After watching their beloved Jazz lose game after game in the most gut-wrenching fashion possible, Utah fans could use a distraction. Luckily, Bleacher Report is here to help.
If the Los Angeles Lakers continue to pull out miraculous comebacks at their current rate, it sadly may not be too early for the Utah front office to start making an offseason game plan.
The Jazz will have at least eight contracts coming off the books at the close of the 2012-13 season, which will have significant positive and negative impacts on the team. The high roster attrition could undo most of the hard work head coach Ty Corbin has put in getting everyone on the same page. Bringing in a slew of fresh faces will bring the team back to square one.
Conversely, the potential mass exodus of current Jazz players gives GM Dennis Lindsey tremendous financial flexibility. If the Utah front office falls in love with a particular free agent, they have the option of paying more than market value. If they see a team desperate for cap relief willing to depart with a coveted player, they have the option of taking on long-term salary in exchange for a high-caliber player.
Because Utah is not a highly desired market to play in, their free agency pickings are slimmer than those of the Los Angeles, New York and Texas teams. Thus, the Jazz front office has to either be more creative in finding good free-agent value or bite the bullet and overpay. Utah could be faced with being in danger of not meeting the minimum salary number if enough players decide to go elsewhere, further complicating matters.
As the 2012-13 season draws to a close, the Jazz should be paying special attention to the following five players, as each could help the Jazz in different ways and in different scenarios.