With the draft done and the bulk of big free agent signings beginning to wrap up, it is kind of interesting to consider who could be on Utah's radar in free agency next year. I know that's a long ways off and a lot of things can happen between now and then, but with over $32 million coming off the books and potentially a lot more, Utah (as of right now) could have as much as $50 million in cap space. Hopefully that won't be the case though because I'd like to see Hayward and Favors sign their extensions. Even if they did, Utah could still have somewhere in the ballpark of $35 million to use in free agency. Looking at who some of those free agents could be, I went through and picked out who I would sign if I were Dennis Lindsey.
Avery Bradley (BOS) - back up PG with good defense (minimum qualifying offer)
Thabo Sefolosha (OKC) - great wing defender and 3P% shooter (unrestricted free agent)
Quincy Pondexter (MEM) - another good wing shooter with defensive potential and athleticism (minimum qualifying offer)
Boris Diaw (SAS) - good defender, handled Lebron well in the playoffs (unrestricted free agent)
I think each of those guys is a good role player at their position at the least. They would definitely make Utah's bench deep, and an Avery Bradley - Alec Burks back court coming off the bench probably wouldn't be bad either.
Avery Bradley would add some perimeter defense Utah has been lacking the past few years, plus I think he would bring a lot of transition plays, assists for high % shots, attitude hustle and energy. I think he would be a good spark off the bench. He has a qualifying offer from Boston and I'm not sure what that means, but if DL can work his razzle-dazzle, be it a sign and trade or something else, I'd like to have Bradley's tenacity in SLC.
With Marvin Williams and Richard Jefferson most likely leaving Utah next summer, that leaves the SF position - arguably one of the most important defensive positions - open for Utah to fill either in the draft, free agency, or some kind of trade. I like Sefolosha and Pondexter. Sefolosha has experience, good defense, and can hit 3's. He also has experience playing in championship competitive games. Pondexter is 25, a great corner 3 shooter, and at 6'7 has 7'0 wingspan allowing him to finish a lot of his shots at and or above the rim in addition to bringing his outside game.
I don't foresee Utah needing a lot of firepower down low, but a proven defensive rotation player / power forward like Boris Diaw would be a nice addition to Utah's bench. Diaw had some really significant stops on Lebron James in the playoffs, so I think he would be a great asset for Utah.
Like I said, between now and next summer, a lot can happen. I like the above mentioned supportive role players though should the opportunity ever come to sign them. The nice thing is most of them are mid-level priced or cheaper. Utah would definitely be able to afford all these pieces, even if they had to overpay a little. However, many of those players may opt to re-sign with the team they've been playing for, so I imagine even with the allure of deep open pocket, it may still be hard to even get these championship-caliber role players to Utah. As you can tell, I mostly went with a defensive theme, but also some good perimeter shooters.
Who am I not thinking of that would be a great and realistic signing next summer with so many free agents available?