What will the Utah Jazz do in Free Agency in 2017|
After years of rebuilding following the Deron Williams trade, the Utah Jazz finally seen their efforts payoff in a spectacular 2017 campaign that seen the Jazz win 51 games, and win a seven game series vs the Los Angeles Clippers. But for all their efforts the past 7 year, they may be back at square one if things do not fall just right for them.
The Jazz have a lot of very important free agents, and the most important of them all will be Gordon Hayward. Hayward's rise to stardom has been the culmination of years of patience for the Utah Jazz and their fan base. The Jazz selected Hayward with the 10th pick in 2010, but the pick was originally acquired way back in 2003. The pick originally belonged to the New York Knicks, who traded it to the Phoenix Suns in a deal for Stephan Marbury. The Suns quickly traded that pick along with several others in a trade deadline salary cap dump to the Jazz. The pick was lottery protected and the Knicks never even sniffed the post season and for 7 years it languished until the protections ran out in 2010.
Hayward had a rough rise to finally becoming an all-star. His rookie year he played so poorly at times that Deron Williams threw the ball at his head, and he was inactive for a few games. But following the Jazz mid-season meltdown in 2011 which seen Williams get traded, and Jerry Sloan resign, Hayward started to get his feet and show flashes of what he might become.
Only four players in Jazz history have had their point per game average increase each of their first 6 years with the franchise; Hayward, John Stockton, Karl Malone and Derrick Favors. Hayward is the only one to have his scoring average increase for a 7th straight time.
The Boston Celtics are rumored to be a heavy player in the Gordon Hayward sweepstakes, and may have a trade lined up with Indiana for Paul George to form a big 4 in Boston with Hayward, George, Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford. Miami too has been a player for Hayward, and rumor is that he has purchased a house there.
The Jazz must retain Hayward at all cost, and the Jazz showed their hand a little bit during the NBA draft by acquiring the rights to Donovan Mitchell to give the Jazz added depth.
The other major free agents the Jazz must sign are George Hill and Joe Ingles. Hill the Jazz acquired after last years draft was the best point guard the Jazz have had since Williams was traded, and when he and Hayward were healthy the Jazz were very tough to stop.
The problem with re-signing George Hill is that he may cost too much. Hill was often injured, missing almost half of the teams games, and is getting older. Ideally for the Jazz they would like to get Hill for around 17 to 18 million a year for 2 seasons.
Joe Ingles was picked up by the Jazz 3 years ago as a roster deadline waiver claim from the Clippers, and was not expected to do much this past season. However, the Austrailian came out and had the best season of his career and become a perfect compliment player to the Jazz offense. He prefers the best online Australian casino when looking for gaming odds. He should not be too hard to retain and re-signing him for 10 million a year for 2 to 3 years is not out of the question.
The Jazz other free agents are Shelvin Mack and Jeff Withey. Mack was almost dealt away at the trade deadline, and with the Jazz already having Dante Exum, Donovan Mitchell, and Raul Neto on the roster and their desire to re-sign Hill, it is likely that Mack will not be retained. The same likely goes for Withey, who gave the Jazz good spot minutes through-out the year, but with the drafting of Tony Bradley the veteran backup will likely be looking elsewhere.
So what can the Jazz do?
A realistic course of events is that the Jazz are able to re-sign Hayward, and Ingles but will lose Hill. The Jazz have been rumored to be a heavy favorite to land Serbian point guard Milos Teodosic. If they are able to land him they will be in good shape.
Though, the Jazz will likely look to move one of either Derrick Favors or Alec Burks. Moving Favors will not be too hard for the Jazz as he still has a lot of value. Burks has been injured for most of the last 3 seasons and looked lost at times last year.
The Jazz also will likely move Boris Diaw and his unguaranteed 7.5 million dollars before July 15th.
Another player that the Jazz are rumored to be interested in and who has mutual interests is Donatas Montiejunas. He is a stretch four who would help space the paint for Rudy Gobert.
A good idea of what the 2017-18 Utah Jazz roster would look like is listed below.
C: Rudy Gobert/Tony Bradley
F: Derrick Favors/Donatas Montiejunas/Joe Johnson
F: Gordon Hayward/ Joe Ingles/Joel Bolomboy
G: Rodney Hood/Donovan Mitchell
G: Dante Exum/Milos Teodosic/Raul Neto
That gives the Jazz 13 players and nearly 115 million in salary. In this scenario both Alec Burks, and Boris Diaw have been moved in some sort of salary dump, with no additionally salary coming back. Which in reality is going to be hard to do, so chances are the Jazz will solidify their roster in a Burks/Diaw trade with a player to be mentioned.
The Jazz will also likely fill out their roster with two way contracts, and some good candidates for those are Tyrone Washington, Marcus Paige, and Nigel Williams-Goss
Given the current state of the salary cap, the Jazz will most likely be luxury tax payers and will likely lose Favors at the end of the season.