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Offseason Outlook: Utah Jazz

Guaranteed Contracts


Non-Guaranteed Contracts

Free Agents (Cap Holds)

Draft Picks

  • 1st Round (Pending lottery, 27.3% chance of obtaining Warriors' top-seven-protected pick)
  • 2nd Round (47th overall)

Cap Outlook

  • Guaranteed Salary: $51,477,653
  • Non-Guaranteed Salary (including options), Cap Holds: $39,630,879
  • Total (not including draft picks): $91,108,532

A year removed from trading Deron Williams to the Nets, the Jazz weren't expected to be much of a threat in the West in 2011/12. Four of Utah's players, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Gordon Hayward, and Alec Burks, were in either their first or second season in the league, and it appeared the Jazz would be heading back to the lottery. But Utah put together an impressive season, playing competitive ball and earning a playoff berth in a tough conference.

After running into the wrecking ball that is the 2012 San Antonio Spurs, however, the Jazz's postseason appearance appears to be a mixed blessing. While accelerating the rebuilding process and returning to the postseason so quickly was impressive, it cost the Jazz their lottery-protected first-round pick this year. Pending tonight's lottery results, the Jazz could be without a first-rounder entirely. As impressive as this season was, Utah could definitely have used that pick to either add another young player to its roster or to attract trade interest.

Even without a first-round pick though, the Jazz have a number of trade options available to them this summer. Between veterans Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson and youngsters Favors and Kanter, the team has an excess of big men. The former pair's production and the latter pair's potential would certainly draw interest from clubs in need of size, and a trade may be the best way for the Jazz to add wing talent. While Hayward had a promising season at shooting guard, the Jazz will have a hole to fill at small forward this summer. Players like Danny Granger, Andre Iguodala, or Rudy Gay could be potential trade targets.

The Jazz still have the amnesty clause at their disposal as well, and though the team doesn't have any particularly unwieldy contracts on its books, Raja Bell is a candidate to be amnestied if he can't be traded. Removing his $3.48MM salary would leave Utah with about $48MM committed to eight players, which would give them the opportunity to claim a little cap room. With that space, the Jazz could make a competitive offer to Andrei Kirilenko, who has talked about a potential return to Utah and would be a good fit for the club's small forward hole.

As glaring a hole as the Jazz have at that small forward position, it's not their only area of need. A starting backcourt of Devin Harris and Hayward isn't exactly elite, and the Jazz would do well to bring in another guard or two. Whether that backcourt help comes in the form of a trade or a free agent signing depends on Utah's other moves, but I think a player like Jerryd Bayless, who could come off the bench and play either the one or two, would be a fit.

Although the Jazz have a few trade and free agent options available to them this summer, it won't be until the trade deadline or next summer that the team's decisions will get really interesting. At the moment, the Jazz don't have a single player on a guaranteed contract for the 2013/14 season. Even after players on rookie deals like Favors, Kanter, and Hayward have their options picked up, Jefferson, Millsap, Harris, and others will be on expiring contracts next season. Given their lack of long-term commitments, the Jazz will have the opportunity to sign contract extensions or make multiyear offers to free agents without compromising the team's future cap flexibility too much.

Storytellers Contracts and Sham Sports were used in the creation of this post.


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