Northwest Notes: Booker, Lyles, Wolves, Jones

The Jazz have a July 15th deadline for a decision on the second year of Trevor Booker‘s contract, tweets Jody Genessy of The Deseret News. Booker is due to make nearly $4.8MM next season if Utah retains him, but only $250K of that is guaranteed. Genessy calls the decision a “no-brainer,” saying the Jazz would be wise to avoid the risks of free agency. (Twitter link). He also tweeted about Utah’s decision to extend a qualifying offer to Joe Ingles, noting that he won the Jazz over with his play in the second part of the season, especially by shooting 42.7% from three-point range.

There’s more news from the Northwest Division:

  • Trey Lyles impressed the Jazz in workouts with his ability in the open floor, Genessy writes. Coach Quinn Snyder said Lyles caught the team’s attention with the way he was able to rebound the ball on the defensive end, then push it up court and create opportunities for teammates. “We’ve alluded to the concept of being unselfish,” said GM Dennis Lindsey. “When I saw him play on tape and then here, that resonated with me.” The GM noted that Lyles posted the highest score on an advanced balance test of 104 players who participated in workouts.
  • The Wolves aren’t expected to be major players in free agency, according to Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. The team is expected to try to re-sign veteran forward Kevin Garnett and reach a deal with European Nemanja Bjelica, but otherwise won’t be very active. “I’m actually, right now at this point, pretty comfortable,” said Minnesota coach/executive Flip Saunders. Garnett made $12MM last season, but Zgoda estimates his new salary will be around $8MM, and possibly part of a two-year deal that includes an opt-out after the first season. Saunders indicated he would also like to bring back restricted free agent Robbie Hummel, who made $880K last year.
  • The Wolves had been looking for a veteran point guard before the draft, Zgoda writes in the same story, but those plans changed when they were able to acquire Tyus Jones from the Cavaliers on draft night. Minnesota may try to reach a cost-effective deal to keep fourth guard Lorenzo Brown, but Saunders said he is “pretty comfortable” with Jones and Zach LaVine backing up Ricky Rubio.
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