Jimbo’s Mailbag – Going After Big-Name Free Agents

April 22nd, 2016 | by Jimbo Rudding
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Welcome to the next edition of Jimbo’s Mailbag! At Salt City Hoops, we know that covering a team without any humor can be dreary. As such, we decided to add a little bit more levity to our site via Jimbo’s unique outlook on the world of Jazz basketball. Jimbo, by virtue of being recently featured in the Deseret News, is now the world’s most famous Utah-based basketball mailbag artist. Interested in submitting a question to Jimbo’s mailbag? Email it to Jimbo at mailbag@saltcityhoops.com or tweet @JimboRudding to appear.

Q: Please tell me your recruiting efforts will bear fruit in free agency.


Ye of little faith; OF COURSE my efforts will bear fruit. Don’t they always??? Take last year, for example. Instead of going after free agents, I was overly vocal about the Jazz just focusing on getting Alec Burks healthy and then calling him their biggest acquisition of the offseason. So what did they do? They made his health a priority! I was also extremely vocal about the Jazz trying to get another rim protector and they hit a home run with Jeff Withey. As you can see, I’m a VERY important cog in the Jazz’ offseason machinery. They listen to me and for that I’m grateful.

So this year I’ve decided to be very vocal about the Jazz going after a veteran scorer who is both a veteran and a scorer and who can score a ton of points like a savvy veteran…and it’d be nice if he could maybe also sell a few jerseys and season tickets while he’s at it. How does Kevin Durant sound? Great, huh? Well, I’m not talking about Durant; unfortunately I’m talking about Nicolas Batum. Batum would be a good compliment to Hayward and Hood. The problem is, I don’t know how stoked he would be about coming off the bench for a non-playoff team when he could probably start for a lot of playoff teams.

The Jazz also need a veteran point guard who can show Exum what it takes to win in this league. How about Mike Conley? Well, Conley probably wouldn’t come here either, so how does Shelvin Mack sound? Not great? Well guess what? You better get used to him because every team will have a ton of money this offseason and all the good point guards are going to sign with other teams. Sorry to be such a downer.

The key to recruiting is to introduce the recruit to the things that you are most proud of, like Utah’s mountains, copper mines, and Outback Steakhouses. On the other hand, you also want to avoid showing or mentioning things that could prove embarrassing or hard to explain, like our lake stench, our Sizzlers, and Dell Schanze.

To put it all in perspective, here is an itinerary of what I would consider a typical outing with an NBA recruit:

  • 8:00 a.m. – I pick him up at the Midvale La Quinta and apologize that my Nissan Sentra doesn’t have more leg room. I also apologize for all the Burger King wrappers on the floor.
  • 8:20 a.m. – I arrange for a private skate at Classic Skating (I play Dungeons and Dragons with the assistant manager on Wednesdays). I pay him an extra $5 to play the soundtrack from the movie “Rad” as we skate.
  • 9:00 a.m. – IHOP for breakfast.
  • 10:30 a.m. – We arrive at LAGOON! We first get in line for the Dracula’s Castle ride. Then we get in line for the Terror Ride and his mind is blown that this place actually has TWO haunted house rides. After that I buy him some cotton candy and try to explain the intricacies of Frightmares.
  • 12:00 p.m. – Around lunch time is when I excuse myself for a minute to go throw up behind the Tilt-A-Whirl. This happens every time I go to Lagoon, without fail. It used to bug me, but I’m used to it now. It’s just something my body does.
  • 3:00 p.m. – We leave Lagoon and head down to the Great Salt Lake. Once he gets out of the car he makes a comment about how bad it stinks and I say, “Well, now you know why none of us come here.” At least not he can say he saw it up close though.
  • 4:00 p.m. – IHOP for dinner. Here is where I introduce him to fry sauce. IHOP doesn’t have fry sauce, so I’d have to go grab some out of my glovebox.
  • 5:00 p.m. – After dinner we drive by the Gateway and I point to the apartments and tell him that this is probably where he’d live.
  • 5:15 p.m. – We drive by the City Creek Center mall and I explain that he would be the only person wealthy enough to buy stuff here.
  • 5:30 p.m. – We drive by Pioneer Park and I tell him that he should never, under any circumstances, use the bathrooms here.
  • 6:00 p.m. – I take him up Little Cottonwood Canyon and show him the perfect place to park and make out. I quickly explain that I wasn’t implying we make out. He understands and no harm done.
  • 7:00 p.m. – We arrive in Evanston, Wyoming and fill my Sentra’s trunk with like a butt-load of fireworks.
  • 8:30 p.m. – We stop at Maverick and get some licorice and Mountain Dew Baja Blasts and then shoot off our fireworks in an empty school parking lot.
  • 10:00 p.m. – I take him back to his La Quinta.

If that day wouldn’t convince a free agent to sign here, then maybe the Jazz and said free agent just aren’t a good fit anyway.


Q: Now that the Jazz are out of the playoffs, do you know who they will be targeting in the draft?


Funny you should ask this, because I just got off the phone with my source in the Jazz front office and he was giving me the rundown of all the players the Jazz will probably be looking closely at as the draft approaches. Here’s the latest scuttlebutt:

  • Bert Bronf – Bert just finished his sophomore season at Pepperidge Farms University. Even though he struggled to score this year (six points total), I’m hearing the Jazz REALLY like his tenacity. For example, during his short college career he has already “accidentally” gouged out seven (7) eyes, which is an NCAA Division 5 record.
  • Samuel Montemayor – Samuel is only 19 years old, but he plays like a 90 year old. It’s this weird trick he does where he makes the other team think that he’s going to have a heart attack during the game and then blows right by his defender. Another one of his upsides is he was born with two thumbs on his left hand.
  • Tracy Chumpff (no relation to Donald Chumpff) – Tracy is a dead-eye when it comes to three point shooting, and that’s not just because he is a great shooter. He was actually born with a dead eye. After several years of trying to revive the eye, doctors removed it and replaced it with a glass eye the day after his 11th birthday. Doctors can’t explain how he has become such a prolific shooter only having one eye. The glass eye has occasionally popped out during games, but Tracy refuses to retrieve it until there is a dead ball.
  • David Price – David just finished his junior year at St. Jorge’s where he took his team to the final four of college basketball’s lesser-known CRP Tournament. He’s not great at any one thing, but he’s pretty good at most things. What he really excels at is online gambling. His coaches and teammates aren’t sure why, but David has made a TON of money this year. If drafted, the Jazz hope some of that luck rubs off on the franchise.
  • Chonch Gurgenshauwzer – Chonch is a 20 year old from Austria who some say could be the next Kristoff Porzingerch. I’m not totally convinced yet, but scouts say he has what it takes. Not NBA scouts, just the local Austrian scout troop. They have meetings in the same gym that Chonch practices in and the scouts there are always begging him to dunk.
  • Mic Su – What Mic lacks in name, he makes up for in size. The Mongolian-born youngster measures in at 8 feet 9 inches. If drafted, Mic would become the biggest player to ever suit up for an NBA team. Mic has really worked hard at becoming a dominant rim protector. The only issue he has is sometimes his starts hurting and he gets caught leaning his head against the rim to take short cat naps, which is a no-no at the international level.

The Jazz have politely asked that I not overshare  here so as not to give strategies away, so I hope the information above is interesting enough for you. At least I hope it gets you pumped for the draft.


Q: Who would you go after in free agency this summer?


You mean, besides Durant and LeBron? No one.

Ok, ok, I guess there are some other guys who could help the Jazz next year. If it were up to me, I’d throw crazy money at Mike Conley, Nicolas Batum, and Joakim Noah. Then when they said no, I’d throw even crazier money at Ryan Anderson, Evan Fournier, Kent Bazemore, Luol Deng, Courtney Lee, and Allen Crabbe. Then when they said no, I would panic and give Jared Dudley a max contract.

It’s a good thing that I don’t make these types of decisions for the Jazz.


Q: What are some things you’re going to remember about the 2015-2016 Jazz season?


Great question! There are a lot of things, good, bad, and weird, that I’m going to remember about this season. Here are a few:

  • Losing at home to the Brooklyn Nets and the LA Clipper Juniors.
  • Some of Quin Snyder’s bonehead lineups.
  • Quin Snyder’s amazing game planning, especially after halftimes.
  • Trey Burke’s DNP-CD’s at the end of the season.
  • ACLs, broken legs, MCL sprains, stiff backs, etc.
  • When I did that dance in my living room that helped the Jazz beat the Clippers on the road in LA.
  • Hayward dribbling off his leg and getting blocked in crunch time causing us to miss the playoffs.
  • Hood and Hayward’s buzzer beaters in Dallas.
  • Neto’s defense and three-point shooting.
  • Booker’s energy from all that cereal and also his missed shots from all that cereal.
  • When Paul Pierce body slammed Burks and caused us to miss the playoffs.
  • When I tried to spend the night alone at the ESA after a game but was caught by Vivnit SmartHome Security.
  • How horrible Jim Les was and how he caused us to miss the playoffs this year.
  • Hayward’s hair.
  • The time I gave a concession stand manager an extra $10 to let me put my mouth directly underneath the nacho cheese dispenser.
  • Trey Lyelses’s’ offense.
  • Trey Lyelses’s’ defense.
  • The time my grandma was staying at our house and wanted to record CSI: Atlanta (her favorite show) and my dad was already recording CSI: SVU Atlanta (his favorite show) and our DVR wouldn’t allow you to change the channel if you were already recording two shows and I missed the Jazz at Blazers game.
  • The Energy Solutions Center changing its name to the Vivnit SmartSolutions Homes Arena.
  • The no-call on the Withey dunk attempt against the Rockets that caused us to miss the playoffs.
  • When the Jazz missed the playoffs.
  • (I refuse to remember Kobe Bryant’s 60 points on 50 shots after today. It was an incredibly selfish performance to end an incredibly selfish season by one of the NBA’s most incredibly selfish players. Incredible.)…and it also caused us to miss the playoffs.


Q: Are these the most boring playoffs ever? Soooo many blowouts!


To be honest Zach, I don’t watch much of the playoffs once the Jazz are out. I just can’t get excited about other teams and their players. I’ll check the scores and watch highlights, but I almost never watch a game live. I’m a close-minded NBA snob and I’m at peace with it.


Thanks for all the questions, you guys! Last week’s mailbag broke all sorts of internet records, so a giant thank you for those of you who read it all the way to the end. ***I will follow anyone who tweets me the real name of the kid who played Conrad in the movie “The Peanut Butter Solution.”***

Remember to tell your karate senseis about the Jimbo’s Mailbag. Do it with four nunchucks in the waistband of your karate gi and a few throwing stars stuck in your hair. Make it weird.

Jimbo Rudding

Jimbo Rudding

I am a typical Jazz fan. I think Jordan pushed off, Derek Fisher lied, Bavetta cost us at least one game in the Finals, we should have drafted Tony Parker instead of Raul Lopez, and there will never be anything better than the Stockton to Malone days. I, along with Spencer Campbell @SCampbellSBN, started the first and longest-running Utah Jazz podcast on earth. I enjoy the in-of-doors and telling people a better way of doing whatever it is they're currently doing.
Jimbo Rudding

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