How I value our assets

So I'm getting kind of bored talking about the draft at this point. We've all discussed who we would take at 5, as well as possible trades for moving up/down to get any other player we may like. We've also spent a lot of time discussing head coaching candidates (thanks pacoelcid and nkieth for your write ups BTW). Right now, though, I want to get back to talking a bit about our current (2013-14) team. I though I'd do a quick summary of each of our assets and how valuable I think they are to the franchise right now. For those players that are still under contract, I considered them as if I was trying to trade for them. (Also note that I'm not a CBA expert and may have some details wrong.) I'm doing this in order of least to most valuable, and basing it strictly off of my own observations.

Detrimental to the team:

Richard Jefferson

Since Jefferson ended the season with the Jazz we still have his Bird rights, so the Jazz will have a cap hold of over $11M until they renounce his rights. I expect them to do so as soon as possible, but until then, Jefferson is taking up a lot of the Jazz cap room.


Andris Biedrins, Brandon Rush, Mike Harris, Jamaal Tinsley

With the exception of Rush, all of these players were waived before the end of the season, so there are no cap holds and no possibility of sign and trades. Rush is also in this group simply because I think his cap hold is small enough to not be a big deal, and he isn't likely to do a sign and trade.

Practically worthless:

Gordon Hayward, Marvin Williams

Hayward is in an interesting position right now. He's a restricted free agent, so the Jazz don't have him under contract, but have a guarantee that they can have him under contract next season if they choose. Williams is almost the same, but without the guarantee of being able to bring him back. As assets, they're practically worthless since we can't trade them and they put cap holds on our books. The only benefit we get from them is the possibility of a sign and trade, but that's pretty unlikely. I'd put the odds of bringing Williams back at 70-30 against, but he may be willing to help us out with a sign and trade. I'd also guess that the Jazz will match any offer Hayward gets, in which case he'll have a new contract and be a great asset for us, either as a player or as a trade piece. If that doesn't happen then he has the same value as Williams.

Trade incentiives:

Raul Neto (draft rights), Ante Tomic (draft rights)

These draft rights aren't worthless because they could be incentives to other teams, but there's no guarantee that they will ever play in the NBA. As it stands now, Tomic's the more appealing player, but he's also less likely to come to the states. Neto would happily come to the NBA next season, but he's been a mediocre point guard in a 2nd-tier European league. If we were to trade either of them, I think it would be a last second addition to a trade, just so the receiving team could claim they got a little something extra.

Trade filler (cap room):

Ian Clark, Diante Garrett, John Lucas, Malcolm Thomas, Erik Murphy

These players are here because they don't make much money (by NBA standards) and their contracts aren't guaranteed. This means that if we can include any of them in a trade to make salaries match, but the receiving team can immediately waive them without penalty. This can be very valuable for teams that are watching every penny because they're near the luxury tax or salary cap. The only reason these players aren't higher on the list is because their salaries are so low that it won't make much of a difference. We may think that Garrett and Clark (maybe even Thomas or Murphy) have value as prospects, but until they earn guaranteed contracts I don't think other teams will see them that way.

Trade filler (prospects):

Jeremy Evans, Rudy Gobert

These are our two players that we'd include in a trade if we needed to match salaries and the receiving team didn't want cap relief. Evans has shown he can be a rotation piece. He's hyper efficient and brings great energy. His contract is small and entering its final year. He could contribute to any team and give a little cap relief at the end of next season. Gobert is similar. He's on his rookie contract as a late first round pick, so he's guaranteed a small salary for at least next season. He's also shown that he could be a rotational 4th big next season (and potential a 3rd big with some development), and could come off the books at the end of the year if he doesn't develop. As an added bonus, his rookie contract comes with a team option for the following 2 seasons if the team wants to keep him around. That's everything you want in trade filler.

Good pieces:

Trey Burke, 2014 pick #23, 2014 pick #35, 2017 GS unprotected 1st round pick, future Jazz 1st round picks

This is where our assets transition from being filler pieces to key pieces in trades. I'll start with the only player on the list, Trey Burke. The reason why I don't have him as being a better asset is because he's still mostly potential. While he had a solid rookie season, he was arguably the worst starting point guard in the league. He'll get better next season, and he's still under a guaranteed contract for at least two seasons after that (provided the team options are exercised). His value is hurt, however, because there are several young point guards in similar situations that will likely be better than Burke. MCW and Oladipo have both played point and are widely considered to be better players right now. This upcoming season will have Smart and Exum, both are considered to have higher ceilings than Burke. If Burke is to increase his value as an asset, it will have to be through steady improvement over several years.

As for the draft picks, these are the picks that aren't great, but will definitely be appealing. This year, the #23 pick is nice because the draft is so deep and several rotational players should be available at 23. The #35 is also valuable because 2nd round picks aren't given guaranteed contracts, so picking up a bubble 1st rounder there isn't as much of a risk as a pick in the late 20s. The Jazz's future picks have value because it's unlikely that we drastically improve over the next 2 years, and the GS pick is here because it's unprotected.

Easily movable pieces:

Enes Kanter, Alec Burks, 2014 pick #5

These are our pieces that other teams want. Burks and Kanter are both solid players with room for improvement that can either be extended this offseason or matched in RFA. That's attractive because they are guaranteed to provide cap room or a long-term piece and the team is almost completely in control. Both are offensive players with defensive potential (Burks more than Kanter at this point), and other teams would likely be willing to part with comparable pieces in order to obtain them. They wouldn't net a superstar, but they could likely bring in other young exciting players or good draft picks. The #5 pick in the draft has similar value as it will be highly sought after by teams looking to move up in the draft to obtain a promising young prospect.

Long-term pieces:

Derrick Favors

Since he signed his extension, Favors is no longer as easily movable as Kanter or Burks, but he's at least under contract, so he's much more valuable than Hayward. At his upcoming salary of about $12M per year for the next 4 years, Favors is a well paid, long-term piece of the Jazz. If he were to be traded, the Jazz would be looking for a star. Otherwise they would demand to be very well compensated, likely wanting at least a promising young player on a favorable contract, a good draft pick, and good filler.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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