Utah Jazz

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Mudiay, Blazers

The Jazz have a logjam at point guard behind Dante Exum that they must sort out prior to next season’s opener, Randy Hollis of the Deseret News reports. The trio of Trey Burke, Bryce Cotton and Raul Neto could be fighting it out for two roster spots during training camp, though GM Dennis Lindsey indicated that it’s possible the team could carry four point guards into next season, Hollis continues. Cotton’s quickness and entertaining style make him a candidate to be the second-stringer and displace Burke, a lottery pick whose shooting issues have pushed him to the bench, Hollis adds. The logjam could be broken by trading Burke, who is rumored to be on the block and doesn’t seem to fit coach Quin Snyder’s system, Hollis concludes.

In other news around the Northwest Division:

  • The Nuggets’ lottery pick Emmanuel Mudiay will be the starter at point guard, Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post opines. While Denver has a safety net in veteran Jameer Nelson, it’s clear that the Nuggets are committed to making Mudiay their floor leader in his rookie season, Dempsey adds. The only concerns are monitoring his workload and allowing him to work through his mistakes, something Nuggets GM Tim Connelly addressed with Dempsey. “We don’t want to put too much pressure on him,” Connelly said. “He’s a 19-year-old kid. We saw some good in summer league and we also saw some bad. I thought that he struggled shooting the ball. We’ve got to improve his free throw line percentage. But I think you see things like positional size, natural playmaking ability, and kind of the will and the approach to be great that excites us.”
  • Blazers coach Terry Stotts spent a sizable portion of the summer league evaluating five players under contract with the team — Allen Crabbe, Noah Vonleh, Luis Montero, Pat Connaughton and Tim Frazier — and was particularly pleased with Crabbe and Vonleh, Mike Richman of The Oregonian writes. The Blazers added nine new players and are entering a transition season after LaMarcus Aldridge‘s departure. Portland does have some young and athletic talent, however, which has Stotts optimistic, Richman adds.

Dana Gauruder contributed to this post.

2015/16 Roster Counts: Utah Jazz

During the offseason it’s OK for teams to carry as many as 20 players, but clubs must trim their rosters down to a maximum of 15 by opening night. In the meantime, some teams will hang around that 15-man line, while others will max out their roster counts. Some clubs may actually have more than 15 contracts that are at least partially guaranteed on the books. That means they’ll end up paying players who won’t be on the regular season roster, unless they can find trade partners.

With plenty more movement still to come, here’s the latest look at the Jazz’s roster size, the contract guarantee status of each player, and how each player came to be on Utah’s roster.

(Last Updated 7-23-15, 8:00pm)

Fully Guaranteed (13)

  • Trevor Booker (F) — 6’8″/27 years old. Free agent signing.
  • Trey Burke (G) — 6’1″/22 years old. Draft rights acquired via Timberwolves.
  • Alec Burks (G) — 6’6″/23 years old. Drafted with No. 12 overall pick in 2011.
  • Dante Exum (G) — 6’6″/20 years old. Drafted with No. 5 overall pick in 2014.
  • Derrick Favors (F) — 6’10″/24 years old. Acquired via trade with Nets.
  • Rudy Gobert (C) — 7’1″/23 years old. Draft rights acquired via Nuggets.
  • Gordon Hayward (F) — 6’8″/25 years old. Drafted with No. 9 overall pick in 2010.
  • Rodney Hood (G/F) — 6’8″/22 years old. Drafted with No. 23 overall pick in 2014.
  • Joe Ingles (F) — 6’8″/27 years old. Claimed off waivers from Clippers.
  • Grant Jerrett (F) — 6’10″/22 years old. Acquired via trade with Thunder.
  • Trey Lyles (F) — 6’10″/19 years old. Drafted with No. 12 overall pick in 2015.
  • Raul Neto (G) — 6’1″/23 years old. Draft rights acquired via Hawks.
  • Tibor Pleiss (C) — 7’0″/20 years old. Draft rights acquired via Thunder.

Partially Guaranteed (0)

  • None

Non-Guaranteed (4)

10-Day Contracts (0)

  • N/A


Northwest Notes: Lawson, Contract Details, Exum

Nuggets team president Josh Kroenke told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that the team had been privately trying to help Ty Lawson with his drinking issues for the past couple of years and that there had been problems for a long time. Kroenke indicated that he had repeated conversations with Lawson about his struggles, and noted that Lawson often said he would attempt to fix his issues but he could never fully shake them, Spears adds. Lawson was recently traded to the Rockets.

He always had an affinity for burning the candle at both ends,” Kroenke said. “We want to give our players freedom to be young guys as well. We’re not going to be drill sergeants. But we want our guys to be able to handle their personal lives on their own. Ty … there were times when he was better than others. But the problems have been there for several years, going back to when we were having a lot of on-court success. I don’t want to go back too far. There were just a lot of times where you were at practice and you just know. You could smell it. You know there is probably deeper issues than he would probably let on.

Here’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • GM Tim Connelly said it was a difficult choice for the Nuggets to trade Lawson, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post writes. It was a tough day,” said Connelly. “Ty was a huge part of our success here. He’s certainly one of the really talented lead guards. Sometimes a change of scenery is best for both parties. Where we were, it made sense to make the move.
  • Raul Neto‘s three-year pact with the Jazz will see him earn $900K for the 2015/16 season, $937,800 the following season, and $1,014,746 during the 2017/18 campaign, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Joe Ingles‘ two-year deal with Utah will pay him $2.150MM for each season, Pincus adds.
  • Al-Farouq Aminu‘s contract with the Blazers will pay him $8,042,995 this season, $7,680,956 in 2016/17, $7,319,035 the following year, and $6,957,105 in 2018/19, Pincus relays (on Twitter). Ed Davis‘ three-year deal will pay him $6,980,802, $6,666,667, and $6,352,531 respectively, notes Pincus.
  • Jazz point guard Dante Exum knows that he needs to improve his outside shooting if he hopes to emerge as a star in the NBA, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders writes. “I think just the consistency of it, being straight, being on target, even if I’m not making them—as long as it’s still a good looking shot and it feels good,” Exum said regarding the progress that he has made over the summer. “I think that’s the most important thing. … Once it gets into the game and I start playing one-on-one and five-on-five that I get that carryover.

Western Notes: Hammon, Terry, Teletovic, Jazz

Former Nets executive Bobby Marks says he would call Spurs assistant Becky Hammon first if he were running a team and looking for a head coach (Twitter link). Hammon has been a full-time NBA assistant for only one season, but she guided the Spurs to the Las Vegas Summer League title as the first female summer league head coach and commanded the attention of her players, as Sean Deveney of The Sporting News details.

“She’s just a good coach,” said Kyle Anderson, San Antonio’s 2014 first-round pick. “Everybody listens to her like they would anyone else. I mean, she’s the coach.”

The arrival of the first female head coach for regular season play still seems a long way off, but, as Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News points out, the Spurs have once more proven they’re not afraid of innovation. Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Jason Terry confirmed Monday that he’s close to a deal with the Rockets, but Houston has renounced his Bird rights, according to the RealGM transactions log. That means the team is limited to paying him a deal with a starting salary of no more than the roughly $2MM slice of the mid-level exception left over from the K.J. McDaniels signing, which also took up a portion of the mid-level.
  • Upheaval has surrounded the Suns during GM Ryan McDonough‘s first two seasons on the job, but this week he signaled that he’s settled on his main players, as Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic documents. “It took a little while to get to a core we liked but we think we finally have that and have the ability to be successful this year and then hopefully build on that and add to it a year from now when the cap spikes up and we have cap space to bring in guys that help our young core,” McDonough said.
  • The Suns signed Mirza Teletovic for only one year, but they hope to re-sign him to a new deal next summer, Coro writes in the same piece.
  • The Jazz‘s three-year deal with Tibor Pleiss is worth an even $9MM, and the team’s three-year deal with Raul Neto is worth precisely $2,852,546, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).

And-Ones: Gallinari, Belinelli, Jazz, Harrellson

Danilo Gallinari confirmed to Italian media that he and the Nuggets are discussing an extension, as Dario Vismara of Rivista Ufficiale NBA tweets (translation via Sportando’s Orazio Cauchi). Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post reported last week that the team intended to begin talks. The Nuggets can open about $6MM in cap room if they waive both Pablo Prigioni and Kostas Papanikolaou, whom they’re reportedly about to acquire in the deal for Ty Lawson, as former Nets executive Bobby Marks points out (on Twitter). They could use the cap room to give Gallinari a renegotiation and extension, as they did with Wilson Chandler, a maneuver that would be more lucrative for Gallinari than a simple extension. While we wait to see if that’s the route the Nuggets take, here’s more from around the NBA:

  • The Pelicans, Knicks, Clippers, Lakers, Spurs and Warriors all made offers to Marco Belinelli, who instead signed with the Kings, as he said at the same gathering of Italian media, Vismara notes (Twitter link).
  • The salary cap is set to surge next summer, but the 2016 free agent class doesn’t have much depth beyond Kevin Durant and LeBron James, leaving many teams with a conundrum as they face the prospect of a salary floor of some $81MM, as Marks examines for HoopsHype.
  • A work stoppage in 2017 is a “virtual certainty,” an executive from a team recently told Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com, in spite of commissioner Adam Silver’s suggestion to the contrary. Teams are worried that the new TV revenue somehow won’t allow them to keep up with surging payrolls, and clubs that have traditionally relied on revenue sharing figure to take a hit with fewer teams in line to pay into the luxury tax in seasons to come, as Arnovitz details.
  • The Jazz are drawing raves from coaches and GM around the league for their home-grown approach to rebuilding and hesitance to sign mid-tier free agents who’d only help the team make incremental gains, Arnovitz writes in the same piece.
  • Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tells the story of a handful of summer leaguers who carry divergent credentials, including three-year NBA veteran Josh Harrellson, who’s willing to be flexible as he tries to make it back to the NBA now that he’s recovered from a career-threatening back injury. “I think I’ll get a camp invite,” Harrellson said. “My main goal is to get a contract out of this. Even if it’s a partial [guarantee], just something.”

And-Ones: Las Vegas, Motum, Taylor, Lockout

The success of the summer league in Las Vegas has created hopes that the city may one day have its own NBA team, writes Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. Former commissioner David Stern planted the seed during a 2007 meeting with Mayor Oscar Goodman, and the annual summertime gathering has strengthened the city’s position. The 20,000-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena is large enough to house an NBA franchise, and the NHL has started to break down the Las Vegas barrier, announcing recently that the city is a candidate for a future expansion team, along with Seattle and Quebec City. City officials should be patient, though. Celtics president Rich Gotham pointed out that the league has no immediate plans for expansion and that sentiment remains high to put a team in Seattle.

There’s more from around the world of basketball:

  • The Jazz have offered a partially guaranteed contract to forward Brock Motum, tweets Angus Crawford of NBA.com/Australia. Team officials were impressed by his play in the summer league. Motum is “strongly” considering Utah’s offer, but is also listening to teams in Europe (Twitter link).
  • Former Hornet Jeffery Taylor has turned down an offer from Maccabi of the Israeli Premier League, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com. The news was relayed by Taylor’s agent, Todd Ramasar.
  • The new contract that Miroslav Raduljica signed with Panathinaikos in the Greek League includes a $500K escape clause, according to Pick (Twitter link). The Serbian briefly played for the Wolves last season.
  • The NBA is risking its historic success with tough labor talk, writes Tim Bontemps of The New York Post. Both the league and the players’ union issued statements this week, reminding everyone that a potential lockout is just two years away.
  • Sixteen teams still have not used their $2.814MM room exception, tweets former Nets executive Bobby Marks.

Northwest Notes: Lawson, Hanlan, Raduljica

The Nuggets are “firmly behind” point guard Ty Lawson despite his ongoing struggles with alcohol and problems with the law, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Denver GM Tim Connelly issued a statement of support after Lawson was sentenced Friday to alcohol rehab by a Denver judge on a DUI charge. “When one of our guys goes through some issues we support him as a family, and we’re going to stand behind him,” Connelly said. “I don’t want to comment too much on what’s going on in his personal life, but when any of our guys has an issue we all have an issue. And we want to stand firmly behind him.” It was reported earlier this week that the Rockets, Pistons and Lakers have expressed interest in acquiring Lawson.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Utah’s Olivier Hanlan faces a big decision now that summer league is over, according to Jody Genessy of The Deseret News. Hanlan will probably receive a one-year, non-guaranteed contract offer later this summer, which the Jazz must tender to retain his NBA rights. Hanlan can either sign the offer and compete for a roster spot in training camp or he can leave it unsigned — becoming a “stash” player whose rights are retained by the Jazz — and seek a job with a foreign team or in the D-League. Utah already has four point guards under contract, so heading overseas may be Hanlan’s best option. “My agent knows all of this,” he said of Michael Tellem. “He’s been going back and forth with the Jazz. I’ll sit down with him. I’ll know a bit [more] in the next few days.”
  • Miroslav Raduljica, who played briefly with the Wolves last season, tweeted that he will play for Panathinaikos in the Greek League for the next two seasons. The Serbian signed two 10-day contracts with Minnesota in January and appeared in five games, scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds.
  • Blazers coach Terry Stotts liked what he saw out of his collection of young players during summer league, according to Mike Richman of The Oregonian. Portland’s summer league standouts were Noah Vonleh, who was acquired in a June 24 trade with Charlotte, and Allen Crabbe, who played 51 games for the Blazers last season.

Northwest Notes: Lawson, Wolves, Montero

The Nuggets were requesting a first-round pick and a young player in trade talks about Ty Lawson days before his latest DUI-related arrest, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. Opposing teams were showing little to no interest, Spears adds, advancing a report from Yahoo Sports colleague Adrian Wojnarowski, who said that clubs were waiting for Lawson’s price to come down. Now, after the arrest, the Nuggets are in a position where they’re better off waiting for Lawson’s value to bounce back, an assistant GM tells Spears. We asked for your feedback about Lawson on Wednesday night. There’s more on the Nuggets amid the latest from around the Northwest Division:

  • Denver is scanning for trades that provide greater financial and roster flexibility, league sources tell Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. The search is unrelated to Lawson, as Dempsey makes clear. In any case, the report would suggest that the Nuggets are looking to unload a player in a deal that doesn’t bring back anyone in return.
  • Coach/executive Flip Saunders, with the $2.139MM biannual exception and roughly $1.7MM left on the mid-level exception, sounds open to adding a veteran point guard to the Timberwolves, according to Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune (Twitter link via Tribune scribe Jerry Zgoda).
  • The Timberwolves had their choice of three trade exceptions with which they could take in Damjan Rudez from the Pacers, and Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders says they used the $1.5MM Ronny Turiaf exception to do so (Twitter link). That reduces the Turiaf exception, which expires December 19th, to $350,500, essentially exhausting its value.
  • The Oregonian’s Mike Richman chronicles the unusual journey of Luis Montero to his partially guaranteed contract with the Blazers, adding the Knicks, Sixers, Suns and Thunder to the list of teams that previous reports indicated he worked out for prior to the draft.
  • A virtually unusable $88K sliver of the Thunder‘s Thabo Sefolosha trade exception expired Wednesday. Oklahoma City used most of what was originally a $4.15MM exception to trade for Dion Waiters in January.
  • Jazz power forward Trevor Booker‘s salary, which had been partially guaranteed for $250K, is now fully guaranteed for $4.775MM, as our list of salary guarantee dates shows.

Northwest Notes: Lawson, Garnett, Ingles

Ty Lawson was arrested early this morning on suspicion of DUI, his second DUI-related arrest in six months, report Jesse Paul and Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Lawson’s name has come up frequently in trade chatter since before the February deadline, and the teams with interest were waiting for Denver to reduce its price for the point guard, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, adding that today’s news devastates Lawson’s trade value. The Kings were reportedly one of those teams eyeing him and spoke with the Nuggets before the draft, but his off-court issues were a major reason why Sacramento wasn’t willing to give up the No. 6 pick in exchange for him, according to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link).

Here’s the latest out of the Northwest Division:

  •  Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey said that the team’s roster is relatively set for the 2015/16 season, but the team could look to use its available cap space at the trade deadline to add a player who could help the team, Jody Genessy of The Deseret News relays (Twitter links).
  • Joe Ingles‘ base salary with the Jazz on his new contract is $4.1MM but can he increase that payout to $4.4MM via $150K per season worth of performance-based incentives that are included in his deal, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays (Twitter links). This makes Ingles’ cap number for the 2015/16 season $2.15MM, as the NBA deems $100k worth of the incentives likely to be attained, and his 2016/17 cap number will range from $2.05-$2.20MM, Pincus adds.
  • Kevin Garnett‘s two-year deal with the Timberwolves will pay him $8.5MM for the 2015/16 campaign and $8MM in 2016/17, Pincus tweets.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Jazz Sign Tibor Pleiss

JULY 14TH, 5:15pm: The Jazz have officially signed Pleiss to a multiyear deal, the team announced.

JULY 11TH, 8:27pm: Utah is close to reaching a deal with center Tibor Pleiss, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. The three-year deal worth nearly $10MM is expected to be finalized next week after his buyout with Barcelona of the Spanish ACB League is completed. The terms of the buyout have been agreed upon, and only paperwork stands in the way.

The Jazz acquired Pleiss’ NBA rights as part of the Enes Kanter trade at last year’s deadline. He was the 31st pick of the 2010 NBA draft and his rights have been traded three times.

The 25-year-old is considered one of the ACB League’s top centers and has become one of the world’s best passers at that position. The Thunder tried to lure him to the NBA last summer, but the buyout was considered too high.

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