Utah Jazz

Free Agent Rumors: Durant, Anderson, Mahinmi

Kevin Durant‘s meeting with the Clippers has concluded, and Durant was “blown away” by the team’s presentation, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (via Twitter). It’s hard to know yet exactly what that means, since Durant was also reportedly impressed with the Warriors‘ pitch earlier in the day — it would probably be more newsworthy if Durant had been unimpressed by one of the teams’ presentations. In any case, the former MVP has sit-downs with the Spurs and Celtics on tap for tomorrow, then is expected to meet with the Heat on Sunday – and possibly the Thunder again after that – before making his decision.

Let’s check in on a few more free agent updates from across the NBA…

  • The Raptors had a meeting today in Los Angeles with free agent forward Ryan Anderson, writes Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Times. Toronto inquired on Anderson at the trade deadline as well, as Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca tweets, but the team would have to clear salary from its cap – and possible let Bismack Biyombo go – in order to have any shot at signing him.
  • Ian Mahinmi won’t return to Indiana, with the Pacers set to add Al Jefferson, but Mahinmi has no shortage of suitors, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com (Twitter links). Aldridge identifies the Spurs, Wizards, Timberwolves, Hornets, Mavericks, Trail Blazers, and Magic as clubs in the mix for the free agent center.
  • The Nets have put a two-year, $18MM offer on the table for Jared Dudley, who is still receiving interest from the Jazz and Suns, reports John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link).
  • The Spurs, Nets, and Bulls have expressed interest in free agent big man Jordan Hill, a source tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News (Twitter link).
  • The Timberwolves have been very active, reaching out to many free agents during the first day of July. Jamal Crawford and Randy Foye were among the players to receive a call from the Wolves today, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News and Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune, respectively (Twitter links).
  • Veteran big man Kris Humphries is a strong candidate to return to the Nets, a source tells Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link). Brooklyn was one of six teams mentioned as a potential Humphries suitor earlier today.

Western Rumors: Anderson, Rockets, Bazemore

The Rockets are scheduled to meet with Ryan Anderson on Saturday morning, a source tells Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The Kings are also still in the mix for Anderson, writes James Ham of CSN California — Sam Amick of USA Today adds (via Twitter) that Sacramento reached out to the veteran forward right when free agency opened last night. According to Amick (via Twitter), Anderson still has at least four serious suitors, including Houston and Sacramento.

Here are several more free agent rumors and updates from across the Western Conference:

  • The Timberwolves have expressed “strong interest” in Kent Bazemore, according to Michael Scotto of The Associated Press (Twitter link). Minnesota is in the market for a veteran wing, having reached out to Luol Deng as well. Of course, the Wolves also made an effort to trade for Jimmy Butler during last week’s draft.
  • The Jazz are scheduled to have a second meeting today with free agent sharpshooter Jared Dudley, reports Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter links). Jones cautions that both sides still have multiple options in play, with Dudley generating “real interest” from the Suns too.
  • Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee tweets that he keeps hearing the Kings don’t intend to sign Rajon Rondo.
  • With his free agency underway, Trail Blazers RFA Allen Crabbe has changed his representation, hiring Aaron Mintz and Ty Sullivan of CAA Sports, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link).
  • The Spurs have expressed some interest in free agent big man Willie Reed, sources inform Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • Dewayne Dedmon, a Magic restricted free agent, has drawn interest from the Warriors, a source tells Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).

Interest High In Solomon Hill

Several teams have contacted Pacers free agent small forward Solomon Hill, tweets David Aldridge of TNT. The Jazz, Grizzlies and Bulls are all interested, with Utah needing a replacement in case Gordon Hayward leaves in free agency next summer.

The Mavericks are also expected to aggressively pursue Hill (Twitter link). Dallas small forward Chandler Parsons seems likely to sign elsewhere, and the Mavericks’ top target to replace him, Nicolas Batum, re-signed with the Hornets this morning.

The 6’7″ Hill is a three-year veteran out of Arizona who has spent his entire career in Indiana. He averaged just 4.2 points and 2.8 rebounds, with a .324 3PT%, in 59 games this season, but increased those averages to 7.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and a .579 3PT% in the playoffs, when he was relied on more heavily.

Jazz Among Teams Interested In Harkless

  • Several teams are expected to pursue Blazers restricted free agent Maurice Harkless, posts Marc Spears on ESPN Now. A source tells Spears that the Wizards, Pistons, Lakers, Mavericks and Jazz are all interested.

FA Rumors: DeRozan, Crawford, Clippers, Dudley

Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News has updates on a pair of free agent shooting guards, reporting (via Twitter) that the Sixers and Lakers have inquired tonight on DeMar DeRozan, who is meeting with the Raptors in Los Angeles. Toronto remains the strong favorite to re-sign DeRozan. Wolfson also tweets that Jamal Crawford has received calls tonight from the Sixers, Knicks, Clippers, Magic, and Heat.

Here’s more from across the NBA:

  • In addition to reaching out to Crawford tonight, the Clippers also met with Austin Rivers in Orlando and Jeff Green in Miami, doing due diligence on their pending free agents, tweets Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. After meeting with the Clips, Rivers is expected to talk to the Knicks and possibly the Trail Blazers on Friday, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link).
  • The Nets, Jazz, and Suns are among the teams in pursuit of Jared Dudley, with the Wizards also in the hunt to bring back the veteran sharpshooter, tweets ESPN’s Marc Stein. Utah had a meeting with Dudley tonight, according to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link).
  • League sources continue to tell Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link) that the Kings may be preparing a “significant” offer for restricted free agent Dion Waiters. The Thunder would have the opportunity to match an offer sheet, but may not be aggressive in trying to retain Waiters now that they have Victor Oladipo.
  • The Thunder were indeed among the teams to reach out to Al Horford tonight, per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. A Thursday report indicated that Oklahoma City has its eye on Horford as part of its pitch to keep Kevin Durant.
  • Speaking of Durant, during The Vertical’s free agency show tonight, Wojnarowski said that Jay-Z and Roc Nation tried to push Durant to take a free agent meeting with the Nets, but KD dismissed that idea (Twitter link via Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily).

Jazz, Wolves, Others Reach Out To Luol Deng

Several teams have reached out to Luol Deng during the opening hours of free agency, according to multiple reports. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter links) says the Timberwolves, Celtics, Heat, and Wizards all called on Deng tonight, while Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical adds the Jazz and Clippers to that list (Twitter link via Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald).

Utah is expected to be “very aggressive” in its pursuit of Deng, per Wojnarowski. Meanwhile, Wolfson notes that Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached Deng in Chicago, is expected to talk to the veteran free agent during the day tomorrow.

We heard back in May that Deng was expected to receive a two-year deal that paid at least $12MM annually, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his price has increased since then, with free-agent estimates around the league having been consistently creeping higher.

FA Rumors: Turner, Batum, Gasol, Lin, Kings

The Knicks, Bulls, Pelicans, Mavericks, Lakers, and Grizzlies are in the mix for Evan Turner, a source tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. No meetings have been finalized yet for Turner, but it sounds like he’ll meet with at least a few of those suitors. According to Deveney, there’s also still a possibility that the Celtics will re-enter the picture for Turner.

Here are more free agent updates from around the NBA:

  • Unsurprisingly, Nicolas Batum, who has generated interest from Dallas, New York, Charlotte, and a few other teams, is seeking a max contract, tweets Deveney.
  • According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, Trail Blazers and the Timberwolves are expected to be among the suitors for Pau Gasol, who has also been linked to Golden State, New York, and San Antonio.
  • Jeremy Lin‘s price tag is expected to be in the neighborhood of $12-14MM per year, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter).
  • The Kings have expressed interest in Dion Waiters and Allen Crabbe, per Wojnarowski (link via RealGM.com). Sacramento has also reached out to Courtney Lee, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com.
  • Jazz free agent Trevor Booker is drawing interest from multiple teams and is expected to have a starting salary around $10MM, sources tell Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link).

Latest Free Agency News

  • The Wizards want to re-sign unrestricted free agent Jared Dudley, but the Jazz are expected to make a run at the forward this summer as well, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets.
  • On team that is indeed interested in Anderson are the Jazz, who plan to be aggressive this offseason in recruiting free agents, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune writes. However, Utah is unlikely to land the stretch-four, Jones adds, classifying Luol Deng and Hill as more realistic targets.

Jazz Place Trey Burke On Trade Block

The three-way trade between the Hawks, Jazz, and Pacers that will send George Hill to Utah isn’t yet official, but Utah is already making plans to account for the team’s crowded depth chart at the point guard position. According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the Jazz have made former ninth overall pick Trey Burke available in trade talks.

When Utah’s acquisition of Hill was first reported, I speculated that the move may push Burke to the trade block, and I was far from the only one, so Stein’s report doesn’t come as a real surprise. If the Jazz can find a taker for the former Michigan star, they’ll likely move forward with Hill as the starting point guard and Dante Exum as his backup. Shelvin Mack, Raul Neto, and second-round draftees Marcus Paige and Tyrone Wallace could all be vying for roster spots and roles as well.

[RELATED: Utah Jazz depth chart at RosterResource.com]

Burke, who entered the league in 2013, was Utah’s primary starter at point guard in his first two seasons, averaging 12.8 points and 5.0 assists per game over the course of 146 contests. However, he struggled with his shot in his first two years in the NBA, making just 37.4% of his field-goal attempts, including 32.4% from beyond the arc.

The Jazz moved Burke into a reserve role in 2015/16, reducing his minutes, and he responded by upping his FG% to 41.3% — he’s also still just 23 years old, so there’s room for further growth. Still, with Exum around, and Hill now in the picture as well, the team doesn’t appear to have Burke in its long-term plans.

If he’s dealt during the 2016/17 league year, Burke’s $3.387MM salary shouldn’t be too difficult for potential suitors to accommodate. He’s eligible for a contract extension this offseason, and could become a restricted free agent in 2017 if he’s not extended.

Jazz Interested In Solomon Hill, Luol Deng

4:14pm: The Jazz are also expected to have interest in Heat forward Luol Deng, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, Andy Larsen of KSL.com relays (via Twitter). It remains to be seen if Deng would be willing to accept a reserve role with Utah, given his longtime status as a starter in the league and the fact that the Jazz aren’t expected to be title contenders in 2016/17.

3:58pm: Solomon Hill was a first-round pick in 2013, but rather than heading for restricted free agency a year from now, he’ll reach the open market later as an unrestricted free agent this week, since the Pacers turned down his fourth-year option for 2016/17 last fall. According to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune, the Jazz are one of the teams with interest in Hill, whose market will be “fertile,” per Jones’ source.

Hill, who started 78 games for the Pacers in 2014/15, moved back to a bench role this past season, and saw his minutes slashed significantly. In 59 games (14.7 MPG), Hill averaged 4.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and posted a .447 FG%.

Despite those modest numbers though, Hill is aiming high in free agency. As Jones explains, the 25-year-old is a versatile perimeter defender capable of playing shooting guard, small forward, and power forward, and he played his best ball in the playoffs this spring. In Indiana’s first-round loss to the Raptors, Hill was a crucial bench piece for the Pacers, averaging 7.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, while shooting an impressive 57.9% from three-point range (he made 2.0 threes per game).

Add it all up and the former Arizona standout will be seeking between $9-13MM per year in free agency, according to Jones, who suggests that more than one team will be willing to meet that number. Jones hints that Utah could be one of those clubs, pointing out that the Jazz are well below the projected salary cap floor at the moment. Hill and the Jazz are believed to have mutual interest, Jones writes.

While the Jazz aren’t likely to offer Hill the opportunity to start, the free-agent-to-be is being advised to look for an ideal fit, not necessarily simply a spot in a starting lineup, sources tell Jones.

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