The Utah Jazz are in the middle of a tight race for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, but if they don't catch the Los Angeles Lakers in their next three games, several Utah players will be playing their last home game as a member of the Jazz Friday night.
Among the 15 players who are currently on the roster, only five have guaranteed contracts with no player options or early termination deals next year (all salary information is from HoopsWorld.com).
With Utah in danger of missing the playoffs for the fifth time in the last 10 years—and having not won a playoff series since 2010—it's time for the Jazz front office to rebuild.
These are the players who won't be returning to Utah for the 2013-14 season.
Al Jefferson has been nothing but consistent in his three seasons at Utah.
While earning $15 million in 2012-13, his numbers have been slightly down but so has been his time on the court. In 32.9 minutes, Jefferson is posting 17.4 points per game on 49-percent shooting, knocking down 75.4 percent of his free throws and grabbing 9.1 boards.
The Jazz could re-sign Jefferson and Paul Millsap, but it doesn't make much sense if they want to rebuild and have extra money to use in the offseason.
Al's value isn't worth more than $15 million a year, but it isn't worth much less. Plus, Jefferson is about to complete his ninth season, and Utah won't give him the length of a contract that Jefferson should desire.
It's tough to just let someone go who is averaging 12.9 points and 6.3 assists this season, but Mo Williams can't stay. The Jazz need to get younger and find someone for the future.
Mo earned $8.5 million for 2012-13 and will seek a contract worth roughly that amount each year on his new deal and new team. His points and minutes per game aren't quite the same from his days in Milwaukee and Cleveland, but he has still been fairly effective and proven to hit the big shot.
If Utah is going to rebuild, it isn't logical to re-sign someone who will turn 31 next season for that kind of money for a short amount of time. He's best served on a team that is trying to fill the missing piece.
When the Jazz let go of Williams and Jefferson, the extra cash will help give them plenty of options for their strategy in the NBA draft and free agency.
Maybe one day Randy Foye will stay longer than three years with a franchise, but it won't be with Utah.
The Jazz need to make an improvement in the starting lineup at shooting guard. Foye hasn't averaged more than 11 points, 2.1 rebounds or 3.3 assists since he was in Minnesota in the 2008-09 season.
In 2012-13, Foye is averaging 10.7 points while dishing out two assists and pulling down 1.5 rebounds in 27.1 minutes per game. His efficiency and potential isn't the greatest, and he should be someone who comes off the bench to light it up from three-point range for another team.
Again, the Jazz should look to add some fresh legs to their roster. There really isn't a need to hang onto both Watson and Jamaal Tinsley at point guard.
Both players will be cheap to sign for the short term and Tinsley is the slightly better option. Plus, the coaching staff has proven they have a bigger use for Jamaal, considering that he has played 365 more minutes this year.
Watson has tremendous experience having nearly completed his 12th season in the league, and he should be able to find a one- or two-year contract starting next year. Utah just doesn't have a valid enough reason to keep him.
Just by looking at the numbers, Marvin Williams should return to Utah.
He's averaging a career-low 23.9 minutes, 7.4 points and 3.6 rebounds. If I was averaging those numbers with a player option of $7.5 million, I'd take it.
Furthermore, because his stock his down, what franchise is going to give him nearly that kind of money each season over four or five years?
It would make a lot more sense for Williams to take the money and put in the effort in the offseason to get his numbers back to what they were in his early days with Atlanta. Then he can become a shopping item for the trade deadline or test free agency.
The only way Marvin is leaving is if he's willing to take some form of a pay cut and join an NBA Finals contender. He's about to complete his eighth season, so he shouldn't hit the panic button. Although, if winning a ring is important enough to him before time is up, he could leave Salt Lake City before next year.
Nonetheless, even though Williams lost his starting spot earlier in the year and maintained a good attitude about it (per Jody Genessy of the Deseret News), coming back to Utah is the best move for him.