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Utah Jazz waive Elijah Millsap, acquire roster flexibility

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Sad to see you go, Eli

Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz are rife with injury right now missing starting point guard Dante Exum, starting power forward Derrick Favors, starting center Rudy Gobert, and bench scoring machine Alec Burks. It's been a difficult few weeks and as of right now we do not have a solid idea on when most of them will be returning to action. In the interim period Quin Snyder has actually SHORTENED the rotation, squeezing out guard/forward Elijah Millsap from the rotation. Over the last five weeks Elijah's minutes per game has risen with injuries, but also fallen even lower than before: 3.68 mpg, 15.30, 7.48, 10.11, 2.68. Last night he recorded a DNP-CD. And today the Utah Jazz have announced that they have waived him.

And from the press release:

SALT LAKE CITY (January 5, 2016) - The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has waived guard/forward Elijah Millsap. Following the move, Utah's roster stands at 14 players.

Millsap (6-6, 225, Alabama-Birmingham) appeared in 67 games (five starts) over two seasons for the Jazz, averaging 4.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 16.4 minutes of action. He saw action in 20 games this season (all as a reserve), averaging 1.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 8.7 minutes. He originally joined the team on a 10-day contract on Jan. 5, 2015, after being called up from the NBA Development League's Bakersfield Jam.

A native of Monroe, La., Millsap played two seasons at Louisiana-Lafayette (2006-08) before transferring to University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) (2008-10).

-Matt Sanchez, 2016, UtahJazz.com

Elijah had this to say to his fans and the team:

Personally, I don't like this. I am a Millsap Family Fan and felt like his hustle and tenacity out there on the wing was more important in situations than, say, Chris Johnson's three point shooting. The Jazz brass did not think so.

What this does is that it brings the Jazz roster down from 15 to 14, and now there is a roster spot. The trade deadline is February 18th (45 days from now), and if the Jazz were to trade, they can now take back one extra player than they trade away. The deadline to lock in non-guaranteed contracts is in two days -- so some teams may be adding players to the waiver wire. And someone they like may pop up.

Speaking of that, if some team does pick up Millsap within the next two days it's going to transfer the cap hit from the Jazz to whatever team that is. That's cool. But I think regardless of our Jazz benefit, it's likely that Lil' Sap will get another shot in the NBA. He does the things that you want from a player of his capability. He doesn't make mistakes. He knows his game. And he's a solid transition finisher and perimeter defender.

I wish him all the best going forward, and I loved watching him play in Utah. It just felt like a perfect fit to me. But I'm not the one making the decisions for the team.