Utah Jazz Rumors

Jazz, Enes Kanter Break Off Extension Talks

October 29 at 12:49pm CDT By Chuck Myron

12:49pm: Ergul cited Kanter’s potential for growth this season with new Jazz coach Quin Snyder as well as the influx of TV money into the league as reasons why he and his client walked away from negotiations, as Ergul told Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter links). Ergul praised Lindsey and Snyder and pointed to Kanter’s satisfaction with the franchise’s direction, Falk notes, which suggests strong interest in a deal next summer.

12:11pm: The Jazz and Enes Kanter have decided against signing an extension by Friday’s deadline, agent Max Ergul tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. That sets the forward/center up to become a restricted free agent next summer. The Jazz continue talks with fellow extension-eligible Alec Burks, according to Wojnarowski.

“We have mutually agreed with Utah to concentrate on the season and look at our options again in the summer,” Ergul told Wojnarowski. “Enes likes Utah and the organization very much, and now he can concentrate on continuing to grow as a player and helping them win.”

Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey acknowledged extension talks with both Kanter and Burks a month ago and spoke of his desire for a long-term commitment to the two of them, suggesting that he’d continue to pursue that even if they weren’t able to close on extensions. Still, neither has the sort of star potential that’s usually associated with players who sign rookie scale extensions, as I noted when I examined the extension candidacies of both Kanter and Burks.

Fellow big men Derrick Favors, who signed a four-year, $48MM extension a year ago, and Rudy Gobert, who’s entering the second season of his rookie scale contract, complicate the notion of Kanter’s future in Utah, since there’s only so much playing time to go around. The Jazz have about $40.3MM on the books for 2015/16, and while deals for both Kanter and Burks would probably leave the team with significant leftover cap room, Utah has several other former first-round picks who’ll become extension-eligible in the years ahead, which threatens to put a squeeze on the club’s flexibility.

Jazz Signed, Then Waived Tre’ Bussey

October 27 at 10:39pm CDT By Cray Allred

MONDAY, 10:39pm: Bussey was indeed signed and then waived by the Jazz after working out with the team in Salt Lake City, reports Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (via Twitter). Genessy adds that the Idaho Stampede, Utah’s D-League affiliate, didn’t retain Bussey’s rights due to a complication, which is why he filed to enter the D-League draft. The Jazz signed him Thursday and waived him Friday, according to the RealGM transactions log.

SUNDAY, 2:15pm: Bussey never actually signed with the Jazz, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM, despite interest from Utah.  However, he has filed to enter the D-League draft.

SATURDAY, 5:52pm: Although no team announcement was made regarding the signing of Tre’ Bussey, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets that the rookie has been waived. Three Eye Sports reported that Bussey was signed yesterday (on Twitter).  It’s likely that Utah inked the Georgia Southern product with the sole intention of releasing him and securing his D-League rights.

In his senior year, Bussey averaged 16.2 PPG with a slash line of .457/.385/.662. The 22-year-old told Gino Pilato of DLeagueDigest.com earlier this month that he is hoping to develop an NBA-caliber game at point guard in the D-League.

Jazz Claim Hamilton, Ingles, Waive Felix

October 27 at 5:18pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Jazz have waived Carrick Felix, and they’ve claimed Jordan Hamilton and Joe Ingles off waivers, the team announced in a pair of releasesAdrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported the waiver claims and tweeted the news that the team would release Felix. Utah had been carrying 14 players, so at least one had to go to accommodate the pair of claims. Hamilton, whose minimum-salary deal is partially guaranteed for $25K, comes from the Raptors, so Toronto is no longer on the hook for that money. The Clippers had placed their non-guaranteed contract with Ingles on waivers.

Hamilton made it tough on the Raptors this month, though they ultimately decided to go with Greg Stiemsma over both Hamilton and Will Cherry as they all battled for one open regular season roster spot with matching $25K guarantees. Hamilton averaged 9.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game in the preseason, more playing time than he had seen in any of his three regular seasons since becoming the 26th overall pick in 2011.

Ingles was a hot commodity after his showing for the Australian national team in the World Cup. The Jazz were among a host of teams that were eyeing the swingman as early as this past spring, and he ultimately decided on the Clippers, though it was surprising to see him fail to garner any guaranteed salary. He’ll make the minimum this year.

Felix’s minimum salary was fully guaranteed, so Utah is on the hook for that money unless he clears waivers. The 33rd overall pick from last year played nine D-League games and seven NBA contests last year with the Cavs, who sent him out primarily for financial reasons in the July trade that brought him to Utah. He has a non-guaranteed salary for 2015/16 that will disappear if he clears waivers.

Utah creeps closer to this year’s $63.065MM cap with today’s pickups, but the Jazz still have less than $60MM in committed salary for this season.

Jazz Waive Brock Motum

October 25 at 4:13pm CDT By Arthur Hill

Forward Brock Motum has been waived by the Jazz, the team announced in a press release. The move cuts Utah’s roster to 14 players, one under the league maximum. It’s unclear if the Jazz intend to send Motum to the D-League, as teams can retain the rights for up to four players.

Motum’s minimum-salary contract was non-guaranteed, so the Jazz won’t be on the hook for any money as a result of cutting him. The 23-year-old Motum appeared in five games for Utah’s summer league team in Las Vegas, averaging 8.0 points and 4.6 rebounds. He spent the 2013/14 season with Granarolo Bologna of the Italian Serie A League, where he averaged 8.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

The 6’10” Australian played at Washington State and ranks second in school history in both career points (1,530) and field goal percentage (.567). He was the Pac 12’s leading scorer as a senior at 18 points per game.


Jazz Opt In With Trey Burke, Rudy Gobert

October 25 at 8:31am CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Jazz have exercised their third year team options for Trey Burke and Rudy Gobert, the team has officially announced. This doesn’t come as a surprise since both players factor into Utah’s longterm rebuilding plans. Burke is set to make $2,658,240 and Gobert $1,175,880 during the 2015/16 season. By exercising these options the Jazz now have approximately $47.6MM in guaranteed money on the books for that campaign.

Burke is continuing to develop after being selected in 2013 with the ninth overall pick. During his rookie season he appeared in 70 games, including 68 as a starter, averaging 12.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 5.7 APG. His slash line was .380/.330/.903. The pressure is on Burke to improve his outside shooting and cut down on his 1.9 turnovers per game. Utah drafted Dante Exum with the No. 4 pick in this year’s NBA Draft, and Exum projects more as a point guard at this stage of development.

The 7’1″ Gobert was also part of the 2013 draft class, being selected 27th overall. During his rookie campaign, Gobert appeared in 45 games, averaging 2.3 PPG and 3.4 RPG, while logging 9.6 minutes a night.

Dee Bost Signs To Play In Turkey

October 24 at 2:33pm CDT By Chuck Myron

FRIDAY, 2:33pm: The deal is official, the team announced (Twitter link; translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).

THURSDAY, 8:25am: Former Jazz camp invitee Dee Bost has a one-year deal with Trabzonspor of Turkey, Sportando’s Enea Trapani reports. Utah had reportedly maintained interest in having the point guard play for its D-League affiliate, but it appears he’ll go overseas instead. It’s not clear what Bost will make with Trabzonspor, but it likely involves a greater salary than he would have made in the D-League.

The Jazz waived Bost nearly two weeks ago, and he didn’t appear in any preseason games, suggesting that he was a long way from making Utah’s regular season roster, even though the team guaranteed his salary for $65K. He had more extensive involvement with the Blazers last year, averaging 3.5 points in 10.4 minutes per game across four preseason contests before Portland let him go about a week before opening night.

Bost, now 25, spent much of last season with the Blazers one-to-one affiliate, the Idaho Stampede, which this year serves as the one-to-one affiliate of the Jazz. He also saw action with Trotamundos de Carabobo of Venezuela last year, and he’s no stranger to European competition, having played with Montenegro’s KK Buducnost VOLI in 2012/13.

Jazz Waive Dahntay Jones, Jack Cooley

October 22 at 10:37pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

10:37pm: Both players have indeed been waived, the team has officially announced.

4:41pm: The Jazz have waived Dahntay Jones and Jack Cooley, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). The team has yet to make an official announcement, but these moves would reduce Utah’s preseason roster count to 15 players, which is the regular season maximum. Jones was in camp on a non-guaranteed minimum salary deal, but Cooley’s arrangement came with a partial guarantee for $65K, so he won’t walk away empty-handed. Cooley is likely headed to the NBA D-League, notes Pincus.

The 6’9″ Cooley went undrafted following his senior year at Notre Dame in 2013, but performed well in summer league action that year. Still, he didn’t catch on with an NBA team for camp or the regular season. Instead, the big man headed overseas, averaging 12.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in 22.9 minutes per game in Turkey.

Jones spent last season out of the NBA, which was the first time he went without a deal in the league since he went 20th overall in the 2003 draft. Jones’ numbers in 589 career games are 5.6 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 0.9 APG. His career slash line is .441/.334/.751. Jones doesn’t seem like a candidate for the D-League, but he probably hopes to catch on with another team prior to the regular season. He could also try sign with a team on a 10-day contract later in the season.

And-Ones: Hawks, Motum, Crawford

October 22 at 10:28pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Outgoing Hawks controlling owner Bruce Levenson has the power to force as much as 60% of the team to be sold, even though he and his partners have only 50.1% of the team, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The NBA appears to be pressuring all of the other owners to sell so that the entire franchise can change hands, Vivlamore adds. All of the team’s owners still have yet to meet to discuss how much of the franchise they’re going to sell, and so far, their only action as a group has involved preparation for vetting prospective buyers, though vetting itself has yet to begin, as Vivlamore explains.

Here’s more from around the league:

      • When Jordan Crawford signed with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association for $1.4MM it wasn’t because he didn’t receive any NBA offers. The Kings had tried to sign Crawford this summer, but he wasn’t comfortable with a backup role in Sacramento, David Pick of Eurobasket reports (Twitter links). Crawford also relayed that he felt “overlooked” by the league, and that’s what led him to China, Pick notes.
      • Brock Motum‘s one year, minimum salary deal with the Jazz is non-guaranteed, as is reflected on the Basketball Insiders salary page for Utah.
      • Many of the teams that joined the Sixers in a voting bloc that scuttled immediate lottery reform are nonetheless miffed about Philadelphia’s stripped-down roster, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes. Teams voted down lottery changes in part because they feel too much is in flux, and that includes the unknown of just how or whether the league will phase in the substantial increase in the salary cap that the league’s enhanced TV revenues will bring about, Lowe adds. Some influential agents oppose the idea of any phase-in, preferring that the cap simply leap in the summer of 2016 based on the idea that teams might be uncertain of how to handle the changed landscape and hand out contracts they’ll later regret, according to Lowe.
      • The surging salary cap projections have some small-market teams worried about how they’ll manage in a league where $100MM payrolls are the norm, in spite of the TV money that would make that sort of spending more palatable, as Lowe writes in the same piece. Small-market teams also fear that they’ll become slightly profitable and lose the benefit of tens of millions in income through the league’s revenue sharing program, the Grantland columnist explains. The Lakers handed out $50MM, the Knicks $27MM and the Bulls $17MM in revenue sharing last season, Lowe reports.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Villanueva, Price, Boozer, Jazz

October 20 at 9:59am CDT By Chuck Myron

Various reports have painted conflicting pictures of Mavs owner Mark Cuban’s willingness to keep Charlie Villanueva‘s non-guaranteed contract into the regular season, but Cuban nonetheless has plenty of praise for the nine-year veteran. Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the details. 

“He’s the prototype of what we like,’’ Cuban said. “A guy who was in a difficult situation and got a bad rap, but when you do your homework he’s really a good guy. He’s great in the locker room, guys love him and he’s putting on a battle for that last spot.”

Villanueva will soon know his status one way or another, since teams have to pare down to no more than 15 players by 4pm Central on October 27th, one week from today. Here’s more from around the Western Conference as that deadline looms:

  • Ronnie Price is looking like a shoo-in for the Lakers opening-night roster, observe Bill Oram of the Orange Country Register and Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). Price racked up 10 assists Sunday against the Jazz.
  • The Jazz organization remains high on Carlos Boozer, Oram notes (on Twitter). The Lakers can’t trade the former Utah power forward this year, but he hits free agency in the summer.
  • Dahntay Jones appears to have the inside track for the 15th opening-night roster spot on the Jazz if the team elects to keep that many players, as Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune examines.
  • The Warriors have opened the season with just 14 players two of the last three years, but they’re leaning toward keeping 15 men until at least the leaguewide guarantee date in January based on the impressive play of many in camp, writes Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. Golden State has 13 contracts with full guarantees, five with partial guarantees, and a non-guaranteed deal with Jason Kapono, as our roster counts show.

Northwest Notes: Blazers, Thunder, Nurkic

October 19 at 5:43pm CDT By Arthur Hill

The patience of new coach Quin Snyder is appreciated by the younger Jazz players, writes Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake Tribune. Snyder has been accepting of mistakes as he tries to bring a faster pace to the Utah offense. Monson writes that Snyder is using turnovers as opportunities for teaching, rather than berating players or pulling them from games. The up-tempo style is also a hit with players, including Derrick Favors, who said, “I like it. We’re moving the ball, looking for each other.”  More out of the Northwest Division..

  • The Trail Blazers have a difficult roster decision to make this week, writes Mike Tokito of The Oregonian. Camp invitees Darius Morris and Diante Garrett are in the running for a regular season roster spot, but keeping one of the point guards would force the team to cut or trade a player with a guaranteed contract. “At the end of this trip, it’s time to make some decisions,” coach Terry Stotts said.
  • Thunder coach Scott Brooks told Nick Gallo of NBA.com that injuries have created a “golden opportunity” for four young players to showcase their skills in a battle for the final opening-night roster spot. Brooks said Michael Jenkins, Richard Solomon, Lance Thomas and Talib Zanna have all been impressive in camp. “They’ve been competing hard,” Brooks said. “I’m happy. (GM Sam Presti) has done a great job of bringing four guys in who are very competitive and are going to fight for that last spot.”
  • It has only taken two preseason games for Nuggets rookie center Jusuf Nurkic to make an impression, according to Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post. Denver coach Brian Shaw said opposing coaching staffs have told him how impressed they are with Nurkic’s physical play and how aggressively he pursues the ball. With JaVale McGee recovering from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his tibia, Nurkic is expected to start the season as the Nuggets’ backup center.