Salt City Hoops » Dennis Lindsey http://saltcityhoops.com The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:09:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Salt City Hoops no The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Salt City Hoops » Dennis Lindsey http://saltcityhoops.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://saltcityhoops.com Making the Case for Malcolm Thomas http://saltcityhoops.com/making-the-case-for-malcolm-thomas/ http://saltcityhoops.com/making-the-case-for-malcolm-thomas/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 22:45:39 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=12273 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Slowly, but surely, the Utah Jazz roster is getting filled. With Washington Wizards free agent Trevor Booker agreeing to a two-year, $10 million pact with the team on Tuesday, the headcount sits at 11 guaranteed contracts.

Moreover, the front court is getting more and more crowded. With Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Rudy Gobert, recently acquired Steve Novak, Jeremy Evans and now Booker in tow, things are taking shape.

But don’t sleep on Malcolm Thomas.

Thomas is having a very solid showing at the Las Vegas summer league. He has started all three outings thus far, posting very solid numbers: 11.3 PPG (56 percent shooting), 7.7 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.33 BPG and 1.0 SPG in 23.7 MPG. He has been active on both ends of the court. Thomas’ energy and a double-double helped offset Gobert’s absence versus the Denver Nuggets Tuesday evening. All in all, it could be argued that he has been Utah’s most consistent performer.

Thomas has had an interesting road. He spent time at three schools in California–Pepperdine University, San Diego Community College and San Diego State University. While he had a nice collegiate career at SDSU, he went undrafted in 2011. After brief spells in South Korea, with the Los Angeles Lakers (getting cut prior to the start of the lockout season) and the D-League, he was signed to contracts with both the San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets, ultimately spending most of this rookie season in the D-League.

He spent most of the 2012-13 campaign with Maccabi Tel Aviv. He then earned 10-day contracts with the Golden State Warriors and the Chicago Bulls, finishing that season with them. Finally, after two months in a second San Antonio stint, he was waived and claimed off waivers by the Jazz . Thomas only appeared in seven games. He had nine points and four rebounds in the season finale . Thomas has appeared in a grand total of 23 NBA games (135 minutes) and has enjoyed a cup of coffee with six different teams in three years.

So, why does he make sense for Utah going forward? Thomas actually brings a lot of skills to the table. He is athletic and has a good motor. Thomas has good size and agility that might allow him to play both forward positions. Very similar to counterpart Jazz forward Jeremy Evans, he is a quick jumper, using that his advantage on the glass (especially offensive boards). Thomas is a willing defender, using his length and wingspan to disrupt things. He has good time when blocking shots, especially off the weak side. Lastly, he can stick the jumper–even extending out to 3-point range .

Thomas would be in line for just $948K. Given his long, winding road, he is hungry to make a name for himself – something that is evident in the way he is playing for the Jazz. He has upside and could be a guy at the end of the bench that can continue to work on his game. In short, he’s a very low-risk, potential solid-reward type of move.

With shooting and defense being premiums, as stated often by general manager Dennis Lindsey and head coach Quin Snyder, Malcolm Thomas has every chance to find himself donning a Utah Jazz uniform come regular season tip-off.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Experts’ Take on the Utah Jazz’s Draft http://saltcityhoops.com/experts-take-on-the-utah-jazzs-draft/ http://saltcityhoops.com/experts-take-on-the-utah-jazzs-draft/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 21:24:03 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=12043 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Photo Courtesy of Fansided

Photo Courtesy of Fansided

For the second year in a row, Utah Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey and his fellow front office cohorts had a stellar NBA Draft night. In 2013, Lindsey’s first at the helm, he brokered three trades that netted All-Rookie point guard Trey Burke, the potential-filled Rudy Gobert and a nice playmaking prospect in Raul Neto. It was an exciting night for the Utah fan base.

Then came last night. As my colleague Dan Clayton, who was on the ground at the Barclay Center, summed up so well, it was an exemplary evening for the Jazz–one that could be integral both in the present and going forward. Guard Dante Exum and swingman Rodney Hood are now officially Utah Jazzmen. Based on the reaction at EnergySolutions Arena and on the Jazz Twitter and Google+ communities, the response from the team’s supporters is overwhelming positive. There is a feeling of optimism,a welcome one after a long, sometimes trying season for all.

So, what are the experts saying? Because we can now retire–at least for a season–the mock draft roundup, let’s take one look at how the Jazz’s evening is being viewed.

ESPN 

Chad Ford really earns his keep each year, especially as the Draft draws closer and closer. His live pick-by-pick analysis is always enjoyable to watch as the selections are made. When the Jazz picked Exum, here was his take:

Exum is a huge win for the Jazz. They needed a potential franchise player, and I think they got him. He’s so quick, so fast and has such great size for his position. He can play with Trey Burke, or he can, and likely will, eventually take Burke’s starting job. It’s so hard for the Jazz to lure elite talent. I think they got one here.

Regarding Hood’s selection:

This is turning into a great night for the Jazz. They were praying Exum would fall to them, then hoped Hood would drop to them at No. 23. They wanted a big shooter who could play two positions, and that’s what they got in Hood. The Jazz were devastated when they fell out of the top three on lottery night. But this draft should make Jazz fans feel really good.

When Ford doled out his grades (Insider), Utah came away as honor students with an A. Per his sources, Exum was ranked third on Utah’s draft board, while Hood was 15th. Ford goes on to suggest that Burke and Exum will team up together, but that he could see the latter taking the former’s starting position. He finishes by saying, “I know Jazz fans will feel like this draft wasn’t a home run without Jabari Parker. But it was at least a triple, and given where they were drafting, that’s an A in my book.”

CBS Sports

This site is effusive in their praise for the Jazz’s Draft Night. Zach Harper took a look at each of the Western Conference teams, issuing them a grade. He one-upped Ford by giving Utah an A+, saying “I’m not sure the Utah Jazz could have had a better draft.”  He envisions a guard line that can be interchangeable, with Alec Burks factoring heavily into the equation. Harper also says that Hood is “another lottery-level talent who fell too far.” He, like a few other media members, suggests that Hood is good insurance should the Jazz opt to part ways with Gordon Hayward. That does not seem likely given their cap situation, and it seems safe to say that Hayward will be brought back. 

James Herbert included Hood as one of the steals of the draft, saying it is “hard to believe [he] fell this far.” He adds that “Hood is versatile, skilled, smart and has the kind of game that should translate well immediately.” This has to make Jazz fans excited.

Sports Illustrated

Ben Golliver delved into the winners and losers and includes Burke as being one of the night’s losers due to Exum’s arrival on the scene. While Golliver thinks it can work out for a while, he surmises that “one wonders whether push will come to shove and the Jazz will have to pick between the two players.” He does say that Hood will “have the chance to compete for big minutes on a rebuilding team from day one, while playing for another former Blue Devil in coach Quin Snyder.” 

USA Today

Adi Joseph gave his take in another pick-by-pick instant analysis. He was cautiously optimistic about Exum, saying “Utah had bigger needs” but those went out the door when Exum slid to the Jazz. He added that Exum “also has tremendous value on the trade market,” but it seems safe to say that Utah did not draft him to use in another deal. Exum earned an A-.

Joseph was a big fan of Hood’s pick, saying the Jazz were able to draft both the best available player and the best player to fill the team’s needs. Describing him as a “mix of Rashard Lewis and Danny Granger,” he thinks Hood will be an excellent fit in Utah, who had “a great draft.”

Real GM

Jonathan Tjarks takes a look at each team and had a lot of positive things to say about Utah. He says that outside of Joel Embiid, “Exum has the best chance of any player in the draft of being a two-way star.”  He also says that even though the Jazz have drafted behind the Orlando Magic, he’d “rather have an Exum/Burke backcourt than [Victor] Oladipo/[Elfrid] Payton.” Tjarks asserts that the draft may make Burks and Enes Kanter expendable.

A number of other outlets will continue to provide their analysis of the Draft, but this provides a sampling. The media seems to view Utah’s haul very positively, while bringing up appropriate questions about players roles, rotational battles and offseason movement. Fair enough. There are still lots to be determined as the team enters into free agency and trade season.

But today, thanks to an exhilarating Draft night, the outlook for the Utah Jazz looks bright and exciting.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Coaching Profile: Quin Snyder http://saltcityhoops.com/coaching-profile-quin-snyder/ http://saltcityhoops.com/coaching-profile-quin-snyder/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 21:30:36 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=11783 Author information
Denim Millward
Denim Millward
Denim Millward, before SCH, wrote for Bleacher Report about the Jazz and the NBA. Despite this, he is actually a good writer, and we promise we will eschew the slideshow format on this site. He also contributes to The Color Commentator Magazine, and strangely, likes wrestling.
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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The “Qualifications” section of Quin Snyder’s coaching resume is a mightily impressive one.  Juris Doctor and MBA Degrees, playing and coaching under legendary Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and coaching in the NCAA, NBA and D-League are just some of Snyder’s accomplishments that, on paper, make him look like an ideal candidate for an NBA head coaching job.

His previous head coaching results?  Maybe not quite as much.

Despite a diverse and largely successful 22-year coaching career, Snyder is best known for his run as head coach of the Missouri Tigers men’s basketball squad that, following periods of success, ended somewhat controversially.  Although some consider his final years at and exit from Mizzou a black mark on his resume, Snyder finds himself on the short list of head coaching candidates for the Utah Jazz, according to a report from Deseret News.

Snyder’s coaching career actually began at the NBA level.  After a successful collegiate playing career under Krzyzewski at Duke and in the midst of working on his MBA, Snyder was assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers under Larry Brown.  After his brief NBA foray in Tinseltown, Snyder headed back to Durham, North Carolina and demonstrated impressive multitasking skills by serving as an administrative assistant under Coach K while completing both his MBA and Juris Doctor degrees.  Upon completion of said degrees in 1995, Snyder became a full-time assistant coach for the Blue Devils, and was promoted to associate head coach in 1997. In 1999, Snyder was tabbed to replace coaching legend Norm Stewart as Missouri head coach.  Snyder hit the ground running, significantly overachieving in his inaugural season despite what was thought of as an undermanned roster comprised primarily of Stewart’s recruits.  Snyder’s success continued in succeeding years, highlighted by four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances including an Elite Eight run in 2002.

Snyder’s popularity in Columbia hit a snag when an NCAA investigation into the program revealed multiple incidents of misconduct.  As Snyder’s image declined, so too did the success of the Missouri program.  Though all improprieties uncovered by the investigation were deemed minor, Snyder decided to resign in 2006.  In 2007, Snyder tried his hand at coaching in the D-League, taking over the Austin Toros.  Though he never won a D-League championship in his three-year stay in Austin, Snyder won more and saw more players from his squad get called up than any other coach in the league.  After spending single seasons as an assistant coach in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, this time for the Lakers, Snyder was hired as head assistant coach for CSKA Moscow for the 2012-13 season under Ettore Messina, coincidentally another name loosely tied to the Utah Jazz head coaching job.

Snyder returned to the NBA last season and served as an assistant coach on Mike Budenholzer’s staff for the Atlanta Hawks.  While it’s difficult to measure the impact, positive or negative, that an assistant coach has on a team, former Jazz forward and current Atlanta Hawk DeMarre Carroll gave Snyder a glowing review. “I have to give a shout out to Coach Quin,” Carroll said in an exit interview.  “This is the first year a coach really worked with me on my footwork, my shot, spent time with me. That’s a credit to coach Quin. That shows me that he cares about me as a person, cares about my career.”  

Offensively, Snyder seems to be somewhat of an expert in a variety of areas.  Snyder is an expert at pick-and-roll offenses, as a 2009 FIBA Assist article co-authored by Snyder that discusses nearly every facet of pick-and-roll basketball can attest.  Snyder also created a DVD/video based around his intricate motion offense that was also chock-full of very intricate and very specific details on motion principles, philosophies, rules, drills and myriad other facets of the offense.  With a detail-oriented and cerebral coach like Snyder, previous offensive sets and philosophies may not be a surefire indicator of what Jazz fans could expect Snyder to run in Utah should he land the job.

In several interviews and publications, Snyder has demonstrated a high level of basketball comprehension and effective communication.  It should come as little or no surprise that Snyder has evidently impressed Jazz brass enough in interviews to land on the short list of coaching candidates.  However, it’s unlikely that his inauspicious exit at Missouri will not loom large over the prospect of hiring him.  Are high-level credentials, diverse experience and in-depth offensive knowledge enough to outweigh perceived failure, especially at a lower level of competition than the NBA?

That’s for Dennis Lindsey and Co. to decide.

Author information

Denim Millward
Denim Millward
Denim Millward, before SCH, wrote for Bleacher Report about the Jazz and the NBA. Despite this, he is actually a good writer, and we promise we will eschew the slideshow format on this site. He also contributes to The Color Commentator Magazine, and strangely, likes wrestling.
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Reviewing My 2013-14 Utah Jazz Goals http://saltcityhoops.com/reviewing-my-2013-14-utah-jazz-goals/ http://saltcityhoops.com/reviewing-my-2013-14-utah-jazz-goals/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:06:47 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=11000 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

It is accountability time. Back in August 2013, I laid out some predictions for the 2013-14 Utah Jazz season. Some were bold, while some were the exact opposite. With four games remaining in the waning season, it’s safe to take a look back and see how accurate or how off these prognostications were.

Gordon Hayward will lead the team in assists: This one was close. The honors go to Trey Burke, whose edged out his back court partner, 5.5 APG to 5.2 APG. If it helps any, Hayward currently has 379 dimes for the year, while Burke has 361.

Hayward will also lead the team in scoring: This fits into the less-than-bold category, but Hayward is indeed pacing the Jazz in scoring at a 16.0 PPG clip. That said, his efficiency is lacking, as the role of go-to scorer does not seem like an exact fit.

Alec Burks, whether he starts or comes off the bench, will finish second: The athletic combo guard is right behind Hayward with 14.0 PPG. Back in August, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors may be think hard about this one, but I felt Burks ability to slash and get to the line, coupled with a gradually improving jumper, would position him to be a solid scoring threat.

Utah will be represented well at All-Star Weekend: Another safe bet, as Burke represented the franchise in the Rising Stars game, while winning the skills challenge. Jeremy Evans was denied the opportunity to regain his slam dunk crown.

Trey Burke will be the second Jazz player to win the Rookie of the Year award (Darrell Griffith being the first): This will be known in a few weeks. It’s clearly a three-man race between Burke, Victor Oladipo and Michael Carter-Williams. Chances are it will go to MCW, but it will be close.

The Jazz will honor Jerry Sloan this year: Check. And the Jazz did an absolutely masterful job in honoring the one and only Coach Sloan. It was certainly a highlight of this season as it allowed the fans to look back to some glory days with fondness.

The Jazz will be a top three shot-blocking team: Way off. At a collective 4.4 BPG, Utah is just 2oth in the league. I was banking on Favors improving on his gaudy 1.7 BPG in 23.2 MPG mark the previous season. Despite increased playing time, he dipped to 1.5 BPG. This prediction was also based on some solid playing time for Brandon Rush (who was solid his last full season) and Rudy Gobert (0.9 in limited action).

Favors will earn some All-Defensive team mentions, but won’t make it this season: This one could be in jeopardy. While he has had strong individual efforts, being the anchor of one of the NBA’s worst defenses won’t garner many votes, if any.

A lot of teams will be beating themselves over not drafting or signing Ian Clark: Probably a negative at this point. Clark is starting to get a few minutes here and there, but it’s highly unlikely his performance is causing opposing GMs to lose sleep. That said, he could be a very solid find. Clark has a good stroke and gives a lot of effort when on the court.

Dennis Lindsey will orchestrate at least one notable mid-season trade: Sure there were rumors (Richard Jefferson for Andrew Bynum; Marvin Williams for a first-round pick and the implausible Gordon Hayward to Boston rumors), but it was a quiet deadline. This year was less disappointing than the previous one, as the bevy of expiring contracts figured to be potential trade bait.

Despite the growing pains, this will be an exciting team for Jazz fans to rally around: This is a purely subjective prediction. It has absolutely been a season of struggle, ups and downs, highlights and low-lights (great piece the other day by Clint Johnson about this sordid season). There have been some positives, such as Burke’s recent game-winning 3-pointer. For me, it has been exciting, as we caught glimpses of the future.

And lastly, here were my quick hits.

  • To help with the whole Burke and Burks thing, Craig Bolerjack and Matt Harpring will be electrically shocked every time they use the wrong name: Clearly did not happen. Imagine the fun if the Jazz draft Aaron Gordon and Tyler Ennis…Burke and Burks, Enes and Ennis, Gordon and Gordon.
  • Favors will average a double-double. Kanter will not. But watch out the following year, world: Favors leads the team with 8.7 RPG, but many were predicting a few more boards per outing. Kanter has turned it on of late and is averaging that double-double the past six weeks.
  • Gobert will win the rookie dance-off, performing the Snake. The video will go viral that night: Oh, Rudy
  • Biedrins will show he can still be a serviceable back-up big man: I will now cower in the corner, full of shame and embarrassment. Biedrins did earn $3.0M per point scored, so there is that.
  • Hayward will enlighten us with another full slate of Fresh Market ads that will dazzle and entertain. There will be immense rejoicing in the land: Yes, indeed.
  • Jeremy Evans will prove to be more than a highlight dunker. With an improved jump shot, Evans will show he belongs in the league: This has been one of the key developments of the season. At 5.9 PPG and 4.6 RPG, Evans definitely showed that he is a very viable rotation player. He started the year on a torrid pace, tailed off in the middle, but is coming back around. Utah has him locked in for another season at a mere $1.7M–a pittance compared to his productivity and his electric dunks.
  • Tyrone Corbin will finish the season as the head coach: And he will. But we will know soon if he is the head coach moving forward, as Laura Thompson highlighted.
  • Gobert’s wingspan and/or standing reach will be mentioned 7,653 times, most of them by the Jazz broadcasters: We got one right!
  • For the third straight season, Utah fanatics will watch the Golden State situation with eagerness. An injury will curtail the Warriors’ season a bit, but not enough to bring the Jazz a second lottery pick. Late teens would be my guess: This is one that many wish was not accurate. While the Warriors flirted with that elusive ninth place spot in the Western Conference, they seem secure in their postseason positioning and the Jazz will mostly likely be left with the #23 pick. Sadness.
  • Hayward, Favors, Kanter, and Burks will all receive Most Improved Player votes, but none will win it: Burks will probably get the most attention out of this quartet.
  • Kevin O’Connor will sign an extension, but will continue to take a gradually smaller role: He still has an influence on the team, but that seems to be dissipating as Lindsey is clearly at the helm.
  • We will see a sharp increase in Jazz fan Twitter etiquetteTwitter definitely can enhance one’s fan experience and it has for me. That said, there is still a long ways to go here. One day, all of us should just Kumbaya-it out.

Not too great, but not too shabby. How did other Jazz fans fare with their personal crystal balling?Pretty soon it will be time to make some more predictions for what will inevitably be a very eventful offseason for the Utah Jazz.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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The Utah Jazz and Deadline Deals: 2004-2014 http://saltcityhoops.com/the-utah-jazz-and-deadline-deals-2004-2014/ http://saltcityhoops.com/the-utah-jazz-and-deadline-deals-2004-2014/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 22:33:06 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=10329 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Bill Kostroun/AP

Bill Kostroun/AP

Thursday, February 20th is a date NBA fans have clearly marked on their calendars: the NBA trade deadline. As is the case this time each year, the basketball world circles with rumors of teams discussing their players, their picks or assets and the financial situations. Teams wanting to make the Playoffs may consider deals that help them short-term. Others who know the postseason is no longer a possibility may opt to adopt a long-term approach. It’s an exciting time of the year and one that can affect a team going forward. (side note: deadline day is a perfect reason why Twitter was created. Constant refresh that entire day. Sheer genius.)

Last year, due to the amazing number of expiring contracts, the Utah Jazz were among the most mentioned teams in floating rumors. Then, the deadline came and went without a single move, which was disappointing to some fans and understandable to others. Whether or not the franchise will be involved in any trades this go-around, the deadline is bound to be another fun roller coaster of intrigue.

The Jazz are typically not regulars when it comes to brokering deadline deals, with only four such moves in the last 10 years. When they have, they have been moves that affected the franchise both on and off the court. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, as we review the deadline deals from the past decade:

February 19, 2004: Utah Jazz trade forwards Keon Clark and Ben Handlogten to the Phoenix Suns for forward Tom Gugliotta, two first-round picks, a 2005 second-round pick and cash.

This trade came in that illustrious post-Stockton and Malone season where Jerry Sloan orchestrated a marvelous season from a team some predicted to be the worst team in NBA history. It was a roster full of overachievers, including the hard-working Handlogten (Clark was a disappointment and his life has become tragic). The Jazz also possessed a lot of financial flexibility and they used it in a deal to acquire some long-term assets. Gugliotta was at the end of a nice career and was making $11.7 million–money the Suns wanted to shed. The Jazz absorbed his deal and picked up some picks along the way. His modest contributions on the court were icing on the cake.

The Jazz used one of the picks for Kirk Snyder–an unmitigated disaster. But five years later, the other pick–acquired by Phoenix through the ineptitude of the New York Knicks–eventually became today’s leading scorer, Gordon Hayward. Hayward’s future is very bright and he could be a cornerstone for many years to come. All in all, a very good trade (something the Jazz hope they replicated with last summer’s move with the Golden State Warriors).

February 19, 2004: Utah Jazz trade guard DeShawn Stevenson and a second-round pick to the Orlando Magic for guard Gordan Giricek 

Stevenson had an up-and-down tenure with the Jazz. Drafted straight out of high school, he encountered some off-court troubles that marred his early career. The athletic guard played a reserve role his first three seasons and was eventually given the chance to start. Stevenson was solid, but was definitely not spectacular: 11.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG and 2.0 APG as a starter (He did have this redeeming interaction with Ricky Davis). His perimeter shooting was poor, which caused spacing issues (coincidentally, as his career waned, his outside shooting was his main staple). Thus the move for Giricek, which was consummated on the same day as the Gugliotta transaction.

Giricek is best known for his rough relationship with Sloan. He seemed to have frequent stays in Jerry’s doghouse. But for four seasons, he was a decent perimeter threat. His first season, he was quite good (13.5 PPG and 36% 3s)–enough for Larry H. Miller to re-sign him to a four-year, $16 million deal. He never reached those marks again, but had moments. Eventually he was traded in a December deal for sharpshooter and fan favorite Kyle Korver.

February 18, 2010: Utah Jazz trade guard Ronnie Brewer to the Memphis Grizzlies for a 2011 first-round draft pick.

This was a move that disappointed a lot of Jazz fans, as well as a franchise point guard in Deron Williams. Brewer had become a fan favorite thanks to his tireless energy, his defensive effort and his athletic dunks. Few players in Jazz history have functioned better without the ball. While his shooting was a weakness, Brewer shot a high percentage and looked to be a mainstay in the back court. Well, the Jazz were in the midst of some financial bedlam, thanks to several large contracts ($59 million combined for Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur, Deron Williams and Paul Millsap). With C.J. Miles showing some modest improvement and undrafted free agent Wesley Matthews becoming a revelation for Utah, Brewer was shipped out for a draft pick which was used that offseason to bring in Al Jefferson.

Brewer was reportedly on the team plane to fly out for a road trip when word came out. He bid his farewells to his coaches and teammates and went to Memphis. He unfortunately was hurt his first game with the Grizzlies and never played for them after that.

February 23, 2011: Utah Jazz trade guard Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets for big man Derrick Favors, guard Devin Harris and two first-round draft picks. 

This whole experience still stings for some of the Utah Jazz populace. Much has been said about it and it will always be a major date in franchise history. A few weeks earlier was the infamous Jazz/Bulls game that ended up being Sloan’s final at the helm. The discord between Sloan and Williams was evident and whatever transpired that fateful evening proved to be the final straw for the venerable coach. Tyrone Corbin was installed and Utah tried to get back into a groove, but things were still not right.

Then came the shocking news that D-Will had been shipped across the country to the Nets, in exchange for a package of promising players and valuable draft picks. The Nets had been in talks with the Denver Nuggets for the then-pouting star Carmelo Anthony. After their offer was usurped by the New York Knicks, the Jazz and Nets moved quickly to make this happen. Williams had been the heart and soul for Utah. His talent was remarkable, while his attitude was sometimes sour.

Who won the trade? It’s hard to make any firm declarations yet, but indicators may favor the Jazz. Williams has battled constant injuries throughout his time in a Nets uniform. While it appears Brooklyn will be playoff bound after a slow, slow start, Williams still does not look right (with a max contract in tow, too).

Utah went on to pick up two #3 picks in Favors and Enes Kanter (Jazz moved up in the draft lottery that May) and their potential is evident. Favors looks to be the defensive anchor going forward, while the Jazz are still seeing what they have in Kanter. Harris was serviceable before being traded for Marvin Williams, who is having a nice season for Utah. The final draft pick was part of the package that enabled Dennis Lindsey to move up for Trey Burke. When it is all said and done, the Jazz sent Deron Williams for Favors, Kanter, Williams and part of Burke. Not a bad haul.

With the Jazz add a fifth trade to this list next week? This is the first deadline with Dennis Lindsey fully in charge, so who knows what will transpire. If Draft night was an precursor, he may be very active next week.

Only time will tell.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Favors’ Extension and Dennis Lindsey’s Thoughts on the Jazz – Salt City Hoops Saturday Show http://saltcityhoops.com/favors-extension-and-dennis-lindseys-thoughts-on-the-jazz-salt-city-hoops-saturday-show/ http://saltcityhoops.com/favors-extension-and-dennis-lindseys-thoughts-on-the-jazz-salt-city-hoops-saturday-show/#comments Mon, 21 Oct 2013 04:00:40 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=8099 Author information
Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen is the Managing Editor of Salt City Hoops, the ESPN TrueHoop affiliate for the Utah Jazz. He also hosts a radio show and podcast every week on ESPN700 AM in Salt Lake City.
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On this week’s Saturday Show, Andy Larsen, Austin Horton and Dan Clayton talk about Derrick Favors newly signed extension with the Utah Jazz. Is 4 years, $49 million too much, a bargain, or just right for the young big man? We’ll talk about how his deal works out statistically, and compare it to the contracts of other big men around the league. Then, we break down Dennis Lindsey’s interview on The Big Show from Friday. In Lindsey’s opinion, does Alec Burks make more sense as a starter or off the bench? Do we agree? How is Trey Burke’s development affected by his injury, both now and in the future? And how will the Jazz perform in the 4th quarter with the young guys? All that and more on this week’s Saturday Show!

Author information

Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen is the Managing Editor of Salt City Hoops, the ESPN TrueHoop affiliate for the Utah Jazz. He also hosts a radio show and podcast every week on ESPN700 AM in Salt Lake City.
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http://saltcityhoops.com/favors-extension-and-dennis-lindseys-thoughts-on-the-jazz-salt-city-hoops-saturday-show/feed/ 0 Dennis Lindsey,Derrick Favors,Trey Burke On this week's Saturday Show, Andy Larsen, Austin Horton and Dan Clayton talk about Derrick Favors newly signed extension with the Utah Jazz. Is 4 years, $49 million too much, a bargain, or just right for the young big man? On this week's Saturday Show, Andy Larsen, Austin Horton and Dan Clayton talk about Derrick Favors newly signed extension with the Utah Jazz. Is 4 years, $49 million too much, a bargain, or just right for the young big man? We'll talk about how his deal works out statistically, and compare it to the contracts of other big men around the league. Then, we break down Dennis Lindsey's interview on The Big Show from Friday. In Lindsey's opinion, does Alec Burks make more sense as a starter or off the bench? Do we agree? How is Trey Burke's development affected by his injury, both now and in the future? And how will the Jazz perform in the 4th quarter with the young guys? All that and more on this week's Saturday Show! Salt City Hoops no 45:42
Can Scott Machado Make the Roster? http://saltcityhoops.com/can-scott-machado-make-the-roster/ http://saltcityhoops.com/can-scott-machado-make-the-roster/#comments Thu, 26 Sep 2013 17:47:15 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7770 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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There was not that much excitement surrounding the 2012 NBA Draft for Utah Jazz fans. At one point in the season, there was the possibility that the Jazz would have two first-round draft picks: their own and Golden State’s. But due to an interesting series of events, they ended up with neither. On the heels of a torrid finish, the Jazz nabbed the final Playoff berth and forfeited their pick to Minnesota (to finish up the Al Jefferson trade). And Golden State’s 5-22 record to end the season (including starting five rookies in the season finale) kept Utah from a valuable lottery pick.

As a result, Utah was left with just the 47th pick. While they had had some remarkable success with the same pick (Mo Williams in 2003 and Paul Millsap in 2006), there was not the same optimism last year. While not expecting a game-changer, some fans–yours truly included–were clamoring for Utah to opt for Iona point guard Scott Machado. The Jazz ended up drafting shooting guard Kevin Murphy, who saw very little playing time and was underwhelming when he got on the court. He’s, of course, been traded and will spend this year overseas.

Machado, on the other hand, will spend training camp with the Jazz this season. And some are interested to see how he fares. Can he make the roster? While the odds are against him, he will have the chance to stick.

Here are the facts: the Jazz have 13 on roster, including Ian Clark’s partially guaranteed deal. Traditionally, Utah has started the season with 13 or 14, leaving some flexibility should something crop up during the season. That means there may be room for one addition. Then again, given the homework Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey has put into things, if guys impress, they could start with the maximum.

What does Machado bring to the table?  For starters, he is a pass-first point guard, something that might be nice to have as an option off the bench. Beyond Trey Burke, the Jazz have a lot of guys who can play minutes there, but none who could be dubbed pure points. Machado let the NCAA in assists his senior campaign–9.9 apg. BYU fans also remember clearly how he led Iona in the first half of the first-round March Madness match-up. In fact, he was on track to breaking the tourney record for dimes in a game (18), as he registered nine with 5:30 left in the first half. He is a smart player who tries to understand and play to his teammates’ strengths. His AST% has been high in every setting, including his meager NBA minutes.

Machado’s shooting last season, when he split time in the NBA (Houston, Golden State) and the D-League, left a lot to be desired. He only shot 37.6 percent in the D-League and just 32.5 percent from three-point range. That said, he showed his senior year that he has some skills (50% FGs, 40% 3s, 81% FTs, contibuting to a 61% TS% and 56% eFG%). He’ll have to show he can consistently stick the jumper in camp and pre-season play.

While willing, Machado’s defense is pedestrian. He certainly has deficiencies, but perhaps his potentially elite skill of passing and play-making may outweigh those, especially as an end-of-the-bench guy.

Combo guard Jerel McNeal was waived Wednesday. He had worked out a good part of the season in Utah and played on the summer league team, so this was a surprise. He even made a Jazz appearance at a local high school football game last week. Perhaps it was McNeal’s camp who requested the move. Utah did turn around and invite point guard Brandon Fortenberry to camp. Either way, Machado has to be liking his odds should the Jazz want another point. 

Given that he was the first invite to training camp after an expansive group of workouts this summer, it looks like Jazz brass may like what they see in Machado. He could have a chance to earn a spot come October.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Who’s on the Utah Jazz’s Radar for Training Camp? http://saltcityhoops.com/whos-on-the-utah-jazzs-radar-for-training-camp/ http://saltcityhoops.com/whos-on-the-utah-jazzs-radar-for-training-camp/#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 19:22:05 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7714 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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A few weeks ago, we discussed whether or not the Utah Jazz roster was complete. Given reports floating around, it appears that Utah may look toward training camp to make any additions to the squad.

In another nice move (to close out a summer full of nice moves), Dennis Lindsey opened up the Jazz’s practice facilities this month for “open gym” time–an opportunity for current players and free agents to come to Salt Lake City, work out, scrimmage, and prepare for the upcoming season. It also seems to be serving as a mini tryout for many Utah Jazz camp hopefuls. Several players have been rumored, either through different reports or their own tweets, to have been in town to show their stuff. As always, it appears the Jazz are doing their due diligence in preparation for training camp.

Here’s a quick run-down of those guys who’ve been tied to the Jazz the past few weeks:

Alexis Ajinca, center, 7’0″, 220 lbs, France, 25-yrs old, three NBA seasons

Last weekend, there were several reports that listed the Jazz and the Thunder as two teams interested in the Ajinca. He was a Charlotte first-round draft pick who has yet to blossom in the NBA. He spent two seasons for the Bobcats and then spent time with both Dallas and Toronto. Since 2011, he’s been playing in France but may now have a desire to return to the NBA. He is long and has a wingspan that rivals fellow Frenchman Rudy Gobert–7’8.75″. He is still young and has potential as a shotblocker.

Earl Barron, center, 7’0″, 245 lbs, University of Memphis, 32-yrs old, seven NBA seasons

Several sources indicate that Barron was in town this week. He is an interesting name, given his experience and age. He has good length and solid athleticism. He is the epitome of a journeyman. While he has played seven NBA seasons, he’s only seen action in 124 career games for seven different teams (MIA, NYK, PHO, MIL, POR, GSW, WAS), sporting career averages of 4.9 ppg and 3.7 rpg (just 37.5% FGs–a very low mark for a 7’0″). He’s also spent time in Turkey, Italy, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and the D-League. Think about the frequent flyer miles. Last year he split time between the Wizards and Knicks, averaging 3.3 ppg and 5.1 rpg. Just to get you excited a touch, he did have 11 pts and 18 rbds in the final game of the season for New York.

Justin Holiday, swingman, 6’6″, 185 lbs, University of Washington, 24-yrs old, one NBA season

The older brother of NBA All-Star Jrue, Holiday has been popular amongst teams looking to fill out their roster. He latched on to team up with his brother late last season in Philadelphia and spent the summer with them before being waived in August. He was able to use the end of the season to get some experience, averaging 4.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg, and 1.7 apg in 15.8 mpg. He has also spent time overseas in Belgium (Okapi Aastar) and in the D-League (Idaho Stampede; 17.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.4 spg, 41% 3FG). He is a nice outside shooter who can play multiple positions.

James Johnson, forward, 6’9″, 245 lbs, Wake Forest University, 26-yrs old, four NBA seasons

Perhaps the most intriguing guy on this list, Johnson has surprisingly not been picked up by anyone. A former first-round pick who has seen some solid playing time in the NBA usually would have at least an invite by now. Johnson can play both forward positions and is quite athletic. He even made a game-winner against the Jazz a few years back. His best season was 2011-12 with Toronto, where he started 40 games for the Raptors and averaged 9.1 ppg and 4.7 rpg. He also added 1.1 spg and 1.4 bpg, which shows he can be active. Johnson can hit the jump shot, but is woeful beyond the arc. He spent last year with Sacramento. Besides the Jazz, the Spurs were reported to be interested. That should be enough to alert Dennis Lindsey.

Kevin Jones, forward, 6’8″, 251 lbs, West Virginia University, 24-yrs old, one NBA season

An undrafted rookie who spent most of the season with Cleveland last year. While he tore it up with the Cavs’ D-League affiliate (22.4 ppg, 11.2 rpg), his rookie campaign was nothing to write home about (3.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg in 10.4 mpg). With Cleveland adding Andrew Bynum, Anthony Bennett, and Earl Clark, Jones was expendable for the Cavs. He’s a big body who can bang around. He has already had a workout with the Jazz.

Dallas Lauderdale, forward, 6’8″, 260 lbs, Ohio State University, 25-yrs old, rookie

Lauderdale’s is another physical guy. He signed a non-guaranteed contract with Portland last season, but did not make the roster. He played for their summer league entry this summer. Lauderdale’s claim to fame may be playing college ball with former Jazz center Kosta Koufos. He came to SLC at the same time as Flip Murray did.

Flip Murray, combo guard, 6’4″,190 lbs, Shaw University, 34-years old, 8 NBA seasons

A complete blast from the past. In a recent interview, Murray mentioned that he came out to Utah for a workout. Given the youth movement, this news was a bit of surprise, given his age and the fact that he has not logged an NBA minute since 2010. Pehaps the Jazz view him as another veteran mentor type player. A 2002 second-round pick, Murray has enjoyed a long, sometimes successful career. In his second year, he emerged from no where. Taking advantage of some injuries, he showed an ability to put points on the board as a scorer off the bench for the Sonics. He has played 487 games for eight teams (MIL, SEA, CLE, DET, IND, ATL, CHA, CHI), with career stats of 9.9 ppg (41.4% FGs, 30.4% 3s), 2.3 apg, and 2.1 rpg.

James Nunnally, swingman, 6’7″, 205 lbs, UC Santa Barbara, 23-yrs old, rookie

Nunnally has been working out for a number of teams, including the Jazz. He was a four-year player at UCSB and spent last year in Greece and with the Bakersfield Jam, the new Utah D-League affiliate. He is a shooter who has shown the ability to knock down the three-point shot wherever he’s gone (40% for Bakersfield). He also was a nice rebounder in college.

D.J. Richardson, guard, 6’3″, 195 lbs, Illinois, 22-yrs old, rookie

Richardson was a four-year player at Illinois who went undrafted. He tallied 12.3 ppg and 3.9 rpg last year, but shot just 36% from the field. It sounds like he will be in Utah this week.

Xavier Silas, guard, 6’5″, 205 lbs, Northern Illinois, 25-yrs old, one NBA season

Silas went undrafted in 2011, but after spending that year in France and in the D-League, was signed by Philadelphia the final week of the season (5.5 ppg in two games). Last season, he averaged 12.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, and 3.0 apg for the Maine Red Claws. He shot just 38% from the field and 30% from beyond the arc.

Lindsey has shown a desire to leave no stone unturned. With the mini camp the Jazz ran earlier in the summer, along with summer league and this “open gym” time, Utah is doing its best to discover talent, both for now and perhaps for the future. There may be other names that crop up over the next week. With Utah Jazz media day slated for September 30, the season is fast-approaching. Perhaps some of these guys will be given their chance come training camp.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Is the Utah Jazz Roster Finished? http://saltcityhoops.com/is-the-utah-jazz-roster-finished/ http://saltcityhoops.com/is-the-utah-jazz-roster-finished/#comments Wed, 21 Aug 2013 19:11:49 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7442 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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When the Utah Jazz completed their last two signings, inking guards John Lucas III and Ian Clark, some thought that this finalized the roster. For all intents and purposes, this could be the case. My guess is that the Jazz have at least one more move up their sleeves, even if it is a minor one.

While they have the minimum 13 on roster, it would not be surprising to see them add one more player. Traditionally the team has tried to keep one roster vacancy for flexibility’s sake, but as we’ve discovered, Dennis Lindsey is helping enact a lot of changes in philosophies.

First, let’s take a look at the current roster:

PF: Derrick Favors, Jeremy Evans

SF: Gordon Hayward, Richard Jefferson, Marvin Williams

C: Enes Kanter, Rudy Gobert, Andris Biedrins

PG: Trey Burke, John Lucas III, Ian Clark

SG: Alec Burks, Brandon Rush

What kind of needs does the team have? Here are some, as I see it:

  • Back-up power forward: Favors will get the lion’s share of the minutes, but given his propensity to foul, having solid back-ups behind is important. Kanter could move over, perhaps playing the four alongside Gobert or Biedrins. Jeremy Evans could get his first shot as rotational minutes. They could also go small with Jefferson or Williams playing spot power forward minutes. All this said, it might be very beneficial to have another big body around.
  • Back-up small forward: With Williams out to start the season and uncertainty as to how much Jefferson has left in the tank, the Jazz could look at adding a small forward. Hayward will be the man here, but if Williams’ return is delayed and Jefferson is not a fit, it might behoove Utah to add someone.
  • Back-up point guard:  Burke and Lucas are the two true point guards on the roster and Burks can also get burn at the one. Clark may be up to challenge, too. They might be set here, but then again, Utah has almost always had three true PGs on their roster. Could they add another?

How could they go about addressing one of these possible needs?

Trade: According to ShamSports.com, the Jazz have $55.87 million in committed salaries (not including Jerel McNeal, who is not guaranteed until October 31). With the salary cap at $58.68 million, Utah has room to sign a nearly $3 million dollar pe ryear player. As they did with the Golden State trade, the Jazz could absorb a player from a team that wants to shed some salary, perhaps picking up another asset along the way. Teams like Miami, Chicago, or the Lakers may want to broker such a deal, thus helping defray a portion of their luxury tax bill. Doing so would give the Jazz short-term help, while adding another pick to Lindsey’s ever-growing stash. You also never know what guys might become available.

Retain McNeal: By all accounts, Utah likes the young guard a lot. He has been working out in Salt Lake City much of the off-season and was with the Jazz contingency at P3 last week. He could be the one who claims a final roster spot, giving Utah another ball-handler.

Free Agency: According to Real GM, the Jazz will be one of a few teams working out James Johnson. At 6’9″, 248 lbs, the 26-year old former draft pick could be a decent find as a back-up big. He has had his moments and has four years of experience. He may even have some upside to his game.

There are some other interesting names still out there: Ivan Johnson, Mickael Pietrus, Sam Young, Marquis Daniels, former Jazzman Lou Amundson, Damien Wilkins, Sebastian Telfair, A.J. Price, and Jamaal Tinsley, for instance. None of these guys will wow you, but for an end-of-the-bench guy, you don’t tend to expect a lot of wow.

Training Camp Battle: The Jazz will be very selective on who they invite to training camp. They may bring some guys in that they liked at the free agent camp or from summer league (two of the better players, Rasid Mahalbasic and Chris Roberts, have already earned contracts overseas) and let them duke it out for a roster spot.

It will be fun to see what the front office does to round out the roster. Some may feel it moot to be discussing a potential 14th man, but as we’ve seen in the past, that 14th man could turn out to be a Wesley Matthews, Bryon Russell, or David Benoit.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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2013-2014 Utah Jazz Predictions http://saltcityhoops.com/2013-2014-utah-jazz-predictions/ http://saltcityhoops.com/2013-2014-utah-jazz-predictions/#comments Wed, 14 Aug 2013 22:19:43 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7402 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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This is the time of the year that most Utah Jazz fans dread. The part of the year that bridges the draft and free agency with training camp can be downright rough. The one saving grace is that each passing day brings us closer to having the Jazz back in our lives more fully.

If anything, it is a fun time for predictions. I mean, everyone’s doing it. Many out there are using the summer doldrums as a time to share a broad range of predictions. For example, ESPN thinks the Jazz will finish 13th in the West, while Trey Burke will come in second for the Rookie of Year award (Chad Ford actually has Burke finishing seventh). It does make for some interesting reading. It is enjoyable to consider what might be.

So, in the same vein, here are a few of my Utah Jazz predictions. Some will be bold, some will be the opposite. Heavens, some will even be fun. Let’s get started:

Gordon Hayward will lead the team in assists: But just barely. I think Trey Burke will be able to come in and help direct this young team very well. That said, I think Hayward will have the ball in his hands a lot, especially as a (if not “the”) focal point of the offense, and as a result, will compile some strong assist totals from the wing positions. Hayward’s abilities to see the court and deliver the ball are perhaps his biggest strengths. In past seasons, it was evident how much smoother the offense flowed when Hayward was in the game.

Hayward will also lead the team in scoring: While all four returning young guys will see a big jump in production (I suppose that’s a prediction right there), Hayward is the heir apparent as the leading scorer. Not only does he have the better body of evidence, but he also has the most varied offensive repertoire. He can shoot the three-pointer, can take it to the hole, frequently gets to the line, and is working on his mid-range game. Alec Burks, whether he starts or comes off the bench, will finish second.    

Utah will be represented well at All-Star Weekend: Summer league struggles are summer league struggles. It would take a lot for Trey Burke to not play in the Rising Stars Challenge no-defense game. In fact, I do feel he will be the second Jazz player to win the Rookie of the Year award (Darrell Griffith being the first). Burke, due to his huge collegiate popularity, will also participate in the Skills Challenge. I think Jeremy Evans will return to the dunk contest. Hayward will be an All-Star game snub, since the Jazz’s record will be a factor.

The Jazz will honor Jerry Sloan this year: Now that Coach Sloan is back in the fold in an official capacity, this will be the year where a jersey honoring the Dean of Coaching will be hoisted to the ESA rafters. And Jerry will get emotional.

The Jazz will be a top three shot-blocking team: Utah ranked fifth last year (6.3 bpg), so a slight uptick is very feasible. While losing Al Jefferson’s 1.14 and Paul Millsap’s 1.03 averages will hurt, they have the personnel to do the job. Derrick Favors playing a more prominent role will automatically help. He averaged 1.69 in just 23.2 mpg last season, which translated over to 2.62 per 36 minutes. (Another quick prediction here: Favors will earn some All-Defensive team mentions, but won’t make it this season.)

Beyond Favors, the Jazz have many others who will help the cause. And no matter how the minutes fall, they could each contribute. Rudy Gobert may have some struggles offensively, but he has the abilities to be an immediate defensive presence. Andris Biedrins was able to swat 0.79 shots in a mere 9.3 mpg (let’s not dwell on the fact he had 42 blocked shots compared to a mere 24 points last season…). Based on last year’s rates, Jeremy Evans could get a block per 15 minutes of PT. Kanter should be able to get one or two. And don’t underestimate Hayward and Brandon Rush adding to the mix (0.9 bpg during Rush’s last full season).

A lot of teams will be beating themselves over not drafting or signing Ian Clark: One of the reasons Clark chose the Jazz was because he knew he’d be given an opportunity to not only make an NBA roster, but to contribute. Given his ability to shoot the ball, I can see Clark becoming a rotation player. It may not be right away, but by December, Clark will be playing some valuable minutes.

Dennis Lindsey will orchestrate at least one notable mid-season trade: Utah has a litany of assets at their disposal: a bevy of draft picks, $31 million+ in expirings, and young guys with lots of upside. While the Jazz have not made many deals involving expiring contracts (last February being a prime example), there is a new sheriff in town who may be willing to swing such a transaction if it brought back an impactful player or perhaps even more future assets. For example, I can easily see Marvin Williams playing a bigger role this year. He might be someone who could be attractive to a contender needing SF help come trade deadline time.

Despite the growing pains, this will be an exciting team for Jazz fans to rally around: Optimism is very high, despite the fact that expectations are the opposite. At a minimum, Utah will be able to determine what they have in each of the young guys, and even the expiring veterans. We all remember that overachieving squad the year after #12 and #32 left. I’m not saying that this team will finish .500 like that team did, but in similar fashion, their hustle, effort, and personalities will win over Jazz fans. The Jazz will go 30-52 and the season will be viewed as a success.

Now some quick ones:

  • To help with the whole Burke and Burks thing, Craig Bolerjack and Matt Harpring will be electrically shocked every time they use the wrong name.
  • Favors will average a double-double. Kanter will not. But watch out the following year, world.
  • Gobert will win the rookie dance-off in December, performing the Snake. The video will go viral that night.
  • Biedrins will show he can still be a serviceable back-up big man.
  • Hayward will enlighten us with another full slate of Fresh Market ads that will dazzle and entertain. There will be immense rejoicing in the land.
  • Jeremy Evans will prove to be more than a highlight dunker. With an improved jump shot, Evans will show he belongs in the league.
  • Tyrone Corbin will finish the season as the head coach.
  • Gobert’s wingspan and/or standing reach will be mentioned 7,653 times, most of them by the Jazz broadcasters.
  • For the third straight season, Utah fanatics will watch the Golden State situation with eagerness. An injury will curtail the Warriors’ season a bit, but not enough to bring the Jazz a second lottery pick. Late teens would be my guess.
  • Hayward, Favors, Kanter, and Burks will all receive Most Improved Player votes, but none will win it.
  • Kevin O’Connor will sign an extension, but will continue to take a gradually smaller role.
  • We will see a sharp increase in Jazz fan Twitter etiquette.

Feel free to share your own predictions, whether big or small, serious or humorous, in the comments. Share them with the Jazz world!

And if it took you five minutes to read this, congrats. You’re now five minutes closer to the 2013-14 season.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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