In June, there was a discussion about the upcoming offseason. As most of you know, based on research, I felt the best plan of attack for the Utah Jazz was to develop what they had, bring over their foreign investments (Tomic, Pleiss, and Neto), draft a big man who could develop into a playmaking 4, and use the remaining cap space on salary dumps in order to gain future assets.
We're going to focus on that last part. Salary acquisitions. This is probably the most effective way for the Jazz to obtain talent while not having to overpay in the free agent market. It also allows the Jazz to gain extra assets that can help their team in a big way. Many complained that the Jazz made a huge mistake taking on the Golden State salaries of Biedrins, Jefferson, and Rush. Saying the cost was too high and it just helped a contender become stronger.
The latter was true. But it wasn't a mistake. One of the draft picks obtain for that cap space rental turned into Rodney Hood. Another one of those draft picks turned into 1.5 million (this year). We also obtained the money requisite to pay for Denver's draft pick that was Rudy Gobert. Who knows, some of that money probably allowed the Jazz to purchase the D-League to the north in Idaho which will aid in future development of players.
A few thought my idea of taking on more salary was a mistake. That the Jazz were not going to take on more salary because they were in "winning mode". As if "winning mode" is a switch that doesn't allow for strategic acquisitions that improve the team.
The argument was also made that because the Jazz were in a "better place" than last year that they would not touch a salary dump. Which also is a broad strokes generalization that belittles the idea that strategy can exist in both spheres. A team can take a salary dump AND compete. But that team must have built a cost effective contender prior to that salary dump. Most contenders cannot take on salary because they have attack free agency. Paying the market price for above average players and simply do not have enough room to do a "favor" for another team.
The Utah Jazz, luckily, are not that naive and know who they are. Dennis Lindsey knows the constraints of a small market and doesn't pretend to be a large market team. High profile free agents will not come to Utah unless there is a guarantee of being a consistent contender year after year. They will also not come to Utah unless they overpay.
(Please don't use the San Antonio argument that small market teams can attract free agents right now in the comments. We know that this is a blip, an exciting blip, but a blip none the less.)
The Utah Jazz know they can take additional salary right now and gain precious assets that will save them money and flexibility when money is tight. Those assets are like the Jazz's savings account. They can pull from them in case of emergencies when cap space is an issue. For example, those second round draft picks? While it is unlikely they will yield the next Paul Millsap, they are likely to net millions of dollars when sold on the free market. That equals cap relief. Not toward the actual cap figure but money that the Jazz can pay for a high tax bill if the Jazz keep their core together.
Those 1st round draft picks the Jazz have from other teams? Additional mid round and late round talent that would be expensive to find on the free agent market. So it should really come as no surprise that Dennis Lindsey WANTS salary dumps when the team can readily afford them. In case you needed further convincing, here's some national writers and beloved Jody Genessy who agree.
It's probably not a coincidence that the Jazz waited to sign Trey Lyles until shortly after the Warriors traded David Lee.— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) July 8, 2015
Depending on the cap, the Jazz might've been able to fit Lee's salary by merely cutting Trevor Booker with Lyles' smaller hold.— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) July 8, 2015
Good call. https://t.co/u9MmFm1p2x— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 8, 2015
To add to @kpelton and @ZachLowe_NBA, I know Jazz got/are getting calls from teams interested in dumping salary. Still could happen.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) July 8, 2015
And it could still happen. So stay tuned.
A story that popped up on my timeline yesterday was Morris Almond. Those who followed the Deron Williams 50-win teams might remember Morris Almond as the shooting guard who was going to be the Jazz's Klay Thompson before there was Klay Thompson. He could shoot the crap out of the ball. In 2007 in D-League he scored 51 points in a game tying the league record. But on the Jazz's squad he just couldn't find any minutes. The Jazz didn't retain him and his NBA time was short lived. After that he bounced from D-League team to D-League team and then to Europe.
After his time in Europe, he came back to the states where he bounced around again. He just never found his fit. One would think that he would despise Utah because they gave up on him. He was turned away by the great Jerry Sloan. But then these tweets hit my timeline:
glad to see the Rocky Mountain Revue come back with a vengeance. that's where i got my start. Energy Solutions was jumpin last night.— Morris Almond (@FreeMoAlmond) July 7, 2015
shouts to all my SLC brethren. learned so much on those nature hikes and trails. that's God's country. word.— Morris Almond (@FreeMoAlmond) July 7, 2015
whoa. i wasn't ready to see Coach Sloan with a wig white as the driven snow. i wasn't ready.— Morris Almond (@FreeMoAlmond) July 8, 2015
seems like just yesterday he was calling me into his office to assign me to Orem before the team's east coast swing. time flies man.— Morris Almond (@FreeMoAlmond) July 8, 2015
good times though. good times.— Morris Almond (@FreeMoAlmond) July 8, 2015
Coach Sloan and Coach Johnson in the stands at Energy Solutions = Claude and Ray at Yankee Stadium at the end of Life.— Morris Almond (@FreeMoAlmond) July 8, 2015
my condition is (finally) under control and the kid looking for work. Quin get at me.— Morris Almond (@FreeMoAlmond) July 8, 2015
In one of the replies he said he was battling bi-polar. When I think of Morris Almond I think of what could have been. If he put it together can you imagine the potential of the Jazz's offense? Or maybe Jerry Sloan just wasn't ready for the 3 point shot to take hold that fast. Or maybe it was a mix of Mo's condition and timing with the Jazz.
Whatever it was, I think it'd make a great story to bring Morris Almond into the Jazz fold if he's mentally able and professionally ready to be a scout. We're rooting for you. And if you're reading this, Lindsey, give the kid a second chance. He deserves to finally land somewhere and stay. He's been all around the world.
Alec Burks took over the Utah Jazz twitter handle. What was supposed to be a back and forth interaction with the fans turned into the Jazz roster trolling Alec on twitter. Here are the highlights.
It all started with Burks saying he has posterized Rudy Gobert in practice.
Yea i have ask him #ReturnofAB https://t.co/Ixvu8JWo97— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) July 8, 2015
Well ... you can imagine how that went ...
No. Everyday talking about it before practice but never seen it.. https://t.co/xRklUaOCeB— rudy gobert (@rudygobert27) July 8, 2015
Of course, Alec replied.
Look for me in the sky next time #ReturnofAB @rudygobert27 https://t.co/qI3Sr979ji— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) July 8, 2015
And of course, Rudy had to ask ...
I don't have a scared bone in my body #ReturnofAB @rudygobert27 https://t.co/OsussPL8Ha— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) July 8, 2015
Then Trevor Booker had to get in on the fun.
Ab of course #RETURNOFAB @35_Fitz https://t.co/kdh61EAmMQ— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) July 8, 2015
Trevor Booker didn't believe him ...
I don't lie #ReturnofAB https://t.co/Puc0Qd3b9P— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) July 8, 2015
And of course, Alec Burks likes the name Houdini, but the best nickname is still
my government name #ReturnofAB https://t.co/0Ch7YUjfBF— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) July 8, 2015
If your server is down the ONLY appropriate way to display that information is with a picture of Rudy Gobert towering over another player after he has blocked him.
If you can't connect to NBA 2K and WWE 2K servers, this is why... http://t.co/1KM8LEcxgU pic.twitter.com/1oUwQb9GEk— Operation Sports (@operationsports) July 8, 2015
It is not lost on many people at this blog, but I'm a huge Raul Neto fan. (I LOVE YOU NETO!!!!!!) As you might have guessed Raul Neto being signed to Utah is bigger than the Beatles. WE KNOW THIS. Why do we know this? BECAUSE IT'S RAUL NETO. It's beautiful baby face and basketball skills is finally going to grace basketball courts in the United States and we, WE, are the beneficiaries. GOD BE PRAISED FOR THE GIFT OF HIS NETO.
That being said, it is with regret that I impart this information to you.
There are some people who do not know who Raul Neto is.
But exhibit A, people, exhibit A:
Raul Neto ain't famous yet. Security just stopped him and asked where his pass was. Points to Gobert and Co. and says "I'm with them!"— Aaron Falk (@tribjazz) July 8, 2015
Get to know your Brazilian heartthrobs security. THIS IS SECURITY 101.
Step 1, SECURITY.
Step 2, EXECUTE SECURITY.
Step 3, LEARN BRAZILIAN HEARTTHROBS TO ALLOW THROUGH SECURITY.
HOW CAN THAT BE ANY CLEARER?!?!?!!?!?!!?