Donovan Mitchell set the league on fire in his rookie campaign, and forced everyone to take note. This is everyone from current teammates, possible free agent targets, to upcoming draft prospects. His influence could be a huge boon for the Utah Jazz.
Former Creighton star Khyri Thomas was one of the 69 prospects that attended Thursday’s NBA draft combine in Chicago. Thomas confirmed that he did interview with the Jazz and would love to join the organization...
“I think Salt Lake is pretty cool,” Thomas said. “It’s a cool, laid-back environment, easy to live, not a lot to do and I’m just a homebody anyway so I think it’s real chill.” ...
Villanova national title game hero Donte DiVincenzo and South Carolina wing Brian Bowen are both testing the draft waters without an agent, but attended the combine and the Jazz’s first day of pre-draft workouts in the same group on Saturday, May 12.
DiVincenzo described the Jazz as an “amazing organization.”
“It was a good workout, it was my first one, so I was a little jittery but I got in there and got it under my belt and I feel good about it,” DiVincenzo said. “Even when I flew into the airport, there was fans all in the airport and everything so there’s a lot of attention there and they’re really supportive.” ...
Duke one-and-done freshman Gary Trent Jr. didn’t interview with Utah during the combine but said he admired the franchise’s turnaround from starting 19-28 to becoming the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs...
“It changed in a big way. They heard a lot of things in the beginning of the year that they would not make the playoffs, they were (in the) lottery and all that type of stuff but they had a great year,” said Trent, who averaged 14.5 points while shooting 40.2 percent from three as a first-year guard. “Donovan Mitchell was playing at a high, high level and it’s going to be some great years in Utah in the future.”
And so on and so forth. Donovan forced a lot of people to pay attention to the Jazz and in a good way. Utah pulled off an incredible season turnaround and sent the reigning MVP home early.
Now draft prospects see Utah as a destination that could suit them well. With the player development history in this organization, I imagine most agents would be thrilled at their rookies starting their careers for the Jazz. I can’t wait to see who Dennis Lindsey decides to go and get.
Donovan Mitchell is also using his influence elsewhere. He’s been in Europe to watching the Euroleague final, and it looks like he put together a basketball event with Minnesota Timberwolves’ Nemanja Bjellica.
If you didn’t click on the post, Ricky Rubio had an intriguing comment: “Teammates next year?”
Whether or not the Jazz are even interested in the power forward, I firmly believe that Donovan could become a very good free agent recruiter in the few years.
These Fan Posts keep me so dbusy! It’s awesome!
PeteyPie7 plays a little Wannabe GM:
It’s draft time, so that means I’m back with my standard NBA draft post. With the season over (sadly), my next favorite part is the draft and being able to put on my “wannabe GM” hat and try my best to take a shot at who the Jazz could be drafting in June. My last post came last June; when my guesses were based on if G***** H****** was back as well as George Hill. That all seems like an eternity ago....(Since then, I also started graduate school at Texas Tech in Marriage & Family Therapy and life has been crazy!)
SO...here’s what I put in that post from last June on what I thought the Jazz could draft:
Theo Kamis puts together some summer vacation plans for the Jazz:
Of course, the Utah Jazz organization doesn’t get the whole summer off, like we all did when we were in school – but I hope that Dennis Lindsey and Quin Snyder got a couple of weeks, at least…
…so, here’s some excerpts of how the Jazz organization (SLC Dunk is a de facto part of the Jazz, by the way) might will have spent their summer breaks:
nc2003 has a discussion about Kyrie Irving and Ricky Rubio:
I’m not sure that Kyrie Irving is the best fit for Boston. They have a lot of scorers and they could use a pg who’s focused on getting all of their scorers involved. Plus, the Celtics are playing well with Terry Rozier at pg. Boston may consider a reasonable trade request for Kyrie Irving.
I’m not sure that Ricky Rubio is the best fit for Utah. We need another scorer and because our two bigs can’t shoot, we need our guards and small forward to be great shooters...
mulrich talks about the 2018-2019 Season and Free Agents:
What the jazz need in order to really contend is a matter of opinion and debate. Most people seem to agree that the team needs another scorer and a stretch 4 but there aren’t many players who check off both of those boxes. To meet those needs the team could sign two players (another scoring guard and a rotation big, building a roster similar to 2016 GSW or the current HOU/TOR teams) or they could sign one player (an all-star stretch 4). There are probably more available scoring guards on the market this summer than stretch 4s but that option will likely be more expensive since the team will still need someone to play PF. So my preference, accounting for finances and roster fit, would be a stretch 4.
As mentioned, there aren’t many stretch 4s to choose from, and I classify them in a few groups: 1) Proven max-level players; 2) unproven young players with potential; 3) dependable starters; and 4) role players. I’ll discuss each below, including discussing some players in each category (but there are likely players I will forget to mention). I won’t go into detail on cap space but will draw on Beeblebrox42’s terrific post on the subject: Jazz Free Agency Primer: Cap Space.
JRN5150 brings up an NBA Salary Cap Proposal:
With the Golden State Warriors’ 41-point drubbing of the Houston Rockets, it is clear to most fans of the NBA that there needs to be a shift toward parity. There is much debate about how to re-structure a new cap, with many pining for the NFL’s “Hard Cap” model as a framework. While the NFL does an admirable job at creating more parity than the NBA, its hard cap model would not fully work without the flexibility of non-guaranteed contracts. Thus, I present a modified Soft/Hard Cap model:
And last, but certainly not least, Beeblebrox42 talks about the Free Agency Market for Derrick Favors:
Now that the season is over and the Jazz start preparing for the draft and free agency, I thought I’d put together a few posts about what the Jazz can do this offseason. For this post, I’m going to focus on what the market is for bigs. It’s still really early in the offseason, so a lot of these numbers could change based on what kind of trades happen around the draft, but at least this will be a starting point.
First things first. No team is going to pursue Favors if they already have their bigs in place. The teams that will be considering Favors are those that will either be losing a starting big this offseason, or those that need to upgrade one of their bigs in order to compete. Here’s where each team stands:
Hoops Hype recently put together a list of 10 things you may not know about Donovan Mitchell. We’re Jazz fans, so we’re crazy. Chances are you already know these 10 things, but I decided to include them in today’s Downbeat just in case:
- He wore No. 45 in college because of Michael Jordan.
- His father played minor league baseball in the 90s.
- He had dreams of becoming a pro baseball player himself.
- Chris Paul and Paul George advised him to stay in the 2017 draft.
- The Nuggets traded his draft rights for Tyler Lydon and Trey Lyles.
- He scored 37 points in a 2017 Vegas Summer League game. That was the best mark in the competition.
- Aaron Gordon‘s mascot dunk is his favorite ever at the dunk contest.
- He finished the 2017-18 regular season with far better PER as a Jazz rookie than Karl Malone, John Stockton and Deron Williams.
- He holds the record for most threes by a rookie in the NBA.
- He wants to be a broadcaster in the future.
I went 9/10, not knowing that he wants to be a broadcaster in the future. Considering how well his interviews typically go, he would probably be great in the booth.
I’m going to take point number 5 to just ask an open-ended question.
If everything went just right, what would be your realistic dream-scenario for the Utah Jazz this offseason? This can be anything from players drafted, free agents signed, to offseason development, or all of the above. When the summer is over, what do you want to see in your Utah Jazz?