The Summer is just going by right now. The Utah Jazz finished hosting their summer league and go forward to the next one. We take a look at which players showed up and what to expect going forward. Also, speaking of what to expect, we expect wins in the regular season -- not the summer. And the team has gone about seeing to that. The NBA Draft may have been a dud, and NBA Free Agency is always crazy, but this year lots of teams are still way under the cap. We also break down all 30 teams and what they did this off-season.
There's swag available for the Jazz fans out there who like memorabilia; and, last and most importantly, be safe everyone.
So, the Utah Jazz finished up the first part of their Summer League (the one at home in Utah) with an impressive 0-3 record. In the first game the Jazz gave up the ghost early to the San Antonio Spurs, 90-69. Next, Utah lost from ahead against the Boston Celtics, 89-82. In the final game they found a way to lose to the Philadelphia 76ers, 86-75. That's not that great. There were some bright spots out of the players, even if the games weren't ultimately successful.
- Sophomore forward Trey Lyles averaged 20.3 ppg (3rd in the league) and pulled down 10.3 rpg (1st) on his way to the All-SLCSL team. He had the numbers but didn't really dominate, a consequence of shooting the 16/52 in three games, making just 30.8 FG%. Of course, he wouldn't have had to shoot as much if he had quality team mates to trust and pass to.
- The second best player on the club was Olivier Hanlan, Lyles' running mate from Under 20 FIBA work, who was traded after one game. He shot great, made good decisions, and his 11 / 3 / 3 while doing a lot of nice two-man stuff with Lyles turned a lot of heads.
- Tibor Pleiss is another excellent shooter, he finished the first Summer League making 10 of 16 from the field, 4 of 6 from downtown, and 4 of 4 from the line. That's a very tidy .625 / .667 / 1.000 shooting. He averaged 9.3 ppg, but he really did not do much else than hit open jumpers off the pick and pop. For a 7'3 guy to finish 60 minutes of action with 14 total rebounds and 1 total block is just not good enough. Yes, 9.3 ppg was nice, but not when paired up with 4.7 rpg, and 0.3 bpg. He was routinely pushed around in the paint, and he really seems to have bad hands -- bobbling potential rebounds into the hands of the other team a few times.
We'll always have this, though:
Aside from those three players, and the unending efforts of Dionte Christmas, not much else happened. The four true rookies (three drafted, one not), Joel Bolomboy, Marcus Paige, Tyrone Wallace, and Quincy Ford, all struggled. Aaron Craft and Spencer Butterfield got shots and sometimes made the right play. But I think their ultimate top level of play will continue to be in professional leagues around the globe, none of them named the NBA. But more in the Utah summer league in a future post.
The Jazz head off to Las Vegas today, for the more competitive league where winning actually matters. They have three games on the schedule so far:
- SAT: vs. Washington Wizards (Kelly Oubre Jr., Jarell Eddie, Danuel House, Sheldon McClellan, James Nunnally, Aaron White, Kaleb Tarczewski and others)
- SUN: vs. New Orleans Pelicans (Buddy Hield, Damien Inglis, Larry Drew II, Cheick Diallo, Ryan Boatright, Anthony Barber ("Cat" Barber) and others)
- TUE: vs. Portland Trail Blazers (Noah Vonleh, Russ Smith, C.J. Fair, Jordan Bachynski, Pat Connaughton, Erick Green, Pierre Jackson, Jake Layman, Cliff Alexander , and others)
Depending on how the team will do in those games will determine their tournament draw position. Every year the team has been in Vegas the team has failed to make it out of the first round. I expect that to continue this year as well. You know, unless Dante Exum (who isn't playing for Australia right now) feels like actually playing basketball or something.
Since flipping the switch to "win now" the Utah Jazz aren't really that interested in rebuilding, and as a direct result, are not that interesting in Summer League anymore. Ah, who else remembers the halcyon days of 2014 when the team included (from shortest to tallest): Trey Burke, Ian Clark, Dante Exum, Rodney Hood, Malcolm Thomas, Erik Murphy, Brock Motum, and Rudy Gobert? What this team is interested in right now is wins.
And two guys were brought into town specifically to help with that.
Love that Joe Johnson and George Hill are at the game. pic.twitter.com/cnWiog4893— moni (@monilogue) July 8, 2016
Yes, one of them is holding a baby and the other one looks like he eats them. That's fine. Joe Johnson 's expression was the same as mine during most of this game as well. George Hill was smartly more interested in actual growth and development instead of watching near 30 year olds Christmas and Pleiss screw up a pick and roll.
I do suspect that the Jazz are going to announce Johnson today. After all, he's in town. More importantly, these aren't the only vets in Utah right now. Gordon Hayward is in town, as he got a chance to watch Game 1 of the Rocky Mountain Revue and hang out a bit with former coach Brad Stevens. Derrick Favors is in town too and got to watch a bit of the action. Rodney Hood and family didn't go anywhere either. And of course Rudy Gobert and Alec Burks are at these games too.
By my count, the only guys who are not around are either playing in international tournaments (Boris Diaw in FIBA OQT, Joe Ingles and Raul Neto for Olympics), or don't have guaranteed money (Chris Johnson and Jeff Withey).
Summer break is over now, get Quin Snyder to pull all of your ears into the practice court asap!
The summer is far from over, and NBA Free Agency is going to continue all year long (with players getting injured and vets sneaking onto rosters after much of the season is over). But right now there are a lot of teams who have made their big moves already . . .
Though, we're going to have to wait for a while for the Restricted free agents and draft picks to all get signed, but right now there are a bunch of teams is a TON of cap space left:
- $20 million or more below the cap: Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Brooklyn Nets
- $15-19 million: Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns
- $10 to 14 million: Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz
- $5 to 9 million: Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks
- $0 to 4 million: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans
- Over the cap: New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, and Cleveland Cavaliers.
First of all, yeah, OKC is over the cap even without Kevin Durant. That's the game small markets have to pay. Second, the Nets will only have $5 million left if Allen Crabbe andboth aren't matched. But what are Philly and Denver going to do? Man. The minimum you need on the books this season is $84.7 million (rounding up). Meh, not my problem I guess.
Do you like stuff? Here's some stuff.
Tomorrow night we celebrate— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) July 7, 2016
Game worn jerseys on sale Mon. at 9 am by calling 801-325-BEES ($100/1 per person) pic.twitter.com/TSs9Kshnnq
If I did this, I'd be the lucky one who gets stuck with a Patrick Christopher jersey from a few years ago.
There's a lot of crazy stuff happening in the world right now, including here in the United States. Be safe. Be smart. And be with your loved ones.
Like daddy Derrick here.