The 2015-2016 Utah Jazz season is over. All those lucky socks that resulted in numerous painful close losses have finally been washed. The Stockton and Malone jerseys have been returned to their offseason resting place in the closet. The NBA League Pass app has been deleted from your phone, and it's time to rediscover what it's like to not have firm plans after 7:00 MST again.
But beneath it all, the urge of Jazz fandom runs deep.
You keep checking twitter as if there's another game to be played.
You keep refreshing SLCDunk.com eagerly waiting for some news to break.
You check the injury report out of habit, someone must have got hurt today.
You talk to your friends about the Jazz in present tense as if the Jazz could still make the playoffs.
You flipped the channel to Root Sports and watched a Rockies game. You're not even a Rockies fan. You just wanted to see those familiar graphics and commercials.
You keep telling your wife about how you think Dante Exum grew and is now 6'9", you think. It's hard to tell from the photos. But you know.
If you have done even one of these things, you're an addict. A Jazz addict.
You're a glutton for pain and remorse. But luckily there's a 7 step plan for recovery. If you follow this plan you'll slowly feel the pain of missing the playoffs turn into hope and excitement for the next season. Guaranteed.
2016 NBA Free Agency
Amazing job completing Steps 1-4 on this journey. The road to recovery can be hard, but we believe in you. We believe you can learn to love your team again. Step 5 can be a tricky step. It might feel like its own step but this step is actually coinciding with NBA Summer League which is Step 4. Yes, this task will begin to prepare you for the toll your Jazz fandom will take on your body and psyche during the trade deadline of the regular season. While this step will feel like you are multi-tasking a lot, just remind yourself that you this is expected of you during the regular season. You have done this before every season. During the regular season you will be expected to follow Trade Deadline updates and rumors while on the second night of a back to back. So you can do this.
The free agency period begins on July 1st, 2016. Now this does not mean teams can sign players on this date. This is the beginning of the moratorium. This lasts until July 9th, 2016. During this period teams can meet with players but they cannot sign players. Teams must wait until July 10th to sign players. Think of July 1st - 9th as the days leading up to Christmas. You don't know for sure what your Christmas presents will be, but you have a pretty good idea by the size of the present under the tree and how it sounds when you shake it. Players during this time might verbally commit to a team, but it doesn't mean anything unless that person's signature is on the dotted line. Even then it might not be enough as last year's DeAndre Jordan drama showed.
This year's Free Agency period looks to be one for the ages for Utah Jazz fans. Dennis Lindsey hinted that the team is ready to go all in during the summer. The Washington Post's Tim Bontemps had this to say about Utah's high profile free agent chances:
If there is any team that should be taking a home run swing in free agency, it's Utah. The Jazz have a talented team, play an attractive style and could make a significant step forward with a couple of upgrades, or one specific one.
Greg Monroe going to the Milwaukee Bucks last year proved that teams in small or normally undesirable markets can be attractive to free agents - if they bring with them the promise of success on the court. Utah is in prime position to repeat Milwaukee's success. Can they?
The Utah Jazz could be quite appealing to free agents this summer. They are a young team on the rise and many say they are one star away from not just being a playoff team, but a true championship contender.
This free agent class boasts names such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Mike Conley, Demar Derozen and Nicolas Batum. Could the Utah Jazz pull a coup with at least one of these players? At the beginning of the 2015-2016 season Nate Duncan of The Cauldron said:
The Utah Jazz project at over $30 million in space this summer with no free agents among their core. A run to the lower rungs of the West playoff bracket and growth from young stars Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert, and Derrick Favors could make Utah an attractive destination.
This doesn't even mention how the Utah Jazz could go after some high profile players who become available via trade during this period.
This free agency period is going to be lit and the Utah Jazz will be the ones lighting the fireworks. If this free agency period doesn't bring back your joy and love of Utah Jazz basketball I don't know what will. It's going to be rumor-filled, full of intrigue, and could result in the biggest free agent signing since Carlos Boozer.
- Turn on Twitter alerts from Woj, @WojVerticalNBA. Seriously, why did you turn them off? Turn them back on!
- Follow all these awesome people on Twitter: @slcdunk, @djjazzyjody, @andyblarsen, @tjonessltrib and @tribjazz.
- Make a burnt sacrifice to the basketball gods: 5 Spalding basketballs at center court of your local Y. If they're worried about the fire, let them know it's to bring favor and good harvest from the basketball gods.
- Make bail.
- Watch as the Utah Jazz sign a free agent.