Welcome to a time of the year where there will be very little substantive Jazz related news, unless the Jazz make a final choice on the new coach before the draft.
I will be trying to bring more interesting content weekly but the offseason can always make this more challenging. This week's topic is free agents and my "big board" of who I would want most to help our team out in their next contracts. (I left out free agents who I think would hurt the team more than help (i.e. Carmelo,Rudy Gay) as well as players who probably are running close to the end of their careers (i.e. Nowitzki, Duncan).
Let me know who your top targets would be this offseason.
Without further adieu:
Not gonna happen but what if:
1. Lebron James- Since the odds of Lebron using his early termination option to come to the Jazz is less likely than Corbin being the next coach of the Lakers, I won't elaborate any further into this pipedream. Likely minimum salary needed to bring to Utah: $20+ MM per year.
Borderline All Stars:
4. Greg Monroe- Very solid big man who is one of the only bright spots (along with Drummond) on the Piston's roster. It would take a max offer to have any chance of prying him away from the Pistons since he is a restricted free agent. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $14+ MM per year.
5. Eric Bledsoe- Amazing combo guard who shows he can play well with another dominant point guard. Could be seen as a huge upgrade over Burks depending on who you ask. Will also need a max offer to pry him away from Phoenix since he is a restricted free agent. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $14+ MM per year.
6. Gordon Hayward- We all have a pretty good idea of what Hayward brings to the table. Skills he has displayed so far pegs him to be either an Ineffective first option, mediocre second option, or a great third option on a contending team. Jazz should match any offer a team makes to him this summer. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $12+ MM per year.
7. Luol Deng- Many people like to point that he is old in turn of career minutes players, but I can see him being a valid 6th man or rather our player who can do a things without the ball in the starting lineup as well as bring his experience. Think of the role of what Richard Jefferson tried to take this year but still with actual talent not 5 years removed (all star in 2012 and 2013). Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $10+ MM per year.
8. Zach Randolph- Has a few good years left in him, however, he probably will not opt out of his lucrative player option for anything less than a expensive long term contract. To me, he is Kanter's ceiling, so why not have him learn from the master? Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $15+ MM per year.
9. Lance Stephenson- I am a huge fan of what he can accomplish on the court, but with all the off court issues I have been hearing about him this season I would be a little bit more wary of having him on our team with no major chemistry issues currently. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $10+ MM per year.
Starting Caliber Players:
10. Kyle Lowry- Probably the only free agent point guard this offseason that was definitively better than Burke this year. Unrestricted free agent, I am very curious where he ends up this summer, Jazz definitely have a shot at acquiring him if they wanted to make an offer. Coming off his best season ever may lead to him getting a higher contract than he deserves though. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $10+ MM per year.
11. Evan Turner- I am not a huge fan of his mostly empty stats this season, but I do like how he has steadily improved ever since his lackluster rookie season for a #2 pick. He is a restricted agent, but I don't see Indiana desiring to commit too much to an average player. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $8+ MM per year.
12. Avery Bradley- Celtics fans seem to hype this young fellow up a lot. Decent combo guard skills while also having above average defensive prowess as well. Since he is restricted and the Celtics plenty of cap space, it will be quite hard to get him. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $10+ MM per year.
13. Isaiah Thomas- I'm curious how Thomas could do on a team not as horrible as the Kings. Solid undersized point guard who plays with a chip on his shoulder. I'm not so sure he would be an upgrade to Burke, but could lead to either one of them being the backup point guard without a drop-off in talent in the 2nd unit. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $8+ MM per year.
14. Spencer Hawes- Decently talented big man who should be entering his prime soon. Wouldn't be a bad complementary piece to our core of big men. Is probably available without paying to high a price. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $7+ MM per year.
15. Marcin Gortat- I have always been a fan of Gortat and his skills and athleticism. Just watched him and NeNe brutally dominate the Bulls in the playoffs as they just hogged all the rebounds left and right. Think he could be a good center on our team as well and let Favors play power forward. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $9+ MM per year.
16. Trevor Ariza- Has a lot of experience on playoff teams and can be a nice hustle player and great defender. Would be a decent consolation prize if the Jazz don't choose to bring back Hayward. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $9+ MM per year.
17. Thabo Sefolosha- Would be a pretty solid defender off the bench, something similar to Tony Allen's situation currently. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $5+ MM per year.
18. Shaun Livingston- Tall point guard with skills, currently running starting point guard on the Nets with DWill as shooting guard. Fan of what he can do. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $3+ MM per year.
19. Darren Collison- Very good for a backup point guard role. Probably likes his situation in LA too much to leave though. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $3+ MM per year.
20. Marvin Williams- Decent shooter and high character player. Wouldn't mind him back for the right price and in an 8th man role. Likely salary needed to bring to Utah: $5+ MM per year.
So there you have it folks. Above are the 20 players that I would really want to have on the Jazz next season. I would get 2 of the players under my Borderline All Star section, or 1 from my Borderline All Star section with another 2 from my Starting Caliber section. To an exciting and very crucial offseason. Let me know if there's anybody who didn't make my list who you are rooting for the Jazz to get his season.
(Long Honorable Mentions List: Carmelo, Duncan, Nowitzki, P. Gasol, Gay, Marion, Pierce, Kirilenko, Stuckey, Granger, Chalmers, R. Allen, N. Young, Bargnani, Vasquez, Mo Williams, Nate Robinson, Blair, Jordan Crawford, Vince Carter, Blatche, Aminu, Caron Butler, Beasley, McRoberts, Stoudemire, Kaman, Frye, Diaw, Battier, Ed Davis, Humphries)