The Jazz enter the offseason with more flexibility than most teams, but will need to decide how much of their roster they want to keep, writes Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. Ricky Rubio, Thabo Sefolosha and Ekpe Udoh will all be free agents, while five other players – Derrick Favors, Kyle Korver, Georges Niang, Raul Neto and Royce O’Neale – have either partially guaranteed or non-guaranteed contracts for next season.
Larsen expects O’Neale ($1.618MM for 2019/20) and Niang ($1.645MM) to be brought back because they are bargains at their current price. He adds that if Sefolosha or Udoh returns, it will likely be at a reduced salary.
The Jazz can clear up to $36.8 million in cap room by letting that whole group go, enough to offer a max deal in free agency. No matter how much is available, the priority will be to find more outside shooting.
“Adding a sniper at any position is something we’re going to have to strongly evaluate,” GM Dennis Lindsey said.
There’s more news out of Utah:
- Another option for the Jazz is to revisit trade talks with the Grizzlies regarding point guard Mike Conley, Larsen adds in the same story. The teams weren’t able to work out a deal before the February deadline, and the Jazz were upset with Memphis’ front office because so much of the rumored trade became public. “Unfortunately, a team leaked something, and it was unethical,” Lindsey said.
- The Jazz will consider all possibilities at point guard this summer, sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic. Those include bringing Rubio back, searching for a replacement in free agency or turning the position over to Donovan Mitchell.
- Management was expecting this to be Favors’ final season with the team, but he played so well that they will consider picking up his $16.9MM deal for next year, Jones adds. A decision will have to be made by July 6.
- Mitchell tells Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News he was frustrated by how the season turned out and plans to use the summer to get in better shape. “This is going to be huge for me just for my confidence standpoint and just to getting my mind, my body right and looking at guys and competing against guys like James Harden, Chris Paul and all those guys,” Mitchell said. “If I want to be like those guys, I’ve got to work and train like those guys and I think that’s where it starts.”