills give him a pretty safe floor as a rotation-caliber guy who changes the tempo and guards the heck out of the other team’s best ball handler for 20 minutes a night. But let’s say you match at $15M and then that’s all he is. That’s becomes steep, in much the same way that Alec Burks’ 2014 extension now looks steep. There’s also a really good chance they could lock him up for less if they don’t mess around with him and play the “bring us an offer” game.
  • As much as Raul Neto is a fan favorite, he probably shouldn’t cost much more than the minimum to retain. He is basically the fourth point guard (OK, third and a half, since Exum and Mitchell each play some SG) and something like the 11th or 12th man overall. In a modern cap construct, you just can’t really afford for your deep bench guys to be earning much more than a couple million.

Are there any positions that you think the team is lacking depth in?

@ill_be_Danned

So there’s rotational depth and then there’s impact player depth. One of the Jazz’s real strengths is that they have an abundance of rotation-quality guys. And they have enough multi-positional guys that they can piece together a 9 or 10-man sub pattern in a lot of different ways. Just looking at the 13-man group who played most of the minutes, they have as many as 4 dudes who play some PG, plus Joe Ingles who acts as a de facto floor general in many situations. Seven of those 13 play at least some wing minutes, and they have six different guys capable of logging minutes at the 4 or 5. So there’s no one spot where you look and say, “Dang, they need bodies.” That answer changes if Fav walks, but they can paper over a lot of situations with their interchangeable parts.

It’s the impact depth that they need to address. Some people have framed this as the quest for a “third star,” but I think about it more broadly. Great teams have a number of guys who can really impact a game in different ways. Not just a one-skill specialist, but someone who can make winning plays in any type of game. For example think of the Jazz-Rox series: Houston’s first three guys off the bench are PJ Tucker, Eric Gordon and Luc Mbah a Moute. Any of those three guys could slide into a starting role without inspiring much anxiety. Plus they have Ryan Anderson, who didn’t play a lot in that series but has started more than half his games in recent years. The Jazz don’t have THAT type of depth right now.

And it’s not a positional thing, to get back to Dan’s question. It’s just about having more guys they trust to be more than a specialist. Utah’s starters are all at least average NBA starters at their respective positions, and Jae Crowder is a guy who would start on a lot of teams. But they probably need a couple more of that type of guy. Thabo Sefolosha plays winning basketball when he’s healthy, and there’s some newly kindled hope that Exum can be another difference-maker.

I can’t stop thinking that Glenn Robinson III would be an awesome under-the-radar pickup for the Jazz. He’s athletic, defends, can shoot the three and I think still has a ton of room for development. Your thoughts on him as a target?

@jaredwoodcox

He looked OK in limited minutes once he got back from that nasty ankle injury. That said, he has only topped 600 minutes once in his four-year career, so it’s tough to know at this point what’s really there. For that reason, if the Jazz got him it would likely be more as a low-cost flier, as opposed to actually planning a rotation spot for him. If you want him in the rotation, you really have to decide that he’s an upgrade over Royce O’Neale at that backup wing spot, which means you’d have to think his O outweighs Royce’s elite D. It probably doesn’t, with overall shooting efficiency that’s actually below average (.529 last season, .536 career). Some of that is because he doesn’t have a great shot profile. He likes mid and long range twos way too much. Get him in a structure where he’ll get more open three looks and his efficiency would likely creep up. But O’Neale probably already impacts the game more in an overall sense, so Robinson would be a deep bench addition, it seems.

Given the rumblings about Karl Anthony Towns over the weekend, would it be worth considering a trade built around Rudy Gobert for KAT? 

@tombagjr

KAT is a special player. He’s the only in the past seven seasons1 to average 20 & 9 with over 40% three-point shooting. He’s likely going to be a perennial All-Star and potentially an MVP candidate. And yet if it were my team, I’d keep Gobert. That’s how much he impacts the team defensively, and more than that, culturally. He’s the Jazz’s spiritual compass, plus he wants to be there and is already an All-NBA player when healthy2. They’re both really good. They’re both going to get better. But the Jazz were crafted around Rudy’s strengths.

Two scenarios: Jazz keep Favors on a one-year deal worth $15-$18 million or Jazz don’t re-sign him. In each scenario, who do you like that’s a realistic FA target and why? Understood that there are other factors like Exum and picking up last summer’s guys’ options, but in general.

@JazzHoopsLife

If the Jazz keep Fav on a one-year deal, then what they’re essentially saying is that they’re ready to take a shot on next year’s free agent class. They’ll probably take a swing at the Khris Middleton, Klay Thompson and Tobias Harris class, whether that fits into your “realistic” qualifier or not. If Favors leaves, the Jazz realistically only have the ability to create $15M or so in space3, so they honestly might approach it the same way and look ahead to 2019. But if they did decide to spend all or some of that $15M on a 2018 free agent, that might be enough for a proven starter like a JJ Redick, Trevor Ariza or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope type. Joe Harris is a value guy I like, Wayne Ellington would add more shooting, and Mario Hezonja might be worth a flier… and hey, Ricky Rubio seems to like Nemanja Bjelica.

If I went to the future – came back – and told you that the Jazz traded their first rounder, Burks, Sefolosha, and Jonas Jerebko for Otto Porter, then signed Bjelica to a 3 yr, $16m deal. How would you rank that offseason?

@the27guy

I like Otto, and so do the Jazz. I followed up with Adam and he told me that in this scenario, the Jazz also get Favors back for a year and lock in Exum on a 2-plus-1. That would be a pretty solid team. I also think Washington could get more than that for Porter, but who knows.

Side note on the Wiz: they’re one of those teams that have long been rumored to be after a center upgrade, but they don’t really have ways to get it done since they’re limited to exceptions and are already above next season’s estimated tax line with just 10 players under contract. So they could try to approach Favors with the MLE or with sign-and-trade scenarios, although either of those routes would hard-cap them.

Where is Mitchell’s best position? Should he be playing exclusively off the ball? Exclusively point? A mix? And who would be the ideal player to pair with Mitchell in the Jazz’s backcourt?

@tombagjr

I don’t think the traditional position definition is that important since the Jazz generate a lot of offense from their wings anyway. But I do think there’s something to the idea that it’s too heavy a burden if the Jazz need him to score 20 and create for everybody else. That’s why I think he need to share the floor with another guard who can put pressure on the defense off the dribble. Both Rubio and Exum can do that. I have heard a lot of people say he needs to play next to shooters, but I think the Houston series showed that the Jazz offense can stall when Don is the only guy on the court who can break the paint. 

What is next realistic evolution for Gobert? Lateral quickness? Mid range jumper? Better offensive footwork?

@O_Uchiy

I answered a similar question toward the end of last week’s Q&A, so I’m going to give you the quick answer here. I think it’s mostly about getting better at what he is, not trying to become something entirely different on offense. Specifically, he can get better at catching and finishing in tight spaces (and with contact).

How aggressive do you anticipate the Jazz FO to be this off-season? Same question for 2019

@KyleIvins

Check out last week’s Q&A for a more detailed answer, but broadly speaking, I think they’ll be more active next summer from a free agency perspective. But don’t discount trades, either. They can use those Sefolosha/Jerebko/Udoh deals this summer to create some trade flexibility without ever going under the cap.

Burks is a decent player, could be a rotation player in some teams, but the Jazz is too deep. Agree? Do you think some teams may agree with that? And if so, could the Jazz move up in the draft trading AB? Even if it’s just a little?

@JazzNationBr

Burks probably helped his value a bit in the playoffs. It’s helpful that he reminded the basketball world he exists, and there are teams that could use a pure bucket-getter on their bench. But I still don’t know if a fringe rotation player with an 8-figure salary has the asset juice to move the Jazz up in the draft. (See the first answer above for some move-up trade history.) His most likely trade scenario at this point is that he’s used as expiring salary filler in a deal where the Jazz bring back some money. Especially if you combine his $11.5M with one of the vet options, you can receive a pretty hefty salary back.


That will do it for this week. Thanks for the questions!

Dan Clayton

Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City, but contributes regularly to Salt City Hoops, FanRag and BBALLBreakdown.

Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton


  • Utah Jazz


    May 16th, 2018

    We’re picking up where we left off with a massive bunch of reader questions.Our first offseason Q&A was bursting at the…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    May 15th, 2018

    Let’s get the Q&A machine rolling again now that the offseason is here.The Utah Jazz’s season ended last week, so…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    May 8th, 2018

    Story of the GameTwice in two years the Utah Jazz have faced the number one overall seed in the NBA Playoffs in the Conference…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    May 6th, 2018

    Story of the GameThe Utah Jazz brought the league’s most vaunted defense into this Second Round matchup with the Houston…Read More



Utah Jazz Tickets
Official Utah Jazz Tickets On Sale Now!

Source link

Dan Clayton

Utah Jazz Tickets

We’re picking up where we left off with a massive bunch of reader questions.

Our first offseason Q&A was bursting at the seam with questions, so we split it into two. Earlier we answered questions about the Jazz’s situation and some X-and-O matters. Now we continue on through by looking at specific assets and targets. 

Enjoy!

Assets & Targets

I’m of the opinion we need to acquire another top 50 player to become a true title contender. What’s the most likely avenue to acquire a player of that caliber? Trade, FA, or the draft?

@caseygreer2

It’s a good question. History says the draft, but given the range the Jazz will draft in, it would take a pretty impressive “hit” plus some development time. Given their free agency track record and what they have to work with in the trade market, it seems more likely that they’d trade for someone who could become a top-50 guy rather than someone who’s already there. So in any case, I think some more patience will be required. But the good news is that the Jazz are going to be pretty dang good while they figure those things out.

As @Ben_Dowsett was mentioning in a conversation earlier, Jazz could look to use the Team Option contracts as trade chips to take on salary of another player. What dates would this have to happen by? What players do you see making the most sense?

@JazzJargon

The nature of the Thabo Sefolosha, Jonas Jerebko and Ekpe Udoh deals is why I think an impact trade is a more legitimate possibility than an impact signing. You could trade one or two of those guys with, say, Alec Burks and be able to bring back well over $20 million in salary. But you’re not going to get an impact player for three dudes who were in and out of the Jazz’s rotation. So you’d be talking about someone who’s a little overpaid and/or on a team that’s not good and needs to reset its books. Evan Turner? Nikola Vucevic? Gorgui Dieng? Maybe attach a pick and you can move into a conversation for someone slightly better. Are the Jazz afraid of Danilo Gallinari’s recent health woes? Interested in a Harrison Barnes reclamation project? I don’t know, but if the Jazz add an eight-figure salary this summer, my bet is it happens via trade.

Supposing the Jazz can trade Burks, can they sign a FA while under the cap and and then re-sign Favors even being over the cap because Bird rights?

@JazzNationBr

In order to maintain the Bird rights to Favors (or Exum or Neto, for that matter), they have to reserve a certain amount on their cap as a “hold.” In Favors’ case, that figure is 150% of his current salary, or $18 million. As long as they keep that hold on their books, they still have the right to re-sign Fav to any amount. But if they clear that hold in order to create cap space, then they lose his Bird rights.

So they can do what you’re suggesting, but only if they find a different way to create cap space while still keeping Favors’ hold amount on the books — which would be very difficult.

Assuming Denver doesn’t win one of the top 3 picks in the lottery tomorrow night. Is 21 and Tony Bradley enough to get Denver to give us 14? Also, why is Denver almost certainly going to make that deal?

@KantsImperative

Haha no. And I have no idea why Denver still answers the phone when Dennis Lindsey calls. Especially on draft night.

In an actually serious question: maybe it’s just the success of Orlando draft picks once they leave Orlando, but hearing a lot of people who like a potential Mario Hezonja pickup.

@KantsImperative

Hez can play, and the Magic won’t have matching rights since they declined his fourth-year option. The question I’ve heard about Hez is whether or not he had too much of an attitude/ego to exist within a strong culture. I have no idea if he’s addressed that concern or not, but the fact that Orlando chose not to keep their former top-five pick back for a fourth season makes me worry some. 

When are exceptions (MLE, bi-annual, room, etc.) determined? Is it based on cap space at the beginning of FA including cap holds?

@cole_gorringe

Aside from the room exception*, those exceptions will apply to the Jazz’s team salary sheet starting on July 1, until one of the following happens:

  • They use them.
  • They fall below the salary cap by a number greater than the total of their exceptions (this won’t happen).
  • They rescind their exceptions to create cap room.

(*The room exception is only available to teams who were under the salary cap in the first place and then spent that money to get back to the cap.)

The Jazz wouldn’t revoke their exceptions unless there was something they wanted to do that they couldn’t get done with the MLE ($9M) and their other exceptions. That would also mean that they had a path to creating more than $9M in space, meaning they had deals lined up for Burks or some other Jazz player(s) under contract, and had decided not to bring back at least a couple of the option-year veterans. 

Who do you think the most realistic player the Jazz will add this offseason?

@drwhit24

Which possible 2019 FA do you think the Jazz have the highest chance of getting? And which do you think the Jazz would benefit the most from?

@DailyUtahJazz

Guessing at specific names is a bit like throwing a dart blindfolded. For example, nobody foresaw the Jazz signing Sefolosha or Udoh last season, or Joe Johnson the year before. I think they’ll add a decent bench player or two with their free agent exceptions OR they’ll swing a trade where they get a non-star starter whose team needs to reshuffle the books.

Of the 2019 guys, I have a longstanding public crush on Khris Middleton, who I think would be perfect for the Jazz… but I don’t think they’re getting him. Klay Thompson or Tobias Harris are popular fan picks, too. Those are the names that are motivating all the 2019 talk, however realistically. (More on those three down below.)

How much $$$ will Will Barton get? Any chance Jazz could get him to help with the scoring?

@AdamFis57149791

If you sign Barton, are you letting Exum walk? Because Barton doesn’t have the size to play the three, and you probably have close to all 96 backcourt minutes allocated already between Rubio, Mitchell and Exum, don’t you? I like Barton in certain contexts; he’s sort of the better version of a Burks-style player, someone who can score in bunches with the ball in his hands. But, like Burks, he does his best work out of system, so I’m curious if the Jazz would be all that interested. 

Any under the radar low(er) cost potential free agents you see that would still leave powder dry for ’19?

@KantsImperative

Well if you’re trying to keep the “powder dry,” then you’re talking about one-year deals specifically, or guys who would be willing to sign the Sefolosha/Jerebko type deals with a non-guaranteed second year. So you’d be talking about guys in that tier: veterans or guys who have had an up-and-down start and believe a solid year can return their value. Maybe that’s where a guy like Hezonja takes a bet on himself. Here are some names of guys who made less than $9M last year but had decent wins-added stats: Wayne Ellington, Anthony Tolliver, Joe Harris, Aron Baynes. 

How do the Jazz move up in the draft and who do they take, do they move out, or if they stick around at 21 who do they select?

@SLCHershey

I’m a total NBA-head, which means I’m usually late to the game when it comes to analyzing draft prospects. So I’ll save the bulk of the question for later when I know a little bit more. But in the meantime, here’s something I wrote last year about the historical cost of moving up in the draft. That answers part of your question while I get caught up on the world outside the Association.

If LeBron leaves Cleveland, seems like they’d most likely trade Love for picks and young guys. If that scenario plays out, do the Jazz try to get Love? And what would they have to give up?

@MarshallDjm

Love is really good, one of two players in the NBA to average 17 & 9 while making 40% of his threes last season1. He’s an all-league talent who’s not that far removed from his prime. He’s good enough that it’s hard to imagine the Jazz outbidding 28 other teams with their non-Rudy, non-DM assets. I suppose if the Cavs and Favors had mutual interest, the Jazz could explore a sign-and-trade that landed them Love, but S&Ts are hard to orchestrate, and I just don’t see them as having the asset juice (outside of the two untouchables) to get it done otherwise.

If Fav is out, do you think targeting a guy like Ryan Anderson in the trade market would be a smart replacement?

@EricLilly7

I’m sure there are people who would love that, but I’ve never been wild about the Jazz fit there. Anderson does one thing really well: he shoots the heck out of the ball. He’s not a good rebounder or passer, and he’s enough of a liability on defense that he has disappeared from Houston’s rotation for chunks of games. At 30, he’s not going to suddenly get better at defending, and he’s equally bad protecting the paint AND guarding out on the perimeter. That’s not to say that a team couldn’t figure out how to make good use of his offensive gravity for short stretches off the bench, but he’s no longer a starter-caliber player. 

Everyone says the Rockets are matching any contract Clint Capela is offered. How in the world can they afford Harden, CP3, a likely max to Capela, and Anderson? More about our competition than the Jazz, but relevant.

@awesomdestroyer

They can pay all of them because they have Bird rights to all of them. Sure, paying them all will push them into luxury tax territory, but it’s easy enough for a legit contender to justify a year of tax-paying. They could try to move Anderson, but even if they can’t offload him, they’ll have plenty of veterans lining up to sign there for minimum salaries and exception deals to be part of a team that could take a shot at toppling the Warriors’ dynasty.

 

NBA Cap Environment

How are you feeling the 2019 FA cap market will look? Assuming the Jazz lose Favors, re-sign Exum, and sign a FA or two on one year deals to maintain flexibility.

@JazzJargon

The Jazz are positioning themselves to have cap flexibility in 2019, but what do they do with it?

@ChrisBlakesley

Well, more teams will have the ability to create meaningful space, and that’s the biggest difference. The free agent class itself is deeper, too, but the market as a whole will be more of a seller’s market, as compared to this year when only a few teams can really make a lot of noise.

The reason we keep talking about the 2019 free agents are those names we mentioned above — guys like Middleton, Thompson, Tobias Harris. The problem is, it’s not clear if the Jazz can get to any of those. Middleton is at this point legitimately the Bucks’ second-best player. By the time Thompson hits the market, GSW might have three or four titles with this group and be very motivated to keep everything together. And the Clippers, after trading their franchise face to get Harris, might want more for him than the Jazz have to give.

Of course, those are just three of the names available. But the point here is that it’s easier to say, “The Jazz should go get ____ next summer” than to go and get him, especially in a market with more bidders.

What teams in the NBA do you think have the worst cap management issues? How would you grade Utah’s cap management over the last 5 years?

@JazzJargon

The biggest thing the Jazz have done is that they’ve continued to set up multiple options, so that they’re never backed into a corner if Plan A falls through. They haven’t nailed every single decision, but they’ve given themselves several bites at the apple, and that’s worth something. Of course, “cap flexibility” can’t grab a rebound or score a playoff bucket, but the reason the Jazz have been able to assemble their current roster is because they’ve always preserved enough in the asset cupboard to be able to get things done: the Mitchell and Gobert trades being prime examples.

In terms of bad cap management, I’d look at teams who are capped out (or flirting with the tax) for a middling roster. Charlotte, Detroit and the Clippers all missed the playoffs despite paying close to $120 million to their players. But there’s something worse than overpaying for mediocrity: being directionless. Teams like the Kings, Knicks and Bulls keep making moves that make me wonder what their short-term goals are. Sacramento’s decisions over the last 10 or 11 months are particularly perplexing in that respect: they’ll make a move that makes it look like they’re trying to be good, then follow it up with a clear tanking move. It’s just not clear what they’re doing.


Thanks for all the questions!

Dan Clayton

Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City, but contributes regularly to Salt City Hoops, FanRag and BBALLBreakdown.

Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton


  • Utah Jazz


    May 15th, 2018

    Let’s get the Q&A machine rolling again now that the offseason is here.The Utah Jazz’s season ended last week, so…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    May 8th, 2018

    Story of the GameTwice in two years the Utah Jazz have faced the number one overall seed in the NBA Playoffs in the Conference…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    May 6th, 2018

    Story of the GameThe Utah Jazz brought the league’s most vaunted defense into this Second Round matchup with the Houston…Read More


  • Utah Jazz


    May 5th, 2018

    Story of the GameIn the first round of the playoffs, the Utah Jazz stole Game 2 from the Oklahoma City Thunder and then followed…Read More

Utah Jazz Tickets
Official Utah Jazz Tickets On Sale Now!

Source link