After making the Western Conference Semifinals in 2018, the Jazz kept their roster relatively intact and won another 50 games during the 2018/19 regular season. However, a quick first-round exit has the team thinking about potential roster changes this offseason, writes Mike Sorensen of The Deseret News.
“We want to move the group forward,” general manager Dennis Lindsey said on Thursday. “And while we have a very good team, the results told us that we don’t have a great team.”
A handful of Utah’s veterans, including Ricky Rubio and Derrick Favors, are either headed for unrestricted free agency or have non-guaranteed salaries for next season, meaning there’s no guarantee they’ll be back. While Lindsey praised the “collective character” of the current group, he acknowledged that the roster could look different by the time the 2019/20 season gets underway.
“It’s got to fit the salary structure, it’s got to be a value add that they’re bringing something we don’t have and it has to be a really good fit,” Lindsey said of potential new additions. “We’ll certainly make every attempt to examine every piece of the organization, player personnel included, and try to move this group forward.”
Here’s more on the Jazz:
- Favors, who has a $16MM non-guaranteed salary for next season, expressed a desire to stick with the Jazz, as Sorensen relays: “I prefer to come back here, the grass is not always greener. I’m here with a good organization. It’s been a blessing, I’ve enjoyed my time here and hopefully it can continue.”
- While Rubio also said he’d like to return to the Jazz, his comments weren’t quite as unequivocal as Favors’, Sorensen notes. “One thing I’m going to look for sure is going to be the best situation for me with the coach and the team,” Rubio said. “I want to be happy, I’m going to try to find the best situation for me to be me and be happy.”
- We should expect Utah to target shooters and play-makers in free agency this summer, in an effort to take some pressure off leading scorer Donovan Mitchell, writes John Coon of The Associated Press. Speaking of Mitchell, he believes the Jazz can make a strong pitch to free agent targets due to their collection of “unselfish” players who just want to win (Twitter link via Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune).
- Joe Ingles believes the Jazz aren’t far off from being an “unbelievable” team, writes Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News.
- In an Insider-only article, ESPN’s Bobby Marks takes an in-depth look at Utah’s upcoming offseason from a cap perspective.