With Gordon Hayward almost absolutely opting out of the last year of his contract next off-season it's clear that the Utah Jazz had to accelerate their success on the court, or risk losing their best player. All the moves this off-season have been in alignment with the goal of "winning now". In the NBA Draft the team traded their lottery pick for Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill. During NBA Free Agency they focused on veteran scorer Joe Johnson. And now, another piece of the puzzle has been added, bench depth and versatility -- in the body (and what a body it is) of Frenchman forward Boris Diaw. The San Antonio Spurs need to clear cap in order to be able to sign Free Agent bigman Pau Gasol. The Jazz are more than willing to help their small market cousins out . . . and the price was just the draft rights to current Summer League point guard from Quebec, Canada: Olivier Hanlan!
Jazz sending rights to 2015 second-round pick Olivier Hanlan, who played overseas last year. Deal allows the Spurs space to sign Pau Gasol.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 5, 2016
San Antonio has traded forward Boris Diaw to the Utah Jazz, league sources tell @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 5, 2016
What does Jazz bigman Rudy Gobert have to say?
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) July 5, 2016
While I do lament the loss of one of our two Canadians, Diaw is more ready to help this team than the, at best, 5th string point guard. Diaw was once possibly traded for years ago when he was on the Charlotte Bobcats (not even the Charlotte Hornets) for Andrei Kirilenko, but that didn't work out. That's just trivia at this point.
He brings versatility, a three point shot, and lots and lots of experience. The 34 year old has played in 991 regular season games over 13 seasons, rounding upwards to 28k minutes. (Milk and cookies, y'all.) Tack on another 3k playoff minutes and you have a guy who not only has Spurs DNA but also a ring with them.
Right now the bigman rotation exists in some sort of stasis right now as we don't know if Boris Diaw will be the 3rd big or the fourth behind Trey Lyles. Both are for sure not starting while Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert patrol the paint. Behind that foursome the team has Tibor Pleiss under contract, but the tall German isn't really ready to be a 5th big in my mind. Jeff Withey is, but he has a non-guaranteed contract. And last, and least, we have the raw, athletic rookie Joel Bolomboy -- who is likely to play with the Salt Lake City Stars if at all.
Diaw is on contract for one year, 2016-17, at $7.000 million on the books. He has a non-guaranteed deal for next season, 2017-18, for $7.500 million. Not a bad deal, for this year or next. As of right now the Jazz still are $10.469 million UNDER the cap. The minimum (90% of the cap) means the team still needs to add a little more salary, but are sitting really close to that at 89%. A Bolomboy signing or confirming the non-guaranteed's for some may put them over that threshold. Not a bad off-season, Dennis Lindsey.
This man and Jazz just go together pic.twitter.com/MrCqWRKJbm— Daman Rangoola (@damanr) July 5, 2016
Fun stuff? Also a former teammate of Joe Johnson when they were on those very fast Phoenix Suns back in the day.
This team really is in win-now mode, even if the path to greatness in the West goes through Golden State. I do think Dennis Lindsey has been active and aggressive this off-season; even if it is just for the short term placation of Gordon Hayward. I guess one player is that much more important than a future without him.