Utah Jazz

Jazz, Favors Unlikely To Renegotiate Contract Before Deadline

The Jazz and Derrick Favors are unlikely to renegotiate and extend the big man’s contract before Tuesday’s deadline, Favors’ agent tells Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). Assuming his contract is unchanged this week, Favors will remain on track to reach unrestricted free agency in 2018.

There are only about two dozen NBA veterans currently eligible for contract extensions, since the new Collective Bargaining Agreement won’t take effect until July and the old CBA is fairly restrictive on extensions. Of those veterans eligible for an extension, fewer still are eligible to have their contracts renegotiated. However, Favors and teammate George Hill are intriguing renegotiation candidates due to Utah’s salary cap situation.

Generally speaking, players are limited to small raises on veteran extensions, which would dissuade guys like Favors ($11.05MM salary) and Hill ($8MM salary) from working out a new deal early. However, teams below the cap have the option to give a player an immediate raise using cap room, allowing for a more lucrative extension. And as we noted on Saturday, no NBA team is further below the cap in 2016/17 than the Jazz, who have about $13.64MM in cap room. So if Utah wanted to extend either Favors or Hill, the team could use that leftover cap space to bump one of the two up to a near-max salary, and tack on extra years from there.

The deadline for teams to complete contract renegotiations is February 28, so the clock is ticking for the Jazz and their extension candidates. For Favors, at least, it looks like such a deal probably isn’t in the cards. It’s possible that Utah is focused on Hill instead, but I’d expect the veteran point guard to want to explore the open market now that he’s so close to free agency — while Favors has an additional year left on his contract, Hill’s deal expires at season’s end.

Jazz Didn't Want To Mess Chemistry; Exum Stays With Landmark Sports Agency

Five Teams Have Contacted Andrew Bogut

The Cavaliers, Spurs, Rockets, Celtics and Jazz have talked to representatives for center Andrew Bogut over the past 24 hours, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical.

The 32-year-center has reportedly been negotiating a buyout with the Sixers ever since Thursday’s trade that sent him from Dallas to Philadelphia. Bogut must be waived before Wednesday’s deadline to be eligible for the post-season with another team.

Bogut hasn’t reported to the Sixers, but Charania relays that he spoke to coach Brett Brown over the phone. Bogut said he has respect for Brown and the culture of the team, but he wants to help a championship contender.

Of the five teams in Charania’s report, Utah has a massive financial advantage with $13.64MM in available cap space. That’s enough for the Jazz to claim Bogut’s entire $11MM contract once he hits waivers. Houston made two deals this week to clear cap room and has about $3.54MM open. Boston is $1.1MM under the cap, while Cleveland and San Antonio are both over.

The NBA ruled on Thursday that Bogut could rejoin the Warriors, even though they traded him in July, but so far there hasn’t been any indication that Golden State is interested in a reunion.

NBA Teams Below Salary Cap For 2016/17

At this point in the season, most teams aren’t going to do much with any leftover cap room. Teams are no longer able to make trades, and most free agents still on the market won’t demand more than the minimum.

Still, there’s reason to consider which teams remain below the cap after this week’s trade activity. With useful veteran players potentially hitting the free agent market as a result of contract buyouts, a team with some extra cap room might have a leg up on teams without any spending flexibility.

For instance, if the Rockets and Warriors were to pursue the same free agent – perhaps Andrew Bogut, if he’s bought out by the Sixers – Houston could offer a deal worth up to about $3.5MM with cap room, while Golden State would be limited to offering a prorated minimum salary worth closer to $400K. That’s a significant difference.

It’s also worth keeping an eye on teams that remain below the minimum salary floor, since those clubs could enter the bidding for a bought-out player or could claim a player off waivers. The Jazz, for instance, probably don’t need a big man like Bogut, but if they wanted him and he became available, Utah has enough cap room to claim his entire $11MM+ contract. That would keep him off the open market and allow the Jazz to surpass the salary floor.

Using our Salary Cap Snapshots, let’s take a closer look at the teams below the cap, starting with teams still below the salary floor:

Teams below the salary floor:

  1. Utah Jazz: $13.64MM below cap ($4.23MM below floor)
  2. Minnesota Timberwolves: $12.66MM below cap ($3.24MM below floor)
  3. Denver Nuggets: $11.56MM below cap ($2.15MM below floor)
  4. Brooklyn Nets: $10.21MM below cap ($793K below floor)

Less than a month ago, there were six teams below the salary floor. Since then, the Nets and Nuggets have taken major steps toward the floor, while the Suns and Sixers have gotten above it entirely. That leaves the Jazz and Timberwolves as the clubs furthest below the salary floor.

As we’ve noted in the past, there’s no real penalty if a team remains below the floor — the team simply has to make up the difference by paying their current players a little more money. However, the Jazz and Wolves figure to be mulling other opportunities to reach the floor. That could mean placing a waiver claim or – in Utah’s case – renegotiating a contract.

We haven’t heard any rumors lately about the Jazz discussing a new deal with an extension-eligible veteran like George Hill or Derrick Favors, so that seems like a long shot. But the team does have until the end of February to renegotiate and extend either player’s contract, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Teams below the cap, but above the floor:

  1. Phoenix Suns: $9.226MM below cap
  2. Philadelphia 76ers: $8.62MM below cap
  3. Indiana Pacers: $4.14MM below cap
  4. Boston Celtics: $1.11MM below cap

Although the Suns and Sixers have inched above the salary floor, they’re not necessarily out of the woods quite yet. Phoenix needs the contracts of Jared Sullinger and Mike Scott to pass through waivers unclaimed, while the Sixers will require the same for Bogut if they eventually cut him. If any of those deals are claimed, they’ll move to another team’s cap, pushing Phoenix or Philadelphia back below the floor.

Teams that could clear cap room by renouncing exceptions:

  1. Houston Rockets: $3.54MM below cap if TPEs are renounced (largest TPE: $3.33MM)
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder: $3.05MM below cap if lone TPE ($4.94MM) is renounced
  3. Milwaukee Bucks: $1.75MM below cap if TPEs are renounced (largest TPE: $5MM)
  4. Chicago Bulls: $1.59MM below cap if lone TPE ($5.46MM) is renounced

These teams are technically over the cap, but could go under if they chose to renounce their trade exceptions. In some cases, that might not make much sense. For instance, the Bucks and Bulls would have less than $2MM in cap room if they renounced their exceptions. Both teams have trade exceptions worth at least $5MM, so it probably makes sense to stay over the cap for now and see if those exceptions come in handy around the draft.

On the other hand, the amount of cap room the Rockets would have if they renounced their trade exceptions would be greater than the amount of their largest TPE, so it makes sense for Houston to dip below the cap, expunging those TPEs from their books. That would also allow the Rockets to use cap room to sign a free agent, something they couldn’t do using a trade exception.

The rest of the NBA’s 18 teams don’t currently have cap room. That includes the Lakers, whose moves this week took them over the cap by just $316K.

Mavs Working On Buyout Agreement With Deron Williams

2:57 PM: Dallas has told Williams that the team will pay him the full remaining amount of his $9MM salary if he would like to become a free agent, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link).

2:37 PM: The Mavericks are working with Deron Williams to come to an agreement on a buyout, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). The scribe adds that the Cavs, Jazz, and Hawks expressed interest in the point guard via trade. There would presumably be more teams interested in him should he hit the open market.

Williams sat out practice over the last two days with what coach Rick Carlisle is calling a “pending situation,” Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). Williams is making $9MM this season after signing a one-year deal to return the Mavs during the offseason.

Dallas will be thin at the point guard position if it cuts ties with Williams. J.J. Barea remains out with a calf injury and he’s expected to miss at least three more contests. MacMahon (Twitter link) notes that the team could look to add a player via another 10-day deal.

The ESPN scribe adds that the team is preparing to give its top point guard spot to rookie Yogi Ferrell. Ferrell got his chance in Dallas after signing a 10-day contract earlier this season. He thrived in the starting role and helped the team get back into the playoff picture, as the Mavs sit just three games behind the Nuggets in the Western Conference’s eighth seed race.

Pierre Jackson is a player to keep an eye on later in the season, though that’s merely my speculation. Jackson was playing well for Dallas before straining his hamstring, an event that led the team to sign Ferrell. The injury was nearly a month ago and if Jackson is healthy enough to play, he could be a candidate to come to the team. However, it’s worth noting that a deal would have to be for the remainder of the season since Dallas already signed him to two 10-day deals.

Celtics, Cavs, Pacers, Others Stand Pat At Deadline

A number of teams who had been considered good bets to make trades at the deadline opted to stand pat, unable to find any deals to their liking, according to various reports. Here’s a breakdown of some of the teams that decided not to make a move:

  • The Celtics didn’t make a trade today, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). All of Boston’s assets, including the Nets’ next two first-rounders, remain under team control.
  • In essence, Kyle Korver was the big deadline acquisition for the Cavaliers, who stood pat today, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Not only did the Pacers keep Paul George, but the team didn’t make any move to fortify the roster either, according to Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star and Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports (Twitter links).
  • A source tells Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press that the Pistons didn’t make any trades today. In a tweet, Ellis expresses doubts about just how “available” some of Detroit’s players were.
  • The Kings fielded offers for Ben McLemore, Darren Collison, and Arron Afflalo, but will wait until the summer to make more trades, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.
  • The Jazz also made no deadline deals, per Andy Larsen of Salt Lake City Hoops and KSL.com (Twitter link).

Trade Rumors: C. Lee, Clippers, Pacers, Jazz, Kings

Earlier today, we heard that the Clippers recently showed interest in Courtney Lee, and according to Ian Begley and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, the Clips and Knicks continue to talk. New York has been seeking draft picks in discussions on Lee and other players, and the Clippers don’t have any immediate first-rounders to offer, as Begley notes. So if the Knicks want to send Lee to Los Angeles, they may have to settle for a player or get a third team involved.

Here are more of the latest trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Pacers have been talking to teams about possible trades that would allow them to clear roster spots, tweets ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. As Windhorst notes, teams suspect that might be related to their talks with the Celtics regarding Paul George. Of course, Indiana may also just be doing due diligence as well in case Boston ups its offer — the Pacers wouldn’t want to be stuck having to waive useful players to make a deal work.
  • The Jazz don’t appear likely at this point to make a deal, says Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (via Twitter). TNT’s David Aldridge notes (via Twitter) that Utah could still make a move for Deron Williams, but if Williams isn’t dealt, the veteran point guard won’t ask for a buyout from the Mavericks.
  • The Kings continue to mull their options, but don’t appear to be moving forward with talks for players like Darren Collison and Arron Afflalo for now, according to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post (Twitter link), who adds that Sacramento’s asking prices may be too high. If those prices come down, things could change.
  • The Wizards continue to work the phones, but aren’t overly optimistic about getting another deal done by the deadline, tweets Bontemps.
  • The market for Iman Shumpert appears to be cooling as the deadline approaches, per Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net (Twitter link). Amico says that teams are asking for a draft pick from the Cavaliers, and Cleveland doesn’t have many picks left.

Deveney’s Latest: Tucker, Favors, Gallinari, Anthony

P.J. Tucker‘s expiring, affordable contract makes him the player most likely to be dealt before today’s trade deadline, according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. The Suns are holding out for a first-round pick for the veteran small forward, even if it’s a future first-rounder that they can use down the road as an asset, Deveney continues. The Jazz, Celtics, Clippers, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Hawks and Bulls have all shown interest in Tucker, giving the Suns hope they can get a first-round pick for him, Deveney adds.

Deveney touched on a number of other players who could be wearing a different uniform by the end of the day:

  • Luxury-tax concerns have the Jazz exploring the market for power forward Derrick Favors. Rudy Gobert‘s extension kicks in next season and Utah is hopeful of re-signing Gordon Hayward in the likelihood he opts out of the final year of his current contract this summer. That makes Favors expendable but his nagging knee injury has tempered the market for him.
  • Danilo Gallinari is drawing more interest on the market than fellow Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler. Denver is seeking a first-rounder for either player but Gallinari’s ability to opt out of his contract after the season makes it more difficult for the Nuggets to get value for him.
  • Carmelo Anthony is likely to stay put unless Knicks president Phil Jackson can revive talks with the Clippers. Jackson is also trying to deal free agents he signed last summer — Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah — for draft picks.
  • The Hawks, Hornets and Bucks have shown interest in point guard Darren Collison as the Kings continue their latest rebuild in the wake of the DeMarcus Cousins blockbuster.
  • The Bulls, Pacers and possibly the Mavericks are still in play as potential suitors for Sixers power forward Jahlil Okafor but Philadelphia is not determined to move him unless it gets the right package.
  • The Mavericks are hopeful of getting a first-rounder for either Andrew Bogut or Deron Williams but may be willing to settle for a couple of second-rounders.

Derrick Favors' Agent Not Expecting Trade

  • Based on his knowledge of the offers the Jazz have received, agent Wallace Prather doesn’t expect the club to move his client Derrick Favors before Thursday’s deadline, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. However, Prather acknowledged that things could change as the last minute.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/22/17

Here are Wednesday’s D-League assignments and recalls:

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