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Downbeat #2041 - The Utah Jazz are the best bang for your buck, if you’re a GM

Looking at wins, losses, the rest of the season, and Greg Ostertag’s armpits. What? Shut up.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Are we seriously at 2040? After taking like three months off with no Beats, still? Wow. We must be collectively crazy. Sorry this is so late, I had to crunch some numbers, and then ultimately not use them at all. #Blessed Anyway Utah Jazz fans, we have the second half of the season starting tonight! Let’s get into it:

The Utah Jazz start back up again, and there are 25 games left on the regular season schedule. The Month ending road trip has the Jazz playing @ Milwaukee Bucks (Friday), @ Washington Wizards (Sunday), and @ Oklahoma City Thunder (Thursday). (N.B. They host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday in the second night of a back to back and the third game in four nights.)

The Utah Jazz are 14-9 since the calendar turned to 2017. And you could argue that they limped into the All-Star Break on a 1-4 ‘effort’ that saw them relinquish control over the 4th seed. Finish February with three more wins is absolutely necessary now if they want to keep up with the rest of the West.

What do you think?

By now you know that Rodney Hood is going to be back in action tonight. So . . .

Utah Jazz v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

a) How many minutes tonight?

b) What can he do to help the team if his shot isn’t falling?

c) Does his return solve anything for the Utah Jazz?

Some teams just pay little for what they get, others pay a lot and get nothing in return. Yahoo! Sports / The Vertical’s money guy Bobby Marks tries to put this into perspective a bit by just showing the team salary rankings. (Tweet 1-15, Tweet 16-30) (Thanks to Diana for finding this!) I think that showing one data point is nice. Showing two is better.

I spent three hours on a downbeat ‘beat’ and got it wrong and I got frustrated and needed time away from the computer.

Instead, here are the two tweets by Marks himself and we’ll just look at the teams and gawk at the one data point issue here.

From Marks’ data the Utah Jazz have the least expensive salary in the league. They are tied for the 7th best winning percentage this season, so that’s a lot of bang for your buck. Of course, the Golden State Warriors are the 15th most expensive team and the best in the league by Win %, so you kinda have to start with them. There are some bad teams out there too. The Portland Trail Blazers are the 3rd most expensive, but the 20th in WIN %. The New York Knicks are 9th most expensive, but 23rd overall in being ‘good’. And the Orlando Magic are the 8th most expensive team out there, and the 27th best in the NBA.

Looks like the Magic aren’t so great when they don’t get the #1 and #2 draft picks in back-to-back years.

But back to the Jazz, yeah, this team has a lot of good salaries right now: Dante Exum, Shelvin Mack, Trey Lyles, Joe Ingles, Rudy Gobert, Rodney Hood, Jeff Withey, Raul Neto, and Joel Bolomboy all make $3.9 million to $0.6 million this year individually. Those nine players are making $16.9 million this year, or an average of $1.9 million each. That’s a group of players that includes two starters (Gobert, Hood), and three rotation players (Exum, Lyles, Ingles).

The economics will change when these guys get their next contracts. Mack, Ingles, and Withey are in contract years. Exum, Lyles, Gobert, Hood, and Bolomboy are still on their rookie deals. Neto is in-between the two because he has a non-guaranteed deal for next year, off of his rookie deal.

But hey, this team is cheap and good now, for at least now!

Check out this move by Ty Lawson here . . . you kinda have to punch him right if he does this to you?

This is some ‘upon the honor of your ancestors’ type of disrespect. Can you imagine what Jerry Sloan would have done as a player?

More Greg Ostertag? Sure! Why not!

I haven’t listened to this yet but I definitely will.