Utah Jazz Top Free Agent Target at Every Position
With eight free agents, including three of the team's four highest paid players, the Utah Jazz will have a plethora of options in free agency next year.
Utah can afford to toss bushels of money at anybody they please. The team only has about $25 million committed to next year's roster as of now.
This squad is at a crossroads, and next year will be year one of a distinctively new regime in Salt Lake City. Spending all their money bringing back the likes of Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Mo Williams might keep them in contention for the No. 8 seed in the west for the foreseeable future.
If Utah wants to ascend towards the peak of the Western Conference mountain, they will need to build around their young core of draft picks in Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward.
Many free agents are out there to help this team move forward.
What we know is that things must change because this current roster simply cannot get it done. With such a bountiful class of free agents at their disposal, Utah will have plenty of guys to look at outside of their own roster in order to speed up their rebuilding process.
Point Guard: Jarrett Jack
Jarrett Jack is having one of the best seasons in his career for the Warriors this year.
He is tearing it up for them in the playoffs and has improved monumentally over the last couple of seasons.
Jack's last two seasons have been his most productive. If Utah does not fall in love with somebody with their late lottery pick in the NBA draft, spending for Jack would be wise.
Golden State will likely not be able to retain Jack after his stellar postseason.
Averaging 17 points, five assists and five rebounds while shooting 50 percent through the playoffs, it is probable that Jack has played himself out of their tax bracket. With Stephen Curry holding down the point guard spot, it is difficult to see them opening up their piggy bank for Jack.
With Mo Williams not getting any better and Jack putting together back to back great seasons, spending money on him would be wise. Even if the front office intends on bringing Williams back, Jack was one of the best sixth men in the league this season.
A point guard that can pass, drive, shoot and do almost everything you'd want a point guard to do on the basketball court could be Utah's for a reasonable price.
Shooting Guard: Jerryd Bayless
The fifth year shooting guard out of Arizona has shown grit like never before for the Memphis Grizzlies this season.
Still just 24, Bayless has been wildly instrumental to Memphis' big run through this year's postseason. He injects instant offense into a group that goes stagnant far too often.
Bayless has embraced his role as the volatile ticking time bomb that can explode at any moment for the Grizzlies. For a squad that lacks offensive fire power, Bayless fills a role like no one else can for them.
Utah is a team desperately in need of an explosive scorer that can provide a spark every once in a while.
If Burks is to be the long-term starter, they will need someone to help move him along and even at just age 24, Bayless is a guy that can help push him to become the player he is capable of being.
In a draft that is deep at the guard position, shooting guard is another position Utah can address in that aspect. Bayless likely only becomes an option if the Jazz elect to let free agent Randy Foye jump ship.
If the cards fall in line, Bayless may be playing himself into a bigger contract than Utah would like to give. However, at age 24 he appears to be hitting his stride.
If the Jazz overpay a little now for his services, it could reap huge dividends in the near future.
Small Forward: Tyreke Evans
The Sacramento Kings, (Sonics?), have been a team in turmoil for years. They are beyond help at this point.
For that reason, Tyreke Evans will be heading into this offseason looking to find a team ready to take a chance on his massive amount of talent.
Sacramento head coach Keith Smart has been moving Evans around the starting lineup like a hot potato. His flaws in his game are not unlike those of every other player in the league. Sacramento has just no idea how to use him. Evans has started games at point guard, shooting guard and small forward which is not at all productive for his development.
For the fourth consecutive year, his scoring and assists have gone down. His field goal percentage and outside shooting did improve quite significantly this year, shooting 48 percent and 34 percent respectively.
If Utah wants to lock up a potential 23-year-old superstar, now is the time to pounce.
Evans has as much talent as anyone in the free agent pool and the draft. The Jazz should explore the option of breaking out the big bucks to buy low on a talent like Evans.
'Reke could bring a new jolt of energy to Utah that they legitimately need. He would slot right in to their young core at shooting guard and it could be a match made in heaven.
This is a risk worth entertaining for a stagnant franchise.
Power Forward/Center: Tiago Splitter
Utah has had a big team the past couple of seasons. If they could swipe Splitter from the Spurs it would be a big acquisition.
Power forward is not a huge need for the Jazz even if Millsap and/or Jefferson leave. Big man acquisitions would be more of a move for depth.
Any player the Jazz bring in could form a serious three-headed monster on the low block with Kanter and Favors.
Splitter is a hard-nosed player that at age 28 has a lot of experience to give to the two young big men.
Splitter would be a bit of a safety net and a fallback plan should Utah choose to let both Jefferson and Millsap walk. He would also come at a fraction of the price and would allow Utah to spend their oodles of money on positions of much greater need.
That being said, the Jazz would be asking a lot should they head into next season with Favors and Kanter starting from day one. Throwing them straight into the fire may not be the greatest thing for their development.
Having a veteran like Splitter would benefit both of them.
Splitter had a career year starting alongside Tim Duncan this season. While he may appear to be The Big Fundamental's inevitable replacement, if Utah can swoop in and snag him it would be a huge get for them.
Center: Chris Kaman
Chris Kaman is still a viable option at center in this league. At this point in his journey, he is better off as a great backup center instead of an average starting center.
This past season with Dallas, he saw his minutes decrease to 20 per night. He was still very effective for the disappointing Mavs. He did see his minutes decrease throughout the season, but in the right situation he will still be effective.
Much like Splitter, Kaman would fill a big need.
He would give Kanter and Favors the veteran presence they need to help push them into living up to their hypes as former No. 3 overall picks.
Again, Kaman would be significantly cheaper than retaining Jefferson or Millsap. His ability to hit mid-range jumpers, score efficiently and block shots fit right into this squad's blueprint.
There is always a spot on a roster for a capable 7-footer in the NBA.
Kaman's best days are clearly behind him but center is not the position Utah will be looking to break the bank for. Dwight Howard and Nikola Pekovic are most likely out of their price range.
If they make a run at Kaman, it would be a move to solidify their already foundational front line.