What Realistic Moves Would You Like to See the Jazz Make This Off-Season To Improve The Team?

Last off-season, the Jazz drastically remolded its roster in order to try to make a run at the NBA championship--with the biggest moves being to trade Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, Grayson Allen and two 1st round draft picks (2019 #23 pick, and a protected future pick) for Mike Conley, and to trade Derrick Favors and his salary (without taking back any players or salary) in order to clear up cap space to sign Bojan Bogdanovic.

The Jazz also signed Jeff Green, Ed Davis, Emmanuel Mudiay and Nigel Williams-Goss in free agency, and drafted Miye Oni (in the 2nd round) to round out the roster. During the season, the Jazz waived Jeff Green and signed Rayjon Tucker from the G-League, signed Juwan Morgan, and traded Dante Exum for Jordan Clarkson. Additional 2nd round draft picks Justin Wright-Foreman and Jarrell Brantley were signed to G-League 2-way contracts.

In making its roster moves, the Jazz traded size, length and defense for offense and shooting, and went from having a very good defensive team with mediocre offense to a very good offensive team with mediocre defense. With a much different team, the Jazz had much the same result in the playoffs this season as it had the past several seasons, blowing a 3-1 playoff lead, and losing in game 7 of the first round of the playoffs by 2 points to the Denver Nuggets.

The Jazz roster at the end of the season was the following:

PG: Conley, Mudiay, Williams-Goss;

SG: Mitchell, Clarkson, Tucker;

SF: O’Neale, Ingles, Oni;

PF: Bogdanovic, Niang, Morgan;

C: Gobert, Bradley, Davis;

2-way players: Wright-Foreman, Brantley

Going into the off-season, Clarkson and Mudiay are unrestricted free agents (the Jazz have Clarkson's Bird rights, but have no Bird rights concerning Mudiay); Mike Conley could opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent (and if he did so, the Jazz would have Conley's Bird rights); Williams-Goss, Tucker, Oni, Niang and Morgan all have non-guaranteed contracts, and could be waived by the Jazz without having to count any of their prospective salaries towards the Jazz's salary cap, except for Tucker's salary, which is guaranteed in the amount of $340,000 (so that amount would count towards the Jazz's salary cap, if Tucker was waived); and Wright-Foreman and Brantley are 2-way restricted free agents. The Jazz could also waive a player who has a guaranteed contract, and stretch that player's remaining guaranteed salary amount to be paid (if that amount is at least $250,000) over twice the number of years remaining on the contract, plus one year (in equal amounts each season).

The Jazz team salary for next season (at the beginning of the off-season), counting everyone on the team other than free agents Clarkson and Mudiay, is at $117,071,459. The Jazz own the #23 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, and if the Jazz were to use such pick and were to sign such draft pick, that player's rookie salary is predicted to be $2,449,320.

It reasonably appears that the salary cap, luxury tax threshold and luxury tax apron will be set in the same amounts as for the 2019-2020 season, namely, $109,140,000 for the salary cap, $132,627,000 for the luxury tax threshold, and $138,928,000 for the luxury tax apron. If a team engages in a sign and trade transaction, uses any portion of its mid-level exception, or uses any portion of its bi-annual exception, that team would then have a hard salary cap imposed, which would be at the amount of the luxury tax apron--namely, $138,928,000--and that team's total salary could not exceed the salary tax apron for any reason. A team is required to carry at least 13 players on its roster. The salaries of 2-way players do not count towards a team's salary cap, although a 2-way player can spend up to 45 days with their NBA team during the regular season (and can play in up to 45 games, if the only days they spend with the team are game days), as well as time prior to and after the regular season, including the playoffs.

Because the Jazz will be over the salary cap for the 2020-2021 season (unless Conley opts out of his contract, or the Jazz trades Conley without bringing any salary back, which is highly unlikely), the only tools the Jazz will have to sign new players will be its Bird rights for its own free agent players, the mid-level exception, the bi-annual exception, the rookie draft pick exception, and the veteran minimum exception. The Jazz will have available to it the Bird exception for Clarkson (and for Conley, if he opts out of his contract), and should have the non-taxpayer mid-level exception (which is likely to be set at the same level as last season at $9,258,000), the bi-annual exception (which is likely to be set at the same level as last season at $3,623,000), the rookie draft pick exception for its #23 pick (estimated to be at $2,449,320). Both the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions can be split up in order to sign more than one player. Another roster building tool the Jazz will have at its disposal is the ability to add cash to a trade. Last season the total amount of cash a team could add to trades (or receive in trades) was $5,617,000. The amount of cash that can be sent out/received in trades for the 2019-2020 season is likely to remain the same for the 2020-2021 season.

It would reasonably appear that the Jazz's biggest team needs are (1) a competent backup center, (2) another wing defender, (3) a bench scorer (the role filled by Clarkson this past season), and (4) a stretch-4 PF with traditional size--and not in that particular order.

Those are the ground rules. With those ground rules, what realistic moves would you like to see the Jazz make in an attempt to improve the team for next season?

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.