Utah Jazz

Marcus Paige Contract Details

We’ve already published one contract details round-up today, passing along some specifics on deals for Jason Terry (Bucks), Joel Bolomboy (Jazz), and Yi Jianlian (Lakers). However, several more details on recently-signed contracts have surfaced since then, so let’s dive in and round up the newest updates…

Joel Bolomboy Contract Details

  • Joel Bolomboy, the 52nd overall pick in this year’s draft, received a fully guaranteed first-year salary of $600K from the Jazz, and has half of his minimum second-year salary guaranteed as well, per Pincus (Twitter link). Utah’s cap flexibility allowed the team to sign the Weber State alum for more than the minimum and for three years; a $1MM+ commitment in guaranteed money suggests the club expects Bolomboy to be on its regular-season roster.

Latest Update On Unsigned 2016 Draftees

The NBA draft took place two months ago tonight, and when Brandon Ingram signed his rookie contract with the Lakers earlier today, he became the final first-rounder to lock in a plan for the 2016/17 season.

Of course, for Ingram, there was never any doubt that he’d sign an NBA contract and enter the league immediately, but that’s not the case for all of this year’s first-rounders. As our list of draft pick signings shows, three of the 30 players selected in the first round – including two Celtics – will play overseas this season.

The percentage of draftees heading (or staying) overseas is higher among second-round picks, but for those second-rounders, there are options besides entering the NBA or playing international ball — Celtics second-rounder Abdel Nader, for instance, has agreed to sign with Boston’s D-League affiliate in Maine. He’ll earn less money there than he would’ve overseas, but the Celtics will be able to keep a close eye on him and will have a hand in his development as they retain his NBA rights.

When we provided an update on 2016 draft pick signings in late July, five first-round picks and eight second-rounders were still waiting to resolve their situations. Since then, 10 of those draftees have gotten that resolution, leaving just three players whose statuses remain uncertain. They are as follows:

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder: Daniel Hamilton, SG (UConn)
  2. Sacramento Kings: Isaiah Cousins, SG (Oklahoma)
  3. Utah Jazz: Tyrone Wallace, PG (California)

Hamilton, Cousins, and Wallace were all bottom-five picks in the draft, having been selected 56th, 59th, and 60th, respectively. All three were also drafted by teams with their own D-League affiliates. As such, it wouldn’t be surprising if those clubs wanted agreements similar to the one Nader worked out with the Celtics — getting these draftees to sign D-League contracts would mean retaining their rights without having to worry about clearing an NBA roster spot for them.

If Hamilton, Cousins, or Wallace signs an NBA contract, then doesn’t earn a spot on his team’s 15-man, regular-season roster, that team would still hold his D-League rights, but would lose his NBA rights. In other words, Hamilton could be assigned to the OKC Blue, but another NBA team could sign him to its regular-season roster, and the Thunder wouldn’t be able to stop it.

For a team to retain its NBA rights to a second-round pick, it must tender a one-year, minimum-salary contract offer before September 6. With that deadline fast approaching, we should soon find out what the short-term future holds for this year’s final three unsigned draftees.

Jazz Sign Marcus Paige

The Jazz have signed 2016 second round pick Marcus Paige (No. 55 overall) the team announced. The length and terms of the arrangement are unknown, nor if any guaranteed salary was included. Utah still has approximately $10MM in available cap space, so Paige’s deal wouldn’t be limited to the league minimum. Though, it would be a surprise if it was in excess of that amount.

The 22-year-old was a member of the Jazz’s summer league squad, averaging 7.0 points, 1.6 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 19.7 minutes of action in nine games. With Utah’s preseason roster count at 16, including 14 players possessing fully guaranteed deals, Paige is likely ticketed for the D-League to start the season.

Paige spent four years at North Carolina, notching career averages of 13.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists to go along with a shooting line of .407/.375/.844. Paige was recognized as an Academic All-American for three of those seasons, including First Team honors following his senior season. He was named to the ACC All-Tournament Team in 2015 and 2016 as well as the 2014 ACC Most Improved Player of the Year, per the release.

Jazz Sign Joel Bolomboy

The Jazz have signed second-round pick Joel Bolomboy, the team announced today. The 6’9″ power forward/center was the 52nd selection in June’s draft.

Born in the Ukraine, Bolomboy starred at Weber State, averaging 17.1 points and 12.6 rebounds per game as a senior. He was named the Big Sky Conference’s MVP and Defensive Player of the Year last season.

Bolomboy was part of Utah’s summer league team in Las Vegas, averaging 7.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in nine games.

Neto Gets To Know New Teammate At Olympics

  • The Olympics have given Jazz point guard Raul Neto a chance to connect with new teammate Boris Diaw, writes Amy Donaldson of The Deseret News. Utah acquired Diaw, who plays for the French team, in a July trade with the Spurs  to provide veteran help off the bench. “I’ve talked to Boris in the [athlete’s] village,” said Neto, who hails from the host country of Brazil. “He’s a really nice guy. [Leandro] Barbosa played with him in Phoenix, and he say only good things about him. I think we have a great team, some nice guys joined our team, and we expect [to] do better [this] season.”

Extension Candidate: Derrick Favors

Veteran contract extensions rarely occur in the NBA. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement places heavy restrictions on contract restructuring and extensions. In most cases, it doesn’t make sense for one party or the other.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Utah JazzThis summer, a couple of notable exceptions have popped up. James Harden agreed to a max extension, allowing the Rockets to lock up their franchise player for at least another year beyond the two seasons remaining on his contract. Russell Westbrook, who could have become an unrestricted free agent next summer, agreed to a max extension with the Thunder that will keep him under contract for at least another season.

Both players could remain with their respective teams — Harden in 2019/20 and Westbrook in 2018/19 — for an additional season if they decide not to opt out of the final year of those extensions.

Jazz power forward Derrick Favors doesn’t have the star power or resume of that duo but he, too, is eligible for a veteran extension this offseason. The player’s current contract must be at least four years to qualify for an extension and Favors signed a four-year, rookie-scale extension in October 2013.

Favors could officially sign a veteran’s extension during training camp on the third-year anniversary of his current contract. There’s ample financial reasons for Favors to work out such an agreement.

Favors is scheduled to make $11.05MM this season and $12MM in 2017/18. If he received a bottom tier max from the Jazz, he could essentially double his salary for the next two seasons.

Utah currently has more than $10MM in salary-cap space and could open up a little more by waiving a player with a non-guaranteed contract. They have two such players on the books — Chris Johnson and Jeff Withey.

From that point, Favors could receive two more years on his deal, though the numbers could range wildly. He could either get the max 7.5% raises in those two years. Conversely, the numbers could nosedive by as much as a 40% maximum decrease in the first year of the extension and another 7.5% decrease in the final season.

As Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders details, that means Favors could wind up with a four-year restructuring/extension worth anywhere from $70MM to $99MM. If Favors waited until he became an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018, the max he could earn over the next four years would be approximately $86.3MM.

LIke Harden and Westbrook, he could aim for an opt-out in the final year of the extension, though the Jazz might not be interested in doing so. If they agreed to an opt-out, they’d be giving him a whopping raise while only being assured of having him an additional season. That would be a very generous offer to a player who hasn’t made an All-Star team.

The Jazz also have major decisions to make regarding two of their other top players. Leading scorer Gordon Hayward will almost assuredly opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Utah will have to decide whether to sit back and hope Hayward re-signs next summer or whether to explore trade possibilities, though Hayward has a 15% trade kicker in his contract.

Center Rudy Gobert is eligible for a rookie-scale extension before the start of the season, though the Jazz could also lock him up next summer when he becomes a restricted free agent.

Favors is undoubtedly a productive, if somewhat brittle, player who is entering his prime years. He’s just 25 years old and coming off back-to-back years in which he averaged at least 16 points, eight rebounds and 1.5 blocks. Favors has missed some time with assorted injuries since he started playing regularly — nine games in 2013/14, eight in 2014/15 and 20 last season.

Advanced stats are generally kind to Favors. He posted a rock-solid 21.71 PER last season, well above the 15.0 average. His offensive and defensive box ratings via BasketballReference.com are also above average, though he’s never had an OBR above 1.0. His overall Box Plus/Minus of 2.7 last season was a career best.

There’s another factor the Jazz must consider in their decision whether to extend Favors — what kind of player do they project Trey Lyles to be over the next few seasons?

The 2015 lottery pick posted modest stats in his first season, averaging 6.1 points and 3.7 rebounds. On the flip side, Lyles played well enough to remain in the rotation all season and he’s just 20 years old. If Utah believes Lyles could develop into a starter at power forward and possibly replace Favors two years down the road, what’s the incentive to extend Favors?

Either Favors or the club could decide to put off extension talks until next summer. He’d still be eligible for an extension entering the final year of his contract, as Westbrook was this summer. The tricky part is there’s no guarantee the current rules will still be in place.

Negotiations between the league and the Players’ Association appear to be going well but if they break down, either side could opt out of the CBA next summer. Even if the sides reach an agreement on a new CBA, the rules could change in terms of veteran extensions.

Given his team-friendly contract, Favors and agent Wallace Prather have plenty of motivation to get something done this summer. The Jazz will probably be willing to accommodate them, as long as Favors doesn’t shoot for the max and an opt-out clause.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Swinger / USA Today Sports

Bobby Marks On Jazz Offseason

  • As Bobby Marks of The Vertical details, the Jazz have built their current roster primarily through the draft, but adjusted that philosophy this summer by trading a late lottery pick for veteran point guard George Hill. After just missing the playoffs last season, Utah focused on adding veterans this offseason to take the next step.

Free Agent Spending By Division: Northwest

Over the next several days, we’ll be breaking down 2016 NBA free agent spending by division, examining which teams – and divisions – were the most active this July.

These divisional breakdowns won’t present a full picture of teams’ offseason spending. Some notable free agents, including LeBron James, remain unsigned, so there’s still money out there to be spent. Our lists also don’t include money spent on this year’s first- and second-round picks or draft-and-stash signings. There are a few free agent names missing in some instances as well, since those deals aren’t yet official or terms haven’t been reported.

Still, these closer looks at divisional spending should generally reveal how teams invested their money in free agency this summer, identifying which clubs went all-out and which ones played it safe.

With the help of our Free Agent Tracker and contract info from Basketball Insiders, we’ll focus today on the Northwest division. Let’s dive in…

1. Portland Trail Blazers

  • Total money committed: $242,414,220
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $234,307,500
  • Largest expenditure: Allen Crabbe (four years, $74,832,500)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Crabbe’s deal was an offer sheet extended by the Nets that was matched by the Trail Blazers. Crabbe, Leonard, and Harkless were all restricted free agents.
    • Ezeli’s second-year salary of $7.733MM is currently guaranteed for just $1MM.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Total money committed: $33,580,000
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $24,500,000
  • Largest expenditure: Cole Aldrich (three years, $21,900,000)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Hill has a non-guaranteed $4.18MM salary in the second year of his contract, while $4.9MM of Aldrich’s total third-year salary is non-guaranteed.

3. Denver Nuggets

  • Total money committed: $29,999,999
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $26,499,999
  • Largest expenditure: Darrell Arthur (three years, $22,999,999)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Miller’s deal is non-guaranteed in its second year, creating the $3.5MM gap between the Nuggets’ total money and guaranteed money committed in free agency.

4. Utah Jazz

  • Total money committed: $21,505,000
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $21,505,000
  • Largest expenditure: Joe Johnson (two years, $21,505,000)
  • Other notable signings:
    • None
  • Notes:
    • Rather than signing free agents, the Jazz focused on using their cap room to acquire players in trades, landing Boris Diaw and George Hill.

5. Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Total money committed: $0
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $0
  • Largest expenditure: None
  • Other notable signings:
    • None
  • Notes:
    • After losing Kevin Durant, the Thunder made one notable signing this summer, bringing over Alex Abrines on a three-year, $17MM+ deal. However, Abrines was a draft-and-stash player, not a free agent.

Previously:
Southwest
Southeast

And-Ones: Cap Room, L. Sanders, R. Smith, RFAs

The Sixers, Nuggets, Nets, Thunder, and Lakers have the most cap room still available, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders details. In addition to those five clubs, the Timberwolves, Suns, Jazz, Celtics, Pacers, and Bucks also have some wiggle room remaining. While some of those clubs could use that cap space to try to sign a free agent like J.R. Smith or Lance Stephenson, I’d expect many of those teams to stay well below the cap throughout the year. Remaining $10-15MM below the cap would allow a team to accommodate a mid-season salary dump, potentially picking up a draft pick or two in the process.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • Larry Sanders, who has been working out and is considering an NBA comeback, may be willing to play for a minumum-salary contract, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter). It remains to be seen whether a team will take a flier on the former Bucks big man.
  • Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders identifies a few players who will be under pressure to perform in 2016/17 due to big new free agent contracts or roles that changed as a result of other players’ deperatures.
  • Former Louisville guard Russ Smith, who appeared in 15 games for the Grizzlies last season, has accepted a $1MM contract offer from Galatasaray, according to international basketball reporter David Pick (via Twitter). Mete Budak of Eurohoops pegs the former second-round pick’s salary at $850K, so the Turkish team may have included some bonuses in the deal.
  • Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders explains why he thinks the NBA’s restricted free agency system has problems, and puts forth some suggestions to potentially improve it. Donatas Motiejunas of the Rockets is the only RFA still on the market this summer.

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