Utah Jazz

Rudy Gobert Talks Contract Situation

  • As Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune details, Rudy Gobert isn’t worried about his contract situation with the Jazz, suggesting on Monday that the season is “more important.” However, the young center suggested that he’s very much open to the idea of an extension. “Everybody knows I want to be here,” he said.

Northwest Notes: Exum, Oladipo, Wolters, Garnett

Jazz point guard Dante Exum proclaims himself fully healed from the ACL injury that wiped out last season, writes Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. Exum suffered the injury in August of 2015 while playing for the Australian national team and says the mental anguish was worse than the physical pain. “There were plenty of times where I wondered, why me,” Exum told The Tribune. “I wondered if I would be the guy I was before the injury. I was supposed to go home to Australia the next day, and I hadn’t been home in a year. I wondered, what’s going to happen with the Jazz? That was the pain I was going through.” With Utah’s training camp opening this week, Exum says his knee feels stronger than ever and his speed, leaping ability and explosive first step have all returned. Exum, who started 41 games during his rookie season, will ease back into the NBA in a reserve role after the Jazz made an offseason deal for George Hill.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • For several years, the Thunder have tried to surround their stars with “3-and-D” players, but Victor Oladipo tells Erik Horne of The Oklahoman that he wants to be more than that. Oladipo, who came to Oklahoma City in a draft-day trade involving Serge Ibaka, is expected to start alongside MVP candidate Russell Westbrook in the OKC backcourt, but he doesn’t see himself as just a complementary player. “I don’t just want to be a three-point shooter. I don’t just want to be a defensive stopper,” Oladipo said. “I want to be one of the best players in this league, and in order to do that, you have to affect the game on both ends and do multiple things.”
  • Coming off an impressive season in Turkey, Nate Wolters is hoping to work his way back into the NBA with the Nuggets, relays Jake Rauchbach of Basketball Insiders. The 38th pick in the 2013 draft, Wolters spent two seasons with the Bucks and Pelicans before heading overseas last year. He is projected as the fourth point guard on Denver’s roster, but is hoping to make an impression at training camp. “When you’re trying to make a team, there is kind of a fine line between trying to do too much and proving yourself,” Wolters said. “But still, at the same time, you want to be aggressive so they notice you a little bit. [I’ll] just try to run the team and then kind of pick my spots when I feel like I can be aggressive and try to make plays.”
  • Timberwolves coach/executive Tom Thibodeau has issued a statement honoring Kevin Garnett upon his retirement, relays The Star-Tribune. “Kevin will always be remembered for the way in which he played the game,” Thibodeau said. “His fierce competitiveness, his unequaled passion for the game and the many ways in which he cared about this team was truly special. KG is without question the all-time best player to wear a Minnesota Timberwolves jersey, and he is also one of the best ever to play this game.’’

Jazz Sign Eric Dawson

The Jazz have signed unrestricted free agent Eric Dawson, the team announced. The length and terms of the arrangement were not relayed, but it is most likely a minimum salary pact that may include a small partial guarantee.

The forward’s most recent action came in the Philippines with Blackwater Elite where he averaged 18.2 points, 15.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.3 steals and 2.2 blocks in 38.8 minutes per game in six games (all starts) last season. He also spent part of the 2015/16 season with Paris-Levallois in France’s Pro A league.

Dawson’s regular season NBA experience consists of four games as a member of the Spurs during the 2011/12 season when he averaged 3.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per outing. The 32-year-old also has 99 D-League games under his belt, last appearing in the league during the 2013/14 season. His career D-League numbers are 12.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 25.9 minutes per outing. His shooting numbers in the D-League are .541/.318/.721.

Jazz Sign Henry Sims

The Jazz have filled one of the remaining two openings on their 20-man offseason roster, announcing today in a press release that they’ve signed Henry Sims to a training camp contract. Terms of the agreement haven’t been reported, but it figures to be a minimum-salary pact with little to no guaranteed money.

Sims, who saw a little NBA action last season for the Nets, spent the 2014/15 campaign with the Sixers, appearing in 73 games (32 starts) for the club. Over the course of that season, he averaged 8.0 PPG and 4.9 RP in 19.2 minutes per contest. In 2015/16, he spent most of the season with the D-League’s Grand Rapids Drive, recording 15.7 PPG and 8.9 RPG in 40 games.

After working out for the Jazz earlier this month, Sims will join the team looking to earn a regular-season roster spot. As Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets though, a return to the D-League is more likely for the 26-year-old center.

Currently, the Jazz have 14 players on guaranteed salaries, which would suggest that there’s one open spot for the regular-season roster. However, Jeff Withey, whose contract is partially guaranteed, is the strong favorite for that 15th slot. Chris Johnson, Marcus Paige, and Quincy Ford will also be in the mix, and Utah still has one open roster spot that could be filled at some point in camp — perhaps by second-round pick Tyrone Wallace.

Jazz Announce Coaching Staff Changes

The Jazz have finalized their coaching staff for the coming season and have also announced some changes to their basketball staff, the team announced in a pair of press releases. Most notably, assistant coach Igor Kokoskov has received a promotion to lead assistant in Utah, as he prepares for his second year with the club. Kokoskov previously served as an assistant for five other NBA teams, including a Pistons squad that won the 2004 NBA Finals.

[RELATED: Salary Cap Snapshot: Utah Jazz]

In other coaching staff moves, Zach Guthrie was elevated from manager of basketball strategy/technology to assistant coach/basketball strategy, while Lamar Skeeter was promoted from player development/video analyst to assistant coach/player development. Guthrie, Skeeter, and Kokoskov will join five other returning Jazz assistants on Quin Snyder‘s staff.

In the scouting department, Richard Smith was promoted to executive director of international scouting. Elsewhere in the front office, Bart Taylor was named the Jazz’s director of scouting and the VP of basketball operations for the D-League’s Salt Lake City Stars.

While Snyder is just 78-86 in his two years with the Jazz, the team heads into the 2016/17 season with increased expectations, having added some veteran talent to a young roster in the offseason. Although Utah missed the postseason this spring, many fans and observers expect the club to take a step forward and compete for a top-five seed in the Western Conference.

Salary Cap Snapshot: Utah Jazz

With the free agent signing period winding down and teams looking ahead to the preseason, we at Hoops Rumors will be tracking the Salary Cap figures for each team around the league. These posts will be maintained throughout the season once financial data is reported. They will be located on the sidebar throughout the year, once all the teams’ cap figures have been relayed. The next franchise we’ll be looking at are the Utah Jazz, who currently are well under the league’s salary cap of $94,143,000 for the 2016/17 season. You can always check RosterResource.com for up-to-date rosters for each franchise, with the Jazz’s team page accessible here.

Here’s a breakdown of where the Jazz currently stand financially:

Guaranteed Salary

Total Guaranteed Salary= $79,332,496

Non-Guaranteed Salary

  • Christapher Johnson —$1,050,961 [Salary Fully Guaranteed On 1/10/17]
  • Jeff Withey —$1,015,696 [Salary Fully Guaranteed On 1/10/17]
  • Quincy Ford —$543,471 [Salary Fully Guaranteed On 1/10/17]
  • Marcus Paige —$418,471 [Salary Fully Guaranteed On 1/10/17]

Total Non-Guaranteed Salary= $3,028,599

Eligible for Rookie Scale Extension

Cash Sent Out Via Trade:  TBD — undisclosed amount sent to Sixers in Tibor Pleiss trade [Amount Remaining $3.5MM]

Cash Received Via Trade: $0 [Amount Remaining $3.5MM]

Payroll Exceptions Available

  • Room Exception — $2,898,000

Total Projected Payroll: $82,361,095

Salary Cap: $94,143,000

Estimated Available Cap Space: $11,781,905

Luxury Tax Threshold: $113,287,000

Amount Below Luxury Tax: $30,925,905

The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

Traded Second-Round Picks For 2017 NBA Draft

The 2017 NBA draft is still more than nine months away, but with the start of the regular season fast approaching, it’s worth taking stock of how this season’s results will affect next year’s draft. Depending on how certain teams perform during the 2016/17 campaign, other clubs will have the opportunity to pick up an extra selection or two.

Earlier this week, we looked at the first-round picks that could change hands during the 2017 draft. A few more first-rounders will likely be involved in trades prior to the trade deadline, or leading up to next year’s draft night, but there are already several picks that are ticketed for new teams, depending on where they land.

That’s even more true of the second round — more than half of the league’s second-round picks for 2017 have been involved in trades so far, and while some of those picks will ultimately remain with the sending teams due to protection conditions, many will move to the receiving teams.

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the second-round picks that could (or will) change hands. For each selection, we make a note of which team is sending and receiving it, the protection or conditions on the pick, and what will happen if the protection language prevents the pick from being conveyed. For instance, the Heat will send their second-rounder to either the Hawks or Grizzlies, depending on where it lands. The team that doesn’t get a pick from Miami this year will get the Heat’s second-rounder in 2018.

Here are 2017’s traded second-round picks:

Atlanta Hawks

  • From: Brooklyn Nets
  • Protection: None

Atlanta Hawks

  • From: Miami Heat
  • Protection: 31-40
  • If not conveyed: Hawks will receive Heat’s 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

Boston Celtics

  • From: Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Protection: None

Boston Celtics

  • From: Los Angeles Clippers
  • Protection: None

Boston Celtics

  • From: Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Protection: None

Brooklyn Nets

  • From: Boston Celtics
  • Conditions: Nets will receive pick (protected 31-45) if Celtics swap first-rounders with Nets.
  • If not conveyed: Celtics’ obligation to Nets is extinguished.

Brooklyn Nets

  • From: Indiana Pacers
  • Protection: 45-60
  • If not conveyed: Nets will have opportunity to get Pacers’ second-rounder (protected 45-60) in 2018.

Denver Nuggets

  • From: Memphis Grizzlies
  • Protection: 31-35
  • If not conveyed: Nuggets will receive Grizzlies’ 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

Denver Nuggets

  • From: Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Protection: 31-35
  • If not conveyed: Nuggets will receive Thunder’s 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

Houston Rockets

  • From: Denver Nuggets
  • Protection: None

Houston Rockets

  • From: Portland Trail Blazers
  • Protection: None

Memphis Grizzlies

  • From: Miami Heat
  • Protection: 41-60
  • If not conveyed: Grizzlies will receive Heat’s 2018 second-rounder (unprotected).

New Orleans Pelicans

  • From: Philadelphia 76ers
  • Protection: None

New York Knicks

  • From: Chicago Bulls
  • Protection: None

New York Knicks

  • From: Houston Rockets
  • Protection: None

Philadelphia 76ers

  • From: Two of Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and Utah Jazz.
  • Conditions: Sixers will receive the most and least favorable of these four picks.

Utah Jazz

  • From: Two of Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and Utah Jazz.
  • Conditions: Jazz will receive the second- and third-most favorable of these four picks, including their own.

The following teams technically acquired second-round draft picks via trade and could receive those selections in 2017. However, these picks are heavily protected and won’t be conveyed to the receiving team unless the sending team finishes with a top-five record in the NBA. If that doesn’t happen, the receiving team is out of luck. The details:

Minnesota Timberwolves

  • From: New Orleans Pelicans
  • Protection: 31-55
  • If not conveyed: Pelicans’ obligation to Timberwolves is extinguished.

Orlando Magic

  • From: Sacramento Kings
  • Protection: 31-55
  • If not conveyed: Kings’ obligation to Magic is extinguished.

San Antonio Spurs

  • From: Atlanta Hawks
  • Protection: 31-55
  • If not conveyed: Hawks’ obligation to Spurs is extinguished.

RealGM’s database of future traded pick details was used in the creation of this post.

Jazz Trade D-League Rights To Pressey

The Warriors have acquired the D-League rights to training camp invitee Phil Pressey via a trade with the Jazz’s D-League affiliate, according to a press release from the Salt Lake City Stars. The Santa Cruz Warriors secured the returning player rights of Pressey in exchange for the same rights to point guard Aaron Craft and a 2017 D-League second-round pick. Pressey, a 25-year-old point guard, signed what is believed to be a non-guaranteed, one-year contract with Golden State, which already has 16 other players under contract. By acquiring his D-League rights, the Warriors can not only ship him to their affiliate if he makes the 15-man roster but also keep him in the organization even if he doesn’t secure a spot.

Traded First-Round Picks For 2017 NBA Draft

The 2017 NBA draft is still more than nine months away, but with the start of the regular season fast approaching, it’s worth taking stock of how this season’s results will affect next year’s draft. Depending on how certain teams perform during the 2016/17 campaign, other clubs will have the opportunity to pick up an extra first-round selection, or to swap first-rounders with those teams.

There’s a good chance that a few more 2017 first-round selections will change hands before the 2017 trade deadline, or on draft night next June, but many picks have already been included in trades. Five teams currently have the opportunity to grab an extra first-rounder in 2017, while two other teams could have the chance to move up in the first round by swapping picks with another club.

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the first-round picks that could (or will) change hands. For each selection, we make a note of which team is sending and receiving it, the protection on the pick, and what will happen if the protection language prevents the pick from being conveyed. For instance, the Bulls are on track to receive the Kings’ first-round pick, but only if it falls outside the top 10. If Sacramento’s pick is a top-10 selection, the Bulls will instead receive the Kings’ second-rounder.

Here’s a breakdown of the traded first-round picks for 2017:

Traded first-round picks:

Chicago Bulls

  • From: Sacramento Kings
  • Protection: 1-10
  • If not conveyed: Bulls will instead receive Kings’ second-round pick (protected 56-60).

Denver Nuggets

  • From: Memphis Grizzlies
  • Protection: 1-5
  • If not conveyed: Nuggets will have chance to get Grizzlies’ 2018 first-rounder (protected 1-5).

Philadelphia 76ers

  • From: Los Angeles Lakers
  • Protection: 1-3
  • If not conveyed: Sixers will get Lakers’ 2018 first-rounder (unprotected).

Toronto Raptors

  • From: Los Angeles Clippers
  • Protection: 1-14
  • If not conveyed: Raptors will have a chance to get Clippers’ 2018 first-rounder (protected 1-14).

Utah Jazz

  • From: Golden State Warriors
  • Protection: None

Pick swaps are rarer than simple pick trades, but they’re often included in deals to get around the fact that teams can’t trade consecutive future first-round picks. For instance, in the Nets/Celtics blockbuster that saw Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett land in Brooklyn, Boston received the Nets’ 2014, 2016, and 2018 first-rounders, plus first-round swap rights in 2017. The Nets couldn’t leave themselves without first-round picks in back-to-back future seasons, so giving the Celtics the right to swap selections ensured that the Nets would still have a 2017 first-rounder — either their own or Boston’s.

That pick swap is one of two that could be in play this season. Here they are:

Potential first-round pick swaps:

Boston Celtics

  • Can swap with: Brooklyn Nets
  • Protection: None
  • If Celtics choose to swap, they’d owe Nets their second-round pick (protected 31-45).

Philadelphia 76ers

  • Can swap with: Sacramento Kings
  • Protection: 11-30 (can only swap if Kings’ pick falls in top 10)
  • If Kings’ pick falls between 11-30, their obligation to Sixers is extinguished.

RealGM’s database of future traded pick details was used in the creation of this post.

Jazz Working Out Jabari Brown

  • Powell also takes an in-depth look at the Jazz‘s offseason, noting that Utah is a little further along in its rebuilding strategy. After putting together a strong nucleus through the draft over the last few years, the Jazz shifted gears this summer, adding some complementary veteran pieces to their roster. By declining to add another rookie to the mix, the club has signaled that its ready for a playoff push, writes Powell.
  • The Jazz, who have been bringing in several players for workouts recently, will take a look at former Lakers guard Jabari Brown today, league sources tell Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link).
  • Although they’re bullish about the Timberwolves‘ long-term future, the Basketball Insiders team still doesn’t expect Minnesota to finish higher than third or fourth in the Northwest division this season, with the Trail Blazers, Jazz, and Thunder all vying for postseason spots as well.

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