Tomorrow -- well, tonight at midnight Eastern time, to be specific -- is the opening of the NBA free agent season. And we've heard a few rumors about who the Jazz will contact, including former Jazzman Paul Millsap...although that's less likely to happen now that Derrick Favors wasn't used in a trade during the draft. (I don't really think a Millsap-for-Favors deal makes sense for the Jazz, and I doubt one were ever on the cards, but that's just me; I have zero inside information.)
You know whose information I trust? Our own Peter J. Novak's:
And if you're not convinced, Jody Genessy backed up that report, so it seems likely that one of the first phone calls the Jazz send out tonight will be to Green.
So. Does that make sense for the Jazz? First off, can Utah even afford the large payday Green is likely fishing for? Again, here's Peter:
Peter goes on to say that an offer in the neighborhood of $13-15 million per year would be required to secure Green's services. Which the Jazz, after waiving Booker, could do with room to spare.
So yes, Danny Green is affordable. But is he desirable, especially at that price?
The SLC Dunk staff debated that question in an internal discussion thread yesterday. A couple excerpts:
So there are a couple of viewpoints, and as much as I'd like to try and do an entire Downbeat in screencaps, I'll add some thoughts, too.
First, let's compare Green's basic numbers to our top two likely competitors for the starting shooting-guard role, Alec Burks and Rodney Hood (career per-game averages):
Some advanced stats weigh things more heavily in Green's favor. He has the highest PER and True Shooting percentage and lowest usage rate of the three players, meaning he scores more efficiently and needs the ball in his hands less. And Green's 2014-15 WAR was 11.00, 15th-best in the whole NBA, and higher than top Jazzman Gordon Hayward at 10.81.
So the numbers are solidly on Green's side. On the other hand, Amar makes the point above that Green is 28 years old, while Burks is nearly 24 and Hood only 22. It's reasonable to assume that Green is close to his peak, while Burks and Hood might have more upside. Plus there's the fact that Burks' new four-year, $42 million deal kicks in starting next season. Assuming Green wants upwards of $13 million per year? That's a lot of cash to spend on two guys who play the same position.
So I'm going to pull the usual Shums tactic: I don't know. I agree that Green would immediately be the Jazz's best option to start at shooting guard. But I also think that the tag team of Burks, Hood, Elijah Millsap and Joe Ingles could recreate Green on aggregate, at a fraction of the price.
And here's one last thought on the matter, from Yucca:
Former Jazzmen have a long history of leaving Salt Lake City and never achieving the same success they had here. I think the same might be true of players who leave the Spurs system. With such promising pieces already in the fold, I'm not sure I like sacrificing their long-term growth for a seemingly superior short-term player.
I'll be looking forward to your comments below. Hit the poll, too. GO GO GO.
If the Jazz do chase Danny Green, as stated above, they'd almost certainly be saying goodbye to Trevor Booker and his nearly $5 million salary. If that were to happen, the Jazz would still be short-staffed at power forward and center, even after drafting Trey Lyles last week.
Fortunately, Jody Genessy has #AirportSources:
A big, 7-foot-2 German — center Tibor Pleiss — arrived in Salt Lake City late Saturday night, an airport source informed me.
— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) June 28, 2015
In case you forgot, Pleiss (or his rights, anyway) comes to the Jazz as a throw-in from the Enes Kanter trade. He's also been playing at Barcelona behind Ante Tomic, who seems to be staying in Spain for good now. Here's Jody with more analysis:
There are multiple intriguing aspects to Pleiss' game for Utah, including his length, his ability to finish big at the basket and his outside shooting. Pleiss is an excellent perimeter shooter, having finished in the top 20 for free-throw percentage in Europe last season at 84.85 percent.
It's uncertain if Pleiss will participate with the Jazz in their two summer leagues (Utah and Las Vegas), but he will likely have a busy offseason with basketball as he is expected to play for the German national team.
There is a very nice Jazz connection to that international-playing opportunity, considering Utah assistant coach Alex Jensen has been invited to help coach the German national team.
That would give Pleiss a headstart to begin working with Jensen, whose primary duty on the Jazz staff is coaching the bigs.
The connection with Jensen is cool, and I'm definitely intrigued by Pleiss' reported shooting ability. (Especially if it turns out that Lyles is lacking in that area.)
Anyway, if the Jazz waive Booker -- or even if they don't -- Pleiss would seem to have an opportunity to back up Rudy Gobert at center. It'll be interesting to see if he sticks around for summer-league ball.
Guess what else is interesting? FANPOSTS.
Caderade has concocted a post-draft analogy:
When you were 14, your dad sold the Porsche to your uncle Bud out in Atlanta. Leading up to your 16th birthday, you beg your parents for a car. Then, a couple months before you turn 16, your mom casually mentions that your dad's thinking about getting the old Porsche back from uncle Bud. You try to play it cool, and when your birthday arrives, your parents hand you a box with a car key inside. You can barely contain your excitement. Could it be? Would they really spend that kind of money on a Porsche for a teenager? You step out onto the driveway and see... A brand new Honda Civic.
andrewwallock8 asks what the Jazz are missing:
What exactly is it that the Jazz are missing as a team? It seems like we have a legit piece at every position; we just are missing development from the PG spot. The jury is still out on whether Dante Exum will pan out (give the guy some time, he's only 19).
and nc2003 expresses frustration with what he sees as the Jazz's "prime directive":
Ahh, internal development, the Jazz fan's oldest friend, the Utah Jazz Prime Directive. Like my cousin who swears he can quit smoking, because he's quit six times before, the Jazz Prime Directive is a foolish belief that they can take a team with good, but not great, talent and through the magic of internal development turn them into a champion. After all, internal development worked for LHM in his business endeavors, worked for Jerry Sloan to make him a great player, helped Rudy finally get on the field at Notre Dame, and it worked for Frodo in his quest, but it does not work in professional sports.
Click through and comment on 'em all. And keep it copacetic.
Who's going to the 2015 UJSLPBAFCUPAS&JIAWTUSC?
Here is what the Utah Jazz are calling The Summer League Formerly Known as the Rocky Mountain Revue: pic.twitter.com/wnnhmhNntr
— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) June 29, 2015
This is Utah jazz news, not Utah Jazz news, but you'll have to pardon my indulgence:
If you don't live in Utah or aren't familiar: Steve Williams has been the host of a nightly radio program specializing in jazz music. Every night from 8pm to midnight, he's been sharing his love for an increasingly obscure art form. And after 31 years, he's retiring. His last show is tonight.
Even worse, Williams' station, the NPR and University of Utah affiliate KUER, has decided to stop playing jazz music in the evenings rather than find a replacement for Williams. No more free jazz music for Utahns.
I know most Utah Jazz basketball fans don't know or care anything about the music genre. And there's no reason you have to. But I was always proud to say, when outsiders would belittle our team name, that we had a killer jazz radio program in the city every evening, and that Salt Lake City as a community cared a lot more about jazz than they thought.
We still have lots of great jazz concerts in Utah, and tons of talented musicians. (If you ever get the chance to hear the Crescent Super Band play, do it. Those kids can swing.) But after tonight, we'll have less of the music that makes our team name so evocative.
So if you like jazz music, tune your radio to 90.1 FM tonight. And if you don't, at least listen to this, and know that this music is part of what I feel every time I watch our team.