We go a little hard about the NBA Draft, and hopefully this could be the last season in a while where we'll have to do that. As Utah Jazz fans we've never really made a splash in NBA Free Agency despite some seasons of having a lot of cap space. Really, the last three big Unrestricted free agents the team signed in July were Trevor Booker, John Lucas III, Randy and Foye. Part of the reason is that our front office is smart, and were saving all of that cap space for extending guys like Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Alec Burks -- while having money left over for Rudy Gobert, Trey Burke, and Dante Exum, and Rodney Hood. The other thing, well, is that even in period where the team had money to spend not a lot of big name UFAs want to move to Utah.
Hence, free agency is fun, but not always a period were the Jazz get players over "flexibility". Anyway, on to the 2015 (and so on) cap space numbers. (That I suspect many of you are interested in). As you can see -- it blows up.
While the Jazz stay financially free to do a lot of work. Even if the team INCLUDES all the non-guaranteed contracts there's still $12 million left this off-season. There's even more if we don't bring all of these guys back: Jack Cooley, Bryce Cotton, Christapher Johnson, and Elijah Millsap. (I suspect they'll be used like Diante Garrett and Erik Murphy were used like last off-season, at least some of them.) Chris Johnson may not have much of a market, but there's even more space if they say goodbye to Trevor Booker (I think that's a bad move at this point in time). Booker is only on the books for $250,000 next year if the Jazz decide to drop him. If they decide to keep him he's playing for less than $5 million (which, if we want to "go there" is $2-3 million less than the team was paying Marvin Williams and Mo Williams and most of those guys).
The year after that, the Free Agent class of 2016, has the Jazz needing to feel about half of their available cap space (if they wanted to go that high). I can't imagine what lots of teams would be interested in Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Pau Gasol, Dwyane Wade, Brook Lopez, Rudy Gobert, Andre Drummond, Damian Lillard, Al Horford, Jonas Valanciunas, Al Jefferson, Shabazz Muhammad, Brandon Jennings, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Love, Mike Conley, Dwight Howard, David Lee, Kobe Bryant, Jamal Crawford, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic, Monta Ellis, Chris Kaman, DeMar DeRozan, Ryan Anderson, Victor Oladipo, Chandler Parsons, David West, Joakim Noah, Deron Williams, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Roy Hibbert, Danilo Gallinari, and so forth. It's not Socialism where everyone will get the guy they need, but Utah will have money to spend. So there are two seasons to get our program looking great as we reload for our #playoffpush.
Of course, let's not forget that while we do go crazy for the draft -- so do the Jazz decision makers. Here are the draft picks the team has on deck right now over the next four seasons, and where they fit into our cap.
Yeah, there will be cap space, but Utah could perpetually be rotating in guys on rookie contracts. Which is smart.
Either way, there's money to spend over the next few seasons. I can imagine Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors will deserve raises. And Rudy too. If our team scouts well, drafts well, and develops well -- there may be no need to even sign outside of the team, just keep giving the guys coming off of rookie deals what they deserve.
What do you think?