Utah has 2 franchise cornerstones in Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. That duo led the Jazz to the 2nd round of the playoffs last year and are well on their way to doing that again. These two are still young and haven’t hit their peak yet, but what is their ceiling with this current roster? Is the 2nd round their max? If Utah stands pat and banks on internal improvement, I think they are good enough to get you to a Western Conference Finals or two.
But is that it? And is Dennis Lindsey satisfied with that? I don’t think so.
We’ve heard rumors galore about Utah’s desire to add that third star to the Gobert-Mitchell tandem. You can only do that in one of three ways: draft one, sign one, or trade for one.
Drafting one is incredibly unlikely at this point. The Jazz aren’t going to have a high first round pick for many years, and even if they did that player’s timeline would be too far behind Rudy and Donovan.
Signing one has long been difficult for the Utah franchise. While Dennis Lindsey has worked hard to change that narrative, you’re taking a risk by putting all your eggs in that basket. If they don’t make any moves, the Jazz will have more than enough cap space to throw a huge offer sheet at the player(s) of their choice. The obvious targets we’ve all been seeing are Khris Middleton, Tobias Harris, Kemba Walker, and Klay Thompson. At the moment I find it difficult to believe the Jazz can sign any one of those players. That’s not because of the typical “this is Utah”, but because three of them don’t really have enough reason to leave their current team. The one most likely to leave is Kemba Walker, but does he really feel like a Jazz guy? There are a few restricted free agents that intrigue me as well, including DeAngelo Russell and Malcolm Brogdon. Restricted free agents, however, are notoriously difficult to steal away.
The final option is to trade for one. That’s where all the talk is at the moment. From Otto Porter Jr. to Mike Conley, the Jazz have been active and reportedly aggressive in trying to get that third piece. We heard for a few years how the Jazz were setting themselves up for this upcoming free agency, so why the sudden change of course and urgency? I think Dennis Lindsey is willing to take a calculated risk. What if you go into free agency and strike out, you’ll be wasting a year of prime Rudy and rookie-contract Donovan. That is obviously less than ideal. If you go get a guy like Mike Conley and believe he can be that guy, you’re guaranteeing yourself at least the opportunity of maximizing the opportunity at hand. If it doesn’t work out, you have a TON of money coming off the books to extend Rudy and Donovan and give it another shot. Trying and failing for a couple years might sound a whole lot better than waiting and flopping.
In the end, I’m guessing Lindsey is having a lot of sleepless nights right now. He’s hit a fork in the road. Do you go for it now? Or do you continue in patience hoping to sign a player you might believe in a little more? I do not envy the decisions this man has to make. Fortunately, his track record tells me I can have confidence in the direction he decides to go.
What would you prefer Dennis Lindsey do?
This poll is closed
Make a trade now
Wait for free agency