The Jazz are “poking around” the market for a point guard, several league sources tell Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. It’s not entirely clear if such efforts are related to the team’s reported 10-day deal with Erick Green, though it would seem given the timing of that agreement, so soon after Raul Neto suffered a concussion Monday, that the team had already been looking. The Heat reportedly rebuffed Utah when it tried to engage them in Mario Chalmers trade talks over the offseason, but the Jazz’s interest in Chalmers was minimal, according to Lowe. The ESPN scribe speculates about other options, including Jrue Holiday, whose leg issues leave teams “petrified” and whom the Pelicans are reluctant to deal, anyway, Lowe reports. Lowe also believes Jeff Teague would be a fit for Utah, but reports that the Hawks have had “major trust issues” with backup Dennis Schröder and are focused on contending this season. In any case, the Jazz appear reluctant to pilfer from their store of future picks, which includes the Warriors unprotected 2017 first-rounder as the relative cost of rookie scale contracts becomes cheaper amid the rapid salary cap escalation, Lowe writes.
“Picks are that much more valuable,” GM Dennis Lindsey said to Lowe.
See more from Utah:
- The impending financial realities threaten the core of the Jazz, as Lowe details in the same piece, and Gordon Hayward, who can opt out after next season, acknowledged to Lowe that they cast a shadow on his future. “I’m constantly thinking about that,” Hayward said. “Contracts are so short now. A lot of our guys are on their rookie deals, and they’ll come up for extensions. It all might determine whether or not I stay in Utah.”
- The Oklahoman’s Anthony Slater examines the surprising lack of legitimate rumors about Kevin Durant‘s impending free agency, writing that the idea of the Thunder star signing a deal that would allow him to opt out after just one season “has gained traction.” It’s not clear whether that idea is growing on Durant himself or if more people are simply realizing that it would likely represent the most lucrative path for the former MVP. That would allow him to take advantage of a projected $108MM cap for the summer of 2017 and a higher maximum-salary tier, since he’d be a 10-year veteran.
- The playmaking ability of Trail Blazers offseason acquisitions Mason Plumlee and Ed Davis has helped alleviate the pressure from incumbent guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, as Mike Richman of The Oregonian examines. Plumlee will be eligible for a rookie scale extension in the offseason.