Day 1 of free agency has seen a lot of waves. Los Angeles Lakers fans are dusting off their old kicks, as LeBron James, Lance Stephenson, and Michael Carter-Williams are among free agents confirmed to be signing with the Lakers. Paul George is confirmed to be staying with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Chris Paul signed a four year max with the Houston Rockets. Kevin Durant got a new two-year deal with Golden State. Kawhi Leonard’s desire to play with LeBron in LA has been even more strongly confirmed by Adrian Wojnarowski, among other national media pundits, and a trade seems to be on the horizon. Aaron Gordon has signed a sizeable deal with the Orlando Magic. A guy on many Utah Jazz free agency boards, Mario Hezonja, has signed a one-year, $6.5M deal with the New York Knicks. Trevor Ariza took his defensive talents to what is becoming an interesting Suns team. That’s all just the first day of free agency, and more is sure to come.
Involving the Utah Jazz, Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune has reported that we had a meeting with unrestricted free agent Derrick Favors yesterday morning. Derrick is reportedly going to see what other teams have to offer him, but it is highly likely that some agreement is going to be made to have him return to the team he has played for the large majority of his career. According to Marc J. Spears of ESPN, Derrick does not have any scheduled meetings with other teams at this time. However, Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News has some sources closer to the situation that have stated that there are indeed meetings with other teams set up. Tony Jones did say though that the meeting between Derrick and the Jazz went on for 3 or 5 hours, it must have been quite the pitch.
Derrick Favors met for 5 hours with Dennis Lindsey, Quin Snyder and Tony Lang, according to League Sources. The meeting went very well, sources say, although Favors hasn't made a decision on his future— Tony Jones (@tribjazz) July 2, 2018
3 hrs— Derrick Favors (@dfavors14) July 2, 2018
(Note, Derrick replied to Tony’s tweet with the above, however it is possible this is only a joke and the meeting was indeed 5 hours.)
It is unknown when meetings that have been scheduled between the Jazz and restricted free agents Dante Exum and Raul Neto will occur, but they should be in the next few days.
As far as non-guaranteed players go, Thabo Sefolosha has been reported by Tony Jones of the Tribune to not have been waived by the Jazz. Ekpe Udoh and Jonas Jerebko, other players with non-guaranteed contracts for the next season, have a few more days before a decision needs to be made.
It’s looking more and more like the Jazz are going to go the typical route of internal development and continuity. As reported by our own Mychal Lowman, the Jazz are among teams interested in free agent Trevor Booker. Whether this happens or not, I do get the feeling that the Jazz will have at least one external free agency signing. Although, a “feeling in the bones” does not constitute anything certain. Who are some of the free agents still on the table that you have your eye on as potential Jazz targets?
Tonight is the first night of the Utah Jazz Summer League. The Hawks and the Grizzlies face off at 5pm MST, and the Jazz will go against the Spurs 7pm MST. Some good young talent will be featured in this Summer League. Pick #5 in this year’s draft, Trae Young will be headlining the Hawks. Jaren Jackson Jr., the #4 pick will be showcased by the Grizzlies. Of course, this will be our first chance to see Jazz draftee Grayson Allen on the floor. We will also get to see how second-year player Tony Bradley has improved while playing for the Salt Lake City Stars. It sure is a shame we won’t be seeing Luka Doncic play, with him having been traded by the Hawks to the Dallas Mavericks on draft night, but there will still be some interesting matchups to keep an eye on.
Will you be there? You can find your tickets over here on the Utah Jazz Summer League website or at the Vivint SmartHome Arena box office.
Donovan Mitchell was sighted at practices for the Utah Jazz Summer League. He even assisted in some of the drills, and was filmed briefly during one with Trey Lewis, who was Donovan’s teammate in Louisville two years ago.
Donovan Mitchell is assisting with drills for his former Louisville teammate Trey Lewis during the Jazz summer league practice. pic.twitter.com/CtmSyYP3CT— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) July 1, 2018
He has also been helping Grayson Allen with his entry into the NBA. Who could ask for a better mentor for a rookie?
Jazz Summer League head coach Mike Wells says Donovan Mitchell has been working out in SLC and helping Grayson Allen adjust. “He’s been all over the world. ... It’s good to see him back in the gym and starting his summer routine.” pic.twitter.com/8R7gzwFsfk— Aaron Falk (@aaronfalk) July 1, 2018
It is special that Donovan is taking his leadership responsibility seriously enough that he is taking initiative to be involved with the Jazz Summer League players. This is a guy that really does care about the success of his team.
Some Utah Jazz players reacted to the news of LeBron James joining the Lakers in the Western Conference:
Gotta love the West— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) July 2, 2018
The west conference real now even more— Royce O'Neale (@BucketsONeale00) July 2, 2018
Dawg fight in the west!!!— Ekpe Udoh (@EkpeUdoh) July 2, 2018
If Kawhi makes his way over to the Lakers as rumored, who is your gut-reaction favorite to win the West next season?