Chat Wrap: Free Agency, Cap & Trade

June 30th, 2015 | by Dan Clayton

 

Whether Utah can pursue free agents like Danny Green depends on what they do with Trevor Booker and their own roster. (Getty Images)

Whether Utah can pursue free agents like Danny Green depends on what they do with Trevor Booker and their own roster. (ESPN/Getty Images)

Let the craziness begin.

There are just hours to go before NBA free agency, and you probably have questions. Whether or not the Utah Jazz wind up making a big splash with a major signing or summer trade, the conversation over the next few days and weeks will have a lot to do with the different salary mechanisms available.

So ask away! On free agency eve, SCH’s Dan Clayton will be answering questions on the Jazz’s cap situation and possible avenues for talent acquisition. Feel free to ask your question in the comment section below or by tweeting at Dan. Dan will be answering questions starting at 4:30 MDT on Tuesday, June 30.

Hey, everybody. Sorry for the late start. Got caught in a rain storm while biking home. Eek. Let’s get going with a question from Peter.

Peter: If the Jazz use all of their cap space in the next few days, will they still be able to sign Tibor Pleiss?

If the Jazz run out of cap space, they can still sign Pleiss to a minimum contract, or they can use all or part of the $2.8 million room exception. The minimum would only be $525K, so Pleiss would really have to want to be in the NBA (and/or believe in his future earning potential) to take that. But I’m sure that would be the Jazz’s preference, because then the $2.8M would be intact if there was somebody else they wanted to talk to.

Stanley: Should the Jazz sign players to short term (to remain flexible) or long term deals (in preparation for the salary cap increase) this summer?

Good question, Stanley, and there are people in both schools of thought. I’m of the opinion that flexibility will matter less going forward, so this might be the Jazz’s last real chance at commoditizing the flexibility they’ve worked so hard to create. Having cap room next year or in 2017 just won’t be that much of an advantage. That’s why I think most teams would love to lock up good players on longer deals that will look friendlier relative to the exploding cap. But that obviously only makes sense if you can get guys who fit your program & culture.

Brandon: Why do you even pretend we are going to do anything. All the build up for the draft and the front office punts, what suggests we act any different in FA. I expect signing same dleaguers from last year. Maybe a move to try to get one mediocre player by packaging Booker and Burke and a future pick. Why tease us? Isn’t the Lyles move frustrating enough?

Brandon’s a little disappointed. In all honesty, you might be right. The Jazz really like the core they’ve put together and I don’t think they’ll do anything major unless the right guy falls in their lap. But there are some pretty clear holes they could reasonably address without changing the plan midstream, so I would assume that Dennis will be making some phone calls tonight.

Steven: Is Pleiss considered a stretch big? I know he shot 85% from the ft line so hes got touch, but can he stretch it out to the 3 point line?

I wouldn’t call him a stretch guy, no. Others have pointed to his 3FG% as evidence to the contrary, but the sample size is beyond negligible there. He takes a three every other game and makes one about every FOURTH game. So yeah, that’s 40-50%, but not on a sample that’s going to make anybody guard the Jazz differently. That said, he has a nice touch and he’s a pretty heady pick & roll finisher. One of those guys whose arms come down on the P&R dunk while his body is still going up. Definitely worth figuring out if he can play, but I’m not sure the Jazz have him penciled into the 2nd center spot. He might be better suited to being a 5th big, at least until we see what he can do.

Steven: What are your thoughts on Kyle Singler? He shouldnt mess up the core at all with playing time. Doubt OKC matches him since they will be in the luxury if they sign Kanter. Shot about 40% from downtown last year.

Singler is a bit of a one-trick pony. Short version: I don’t think he’s better than Ingles, let alone than Hayward, Burks and Hood. So I’m not sure why they’d spend the money. Marc Spears is saying he’s expected back in OKC anyway.

Cory: To me, seems like Jazz are more likely to use cap space in a deal to take a player with a big contract off another team’s hands packaged with another asset or two, rather than signing a player in the $8-$10 mil range. The players I feel are better than our young players aren’t coming here (i.e. Gasol, Butler, etc). And the lower tier players I don’t think are worth big money to just take minutes from our young, developing guys. Thoughts?

That’s what I thought, too, although I pictured them doing something with #12 that would bring back something better than just dead salary (a la Andris Biedrins). But you’re right about who they’re definitely not getting. It’s sounding more and more like they are looking at improving around the edges this summer, although I’m sure that would change if somebody they’re in love with shocked them by saying yes. Dennis Lindsey always issues the caveat that, “If the right guy wants to say yes,” they’ll accelerate the timeline. Not sure who the “right guy” would be in this FA class, but I think they like where the plan is taking them.

Jake: Does Tomic have ANY trade value at this point, maybe to a team like LA or NY that might feel they can persuade him to come over?

I’m sure he has some nominal value. But the history of 31+ year old rookies coming to the NBA is pretty short, and only one of those became a very solid NBA player. (Prigioni is at least a rotation regular, and Antic was until he bolted.) So what kind of asset would even LA or NY give up? Honestly, Tomic’s value is approaching Peter Fehse-like levels. Too bad, I still think he could have been a really good rotation big in the NBA. Alas.

Jeremy: This year will probably be the last year in awhile where being financially flexible will be benificial for a team like the Jazz. I agree with Zach Lowe when he states that if you have the money, SPEND IT NOW. The Jazz has done a lot over the years to be this flexible financially, so it wouldn’t make sense to stand pat and do nothing during FA. I hear the other argument that is bringing in a player will take minutes away from our young players, but we are not a good enough team to contend for anything as of right now…

(Sorry for trimming. Jeremy’s full question is below.) I actually don’t disagree with this. As I said above, cap space just won’t be as strong a commodity in 2016 or 2017. Aside from that, the Jazz just need more impact players. You’re right about point guard play NEEDING to improve, and maybe the Jazz believe that can happen with Trey Burke still on the roster. They probably need another playable big, too. But it sounds like their preference is to address those needs without giving up on their guys. Andy has a great post at KSL today about that. I’m not sure I fully subscribe to the logic, but it sounds like that might be how they’re leaning.

Joshua: With San Antonio trying to sign Aldridge and needing flexible to do so. Could the Jazz then trade for Splitter and an asset. Something like Booker, Trey, Jerrett, Millsap, and Cotton, for Splitter, Patty Mills, and a Future 1st protected? It would help both teams in getting the flexible the Spurs need and Jazz getting a backup center and point guard.

Depending on how the Jazz structure their cap situation, they could absorb the $12M and change of Splitter and Mills even without giving away all those guys. So I think it comes back to two things: 1) Who would the Spurs want? And 2) What are other bidders offering? Splitter is a quality big, and Mills a valuable rotation scorer. When all the calls come in, I’m not sure that a package built around Burke gets it done. I’ve heard — not all that surprisingly — that Burke’s value around the league isn’t exactly piping hot right now.

JoshG: I think Gerald Green could be a nice pickup. He is 6’8 and 29 years old, he was not to happy with his playing time in PHX and getting Booker could have helped the situation. They also have Bogdan Bogdanovic coming in the future. I am not sure how much he would demand. He shot 40% from 3P last year. He is G/F. I don’t think he would demand a huge contract. He only got paid 3.5 mil. I would expect a nice raise for him though.

Again, I’m skipping to the end of JoshG’s comment since we’ve already touched on the other areas. I think you touched on the reason the Jazz would be nervous about GG: he’s got a history of ‘tude. Even otherwise, I think the question that would come up is this: is he better than Hayward? Certainly not. Burks? Maybe in one or two area, but Burks has better upside and isn’t a headcase. Hood? Again, probably not in 3 years. So why spend the money it would take to get him? I think if the Jazz go after a wing, it will be somebody who offers an obvious upgrade.

@iPrinceJester: IF Wes never got hurt, he should’ve been our 1st priority w/ a max? Wes or Danny Green given the same price?

Both good questions, although I kind of hate speculating on wild hypotheticals. I think a pre-injury DCMW (that’s “Don’t Call Me Wes,” for the uninitiated) is one of those guys who gets the “market max” or at least gets into eight figures because having someone like him locked down heading into the new cap environment is advantageous. That’s the same reason I think Green will ultimately get $12M+ from somebody. Either would be good gets, but obviously Matthews’ injury is the kind that makes you think long and hard. Not a lot of NBA guys look the same after that injury. As far as the Jazz are concerned specifically, their logic is this: Is Green better than Burks? Probably. But is he better by a wide enough margin that you’re OK paying him that much more AND probably marginalizing Hood to a degree? That’s a tough question. I’d do it in a heartbeat for someone who I definitely felt was on a different tier. But they really are excited about the Hayward-Burks-Hood trio, so I think the bar is set pretty high as they consider wings.

I just realized I never answered your direct question. Definitely Green given the injury. If you want me to make that decision in an imaginary alternate reality where Wes isn’t hurt… I don’t know. Probably still Green, but it’s a lot closer.

@JasonForTheLove: Lebron is coming to the Jazz right?

These are the types of questions you get when you work through the queue too fast and beg Twitter to give you more questions.

@JazzJargon: how much should I command from the jazz to sign me?

Sign you for what job?

This is a loaded question since I saw Spencer play last Saturday at a tweet-up pickup game in Salt Lake. And since Spencer’s team won more often than my team.

@therobbiesimmons: How many Cafe Rio burritos can the Jazz afford under the new CBA?

Robbie, why would you mention Cafe Rio right after I left SLC again? Way to rub it in. Assuming a $100 million cap and an $8 burrito, that’s…. a lot of burritos. I’m hungry now.

With that, I think I’ll wrap this thing up. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter with any additional questions. If demand is huge, we’ll do another one of these before free agency is all over.

Thanks, all!

Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton

Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City, but contributes regularly to Salt City Hoops and BBALLBreakdown.
Dan Clayton

9 Comments

  1. Peter says:

    If the Jazz use all of their cap space in the next few days, will they still be able to sign Tibor Pleiss?

  2. Stanley says:

    Should the Jazz sign players to short term (to remain flexible) or long term deals (in prelaration for the salary cap increase) this summer?

  3. brandon says:

    Why do you even pretend we are going to do anything. All the build up for the draft and the front office puntes what suggests we act any different in FA. I expect signing same dleaguers from last year. Maybe a move to try to get one mediore player by packaging Booker and Burke and a future pick. Why tease us? Isnt the Lyles move frustrating enough?

  4. Steven says:

    2 questions.

    Is Pleiss considered a stretch big? I know he shot 85% from the ft line so hes got touch, but can he stretch it out to the 3 point line?

    What are your thoughts on Kyle Singler? He shouldnt mess up the core at all with playing time. Doubt OKC matches him since they will be in the luxury if they sign Kanter. Shot about 40% from downtown last year.

  5. Cory says:

    To me, seems like Jazz are more likely to use cap space in a deal to take a player with a big contract off another team’s hands packaged with another asset or two, rather than signing a player in the $8-$10 mil range. The players I feel are better than our young players aren’t coming here (i.e. Gasol, Butler, etc). And the lower tier players I don’t think are worth big money to just take minutes from our young, developing guys. Thoughts?

  6. Jake says:

    Does Tomic have ANY trade value at this point, maybe to a team like LA or NY that might feel they can persuade him to come over?

  7. Jeremy says:

    This year will probably be the last year in awhile where being financialy flexible will be benifitial for a team like the Jazz. I agree with Zach Lowe from a different website, when he states that if you have the money SPEND IT NOW. The Jazz has done a lot over the years to be this flexible financially, so it wouldn’t make sense to stand pat and do nothing during FA. I hear the other argument that is bringing in a player will take minutes away from our young players, but we are not a good enough team to contend for anything as of right now. We didn’t have great point guard play, and our wing depth isn’t the best. Ingles is a fine player but shouldn’t play nearly as much minutes as he did last year, neither should Milsap. Bring in some good pieces, let them mentor our youth and show them how it’s done. Bringing in a guy like Danny Green (who has a ring, a second round/dleaguer) is far better for a team than letting them figure things out on their own.

  8. joshua says:

    With San Antonio trying to sign Aldridge and needing flexible to do so. Could the Jazz then trade for Splitter and an asset. Something like Booker, Trey, Jerrett, Millsap, and Cotton, for Splitter, Patty Mills, and a Future 1st protected? It would help both teams in getting the flexible the Spurs need and Jazz getting a backup center and point guard.

  9. JoshG says:

    I don’t think Pleiss would be considered a stretch 4 yet. He simply did not play enough. He has the ability to turn into one possibly. He was drafted in the 2nd rd, so he should not cost the jazz very much. Give him a 2-3 year deal and see what happens.
    Just read that OKC is going to sign Singler, but I think it would be a good fit for the jazz as well. We are not going to get Danny Green.

    I think the jazz are not going to do anything too big in FA and see what happens with the team with Burks and a full season with Hood. It seems that a stretch 4 and back up C and a shooter is what everybody keeps talking about. I think we need a PG that can help Exum develop.

    I think Gerald Green could be a nice pickup. He is 6’8 and 29 years old, he was not to happy with his playing time in PHX and getting Booker could have helped the situation. They also have Bogdan Bogdanovic coming in the future. I am not sure how much he would demand. He shot 40% from 3P last year. He is G/F. I don’t think he would demand a huge contract. He only got paid 3.5 mil. I would expect a nice raise for him though.

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