If you have been paying attention you've noticed that it's now July 1st, which is Canada Day. Er, I mean that means something to our new Utah Jazz rookies Trey Lyles and Olivier Hanlan, right? It's also the first day of NBA Free Agency. And things are already going crazy. Goran Dragic has agreed to return to the Miami Heat. Paul Millsap is getting thrown a fortune, and it's down to the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks right now. The Los Angeles Lakers could be getting both LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan. And even guys like Mike Dunleavy are making bank. It's been an exciting few hours so far (and yes, I know a lot of you are like me and have been up all night keeping tabs on everything that's happened since 12:01 Eastern time). In the cover of the home page there are some important links for everyone to keep checking.
Every important NBA Free Agency rumor (all in one place)
- Every NBA Free Agent signing (all in one place)
- All of the Utah Jazz Free Agency info, news, rumors, and analysis (all in one place)
And specifically for the Jazz, this is what Dennis Lindsey and company is working with.
There's a lot of cap space, and it's likely the Trevor Booker is going to return, it's not hard to eat up his $5 million. It's likely that Unrestricted Free Agent dunker Jeremy Evans is gone. There is space to add Restricted Free Agent wing Joe Ingles, and I think he could be had for some security and a song -- though it is likely that other teams are going to come calling. The hometown discount is likely to come into effect here because of the mutual interest for both parties. I wouldn't pay more than $3.5 million for him. No need to go up to the full Matt Harpring golden handshake / golden parachute deal of $6.5 million.
But aside from that, like with the NBA Draft, there aren't a lot of holes on this team. Point guards Dante Exum and Trey Burke will be better next season. Bryce Cotton backs them both up until the Jazz cut him at no penalty. Olivier Hanlan is point qualified here, but I don't know if he will make the team. (For the fun of this exercise I did include his estimated contract here.) Raul Neto is rumored to be in the mix, but more on that in a later post.
Similarly, things inside are really taking shape with Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, Trevor Booker, and Trey Lyles on the books. And Grant Jerrett too -- I keep forgetting all about him! Jack Cooley could be easily replaced with Tibor Pleiss, who is in Utah right now. So, you know, read the writing on the wall.
If you are going to throw some free agency money around it's clear to me that you could do it at the wing spot. Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Rodney Hood, and perhaps Joe Ingles makes a nice foursome -- but it's not a very fearsome one. Chris Johnson and Elijah Millsap were call-ups from the minors last season, but you don't call them franchise cornerstones. As the Jazz didn't take a wing in the draft it is likely that they have a free agent target in mind. And if they want, they could easily spend $10 million a season on this new guy.
Anyway, read the chart. Ask questions. Get answers. GO JAZZ!