Jazz Rumors

Northwest Notes: Exum, Wiggins, Towns

Dante Exum will be a restricted free agent this offseason and the Jazz are hoping to re-sign their former No. 5 overall pick.

“We hope to retain him,” said Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey (via Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News). “Obviously there’s a lot of conversations and in a free agent market, it’s hard to predict. Dante’s done his job, he’s had some unfortunate things happen. We don’t think he’s injury prone — things happen to young players. He’s the right guy, he’s got the right level of talent. You don’t get the same package of speed and size. It’s our job to develop him but we’ll see what happens.”

Exum is unlikely to supplant Ricky Rubio as the starting point guard any time soon, so there may be a limit on what Utah is willing to pay him. The 23-year-old isn’t focused on his next payday right now. He’s simply trying to get better this offseason. “I think the Jazz want me back, so hopefully it all works out. My agent’s going to take care of that and I think for me as a player, I just need to control what I can control,” the point guard said.

Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz would also like to have Raul Neto back, but the soon-to-be 26-year-old may seek a greater role elsewhere, Sorensen relays in the same piece. “It’s always a time you’ve got to think, you got to look at all your offers and opportunities you have and try to pick the best one,” Neto said. “Right now, there’s nothing else I can do. Just keep working and waiting and make the decision I have to make. Sometimes it’s not only the player’s decision, there’s the Utah Jazz, so basically it’s in their hands. We’ll see.”
  • Jon Krawczynski of The Atlantic wonders if the Wolves should try to trade Andrew Wiggins. The former No. 1 overall pick signed a five-year extension worth nearly $150MM, though the scribe hears that a Wiggins-DeMar DeRozan swap remains a possibility should Toronto look to make major moves.
  • Does it make sense for the Wolves to deal Karl-Anthony Towns? Michael Rand of the Star Tribune isn’t so sure, but he notes that Towns hasn’t said anything to quiet down the rumblings that he and the team are “not in a good place.”

Draft Notes: DiVincenzo, Spellman, Walker, Bearden

Coach Jay Wright will recommend to Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman that they return to Villanova if it doesn’t look like they’ll be drafted in the first round, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. DiVincenzo goes to the Mavericks at No. 33 in the latest mock draft compiled by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, while Spellman isn’t projected to be taken. Players have until May 30 to make their decisions.

“Omari and Donte are out there to try to prove themselves as first-round picks,” Wright said of his players’ trips to the NBA Draft Combine. “For them, I hope they are. And I think this process has been good for them. I think they will get some good information.”

DiVincenzo met with the LakersMagicTimberwolvesTrail BlazersCavaliersSpursHawks and Grizzlies at the combine and said he received a lot of “positive feedback.” Spellman has upcoming workouts with the Lakers [May 23], Clippers [May 24], Spurs [26] and Jazz [28] that will likely influence his decision, Zagoria adds.

There’s more draft news as the deadline for decisions draws closer:

  • The Sixers may consider Miami guard Lonnie Walker at No. 10, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Walker met with Philadelphia officials Friday and was impressed by the experience. “It went well,” he said. “See a little bit of Elton Brand and all those guys, I felt like a little kid, seeing guys I watched on TV.” Givony has Walker projected at No. 13 to the Clippers.
  • Lamonte Bearden of Western Kentucky will sign with an agent and stay in the draft, tweets ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. The guard averaged 11.8 points and 3.4 assists as a redshirt junior.
  • Kent State’s Jaylin Walker tweeted that he will return to school for his senior season. He averaged 16.6 points per game for the Golden Flashes this season.
  • The Nuggets have pre-draft workouts scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, the team announced in an e-mail. Scheduled to appear at Monday’s session are Tyler Davis of Texas A&M, Cody Martin of Nevada, William McDowell-White of Brose Bamberg, Isaiah Reese of Canisius, Admiral Schofield of Tennessee and Reid Travis of Stanford. Tuesday’s schedule features Tyler Cook of Iowa, Jon Elmore of Marshall, Ethan Happ of Wisconsin, Mustapha Heron of Auburn, Charles Matthews of Michigan and Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s.

Jazz Notes: Team Options, Coaching Staff, Williams-Goss

The Jazz will look internally to improve over the course of the upcoming offseason rather than chase major acquisitions via trade of free agency, general manager Dennis Lindsey said. Ryan McDonald of The Deseret News writes that there are plenty of players on board with room to grow.

Not only will Jazz fans wait with anticipation as Donovan Mitchell rounds out his game for his sophomore season but for returning veterans like Rudy Gobert, Joe Ingles and Ricky Rubio to raise theirs for 2018/19, too.

All told, even without making a major transaction splash, it’s conceivable that the vastly improved Jazz take another leap forward next season. Not bad considering that they won’t have the luxury of picking in the lottery this year given their success.

McDonalds writes that one area that the club should be particularly focused on improving is offensive production off the bench. Outside of oft-injured guard Dante Exum there aren’t many players on the current roster who pack a strong scoring punch off the bench.

There’s more out of Utah tonight:

  • When free agency resumes, the Jazz will have to make decisions on three veteran players. Jody Genessy of The Deseret News writes that all of Thabo Sefolosha, Ekpe Udoh and Jonas Jerebko have team options in their contracts for 2018/19 and will have to wait until July before they find out whether they’ll be back on board for next season.
  • Despite the loss of assistant coach Igor Kokoskov, who will serve as the head coach of the Suns in 2018/19, the impression for now is that the Jazz will return the same coaching staff next season, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune tweets.
  • Draft-and-stash prospect Nigel Williams-Goss, selected by the Jazz with the 55th pick in 2017, has drawn attention from a number of EuroLeague teams for next season, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando writes.

Combine Notes: Bridges, Sixers, DiVincenzo, Sexton

Michigan State wing Miles Bridges, a probable lottery pick, interviewed with the Bulls, Pacers, Kings, Cavaliers, Spurs, Nuggets, and Clippers earlier this week, and was set to meet with the Sixers, Hornets, and Knicks on Friday, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Bridges is one of several intriguing prospects the Sixers are meeting with in Chicago this week, according to Pompey, who adds Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr., Michigan State power forward Jaren Jackson Jr., and IMG Academy guard Anfernee Simons to that list. Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo was also scheduled to interview with Philadelphia on Friday, Pompey tweets.

Finally, Pompey has details on Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo, who has been impressing NBA evaluators at this week’s combine and says he’s received plenty of “positive feedback.” According to Pompey, DiVincenzo has had meetings with the Lakers, Magic, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, Cavaliers, Spurs, Hawks, and Grizzlies in Chicago.

Here’s more on meetings taking place at the combine:

Jazz Express Interest In Anfernee Simons

  • According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link), the Pelicans, Hawks, Cavaliers, Kings, Thunder, Grizzlies, Jazz, Spurs, Sixers, Nets, and Timberwolves have reached out to express interest in IMG Academy prospect Anfernee Simons.

2018 NBA Draft Picks By Team

While the Sixers were knocked out of the 2018 playoffs in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the underdog Celtics, few teams are better positioned in this year’s draft than Philadelphia. The 76ers own six of the 60 picks in the 2018 NBA draft, including a pair of first-rounders.

As our full 2018 draft order shows, the Sixers are one of seven NBA teams that holds more than two selections in this year’s draft. On the other end of the spectrum, eight teams have just one pick in 2018, while two teams – the Heat and Raptors – don’t have any selections.

To present a clearer picture of which teams are most – and least – stocked with picks for the 2018 NBA draft, we’ve rounded up all 60 picks by team in the space below. Let’s dive in…

Teams with more than two picks:

  • Philadelphia 76ers (6): 10, 26, 38, 39, 56, 60
  • Phoenix Suns (4): 1, 16, 31, 59
  • Atlanta Hawks (4): 3, 19, 30, 34
  • Dallas Mavericks (3): 5, 33, 54
  • Orlando Magic (3): 6, 35, 41
  • Denver Nuggets (3): 14, 43, 58
  • Brooklyn Nets (3): 29, 40, 45

Teams with two picks:

  • Sacramento Kings: 2, 37
  • Memphis Grizzlies: 4, 32
  • Chicago Bulls: 7, 22
  • New York Knicks: 9, 36
  • Charlotte Hornets: 11, 55
  • Los Angeles Clippers: 12, 13
  • Washington Wizards: 15, 44
  • San Antonio Spurs: 18, 49
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: 20, 48
  • Utah Jazz: 21, 52
  • Indiana Pacers: 23, 50
  • Los Angeles Lakers: 25, 47
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: 53, 57

Teams with fewer than two picks:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers (1): 8
  • Milwaukee Bucks (1): 17
  • Portland Trail Blazers (1): 24
  • Boston Celtics (1): 27
  • Golden State Warriors (1): 28
  • Detroit Pistons (1): 42
  • Houston Rockets (1): 46
  • New Orleans Pelicans (1): 51
  • Miami Heat (0)
  • Toronto Raptors (0)

2018 NBA Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Utah Jazz

The Jazz lost out on last summer’s top free agent, as Gordon Hayward left Utah for Boston. However, a Rookie of the Year candidate (Donovan Mitchell) and a Defensive Player of the Year candidate (Rudy Gobert) made sure that the team didn’t take a step back in 2017/18. Still, after being handily defeated in the Western Conference Semifinals for a second straight spring, Utah will enter the 2018 offseason looking for ways to raise the ceiling of its roster.

Here’s where things currently stand for the Jazz financially, as we continue our Offseason Salary Cap Digest series for 2018:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Projected Salary Cap: $101,000,000

Projected Cap Room: None

  • The Jazz aren’t typically major players in free agency, so our cap projection assumes they won’t make an effort to create cap room this summer. With $75MM+ in guaranteed contracts and a $2MM cap hold for their first-round pick, the Jazz would almost certainly remain an over-the-cap team if they re-sign Exum and Favors and bring back some or all of their players on non-guaranteed contracts.
  • On the other hand, if the Jazz do want to clear cap space, they could do so. Their seven guaranteed salaries along with cap charges for their first-round pick and four empty roster slots would result in a total team salary of $80,527,305. That would mean more than $20MM in cap room — but it would also mean renouncing or waiving Exum, Favors, Sefolosha, Jerebko, O’Neale, and others. That’s probably not realistic.

Footnotes:

  1. Sefolosha’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 1.
  2. Jerebko’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 9.
  3. Udoh’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 9.
  4. Stockton’s exact contract details, including guarantee info, aren’t yet known.

Note: Rookie scale cap holds are estimates based on salary cap projections and could increase or decrease depending on where the cap lands.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jazz Announce Utah Summer League Details

Two days after the Kings announced details on the new Sacramento Summer League, the Jazz have followed suit, issuing a press release with information on the 2018 Utah Summer League.

In past years, Utah and Orlando have hosted small Summer Leagues that precede the main event in Las Vegas. The Orlando Summer League is no more, and all 30 NBA teams will participate in the Vegas Summer League for the first time ever in 2018. However, Utah’s smaller event – along with the new California Classic Summer League in Sacramento – will still take place.

The Jazz and Spurs will return for this year’s Utah Summer League at the Vivint Smart Home Arena, with the Hawks and Grizzlies joining the mix as newcomers. Like the Sacramento Summer League, Utah’s event will take place from July 2-5, with no games scheduled for Independence Day.

[RELATED: Kings Announce Sacramento Summer League Schedule]

The Jazz will face the Spurs on July 2, the Grizzlies on July 3, and the Hawks on July 5, with the remaining two teams facing each other on each of those three days.

Summer League rosters typically feature newly-drafted players, so some top prospects figure to be on display during that first week of July in Utah — the Hawks have the No. 3 overall selection in this year’s draft, while the Grizzlies pick fourth overall.

Burks Faces Uncertain Future

  • Jazz guard Alec Burks, who has endured an injury-plagued career, headed into the offseason healthy but his future with the club is uncertain, according to Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News. Burks fell out of the rotation behind rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell and another rookie, Royce O’Neale. Burks has one year and $11.5MM remaining on his contract and his expiring deal could be traded in the offseason, Sorensen adds. “I’ve been here a long time, since I was 19, and hopefully it keeps going,” Burks told Sorensen. “I’ve seen a lot in seven years. There’s been high times, low times and even-keel times. Hopefully there’ll be more good times in the future.”

More Reasons To Be Excited About Donovan Mitchell

  • Yes, Donovan Mitchell had an impressive rookie campaign, but plenty of other players had solid first years before plateauing. One particularly intriguing perspective that may reassure Jazz fans that they’re not witnessing the next O.J. Mayo is teammate Thabo Sefolosha‘s. “I was a teammate with Derrick Rose when he was a rookie, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant when they were young in their first two seasons in OKC, and the talent level is right up there with those guys,” the 34-year-old told Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News.
  • He may not win the Rookie of the Year award (according to our own staff) but ESPN’s Mike Schmitz believes that Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell has the highest future potential of any of this year’s rookies. Co-writer Kevin Pelton placed him No. 2 behind Ben Simmons but Schmitz raved about the Louisville product’s demonstrated ability to improve upon his weaknesses.