Shams Charania of RealGM today reported that the Jazz have signed Elijah Millsap to a 3 year deal, keeping him on the team for the rest of the season.
The contract specifics aren’t clear yet. According to Charania, both of the last two years of the deal are team options, but NBA CBA rules specify that there can be only one team option year on any contract. Furthermore, team options have been nearly extinct in the NBA since the rise of non-guaranteed contracts. Because of this, I’d bet that the final two years are actually non-guaranteed, though I haven’t been able to confirm. This post will be updated once I can find out more.
Update: the final two years are indeed non-guaranteed at the minimum salary throughout, per sources. I do not know what the contract guarantee dates are, or if there are any.
We do know this: because we’re past the NBA’s contract guaranteed date, the contract is guaranteed for the rest of the 2014-15 season.
Millsap has been a big part of the Jazz’s rotation in the last 20 days, even playing over 20 minutes a game in his 9 game stint. Offensively, the returns have been mixed: while Millsap has made 9 of 22 of his 3 point shots, good for a 40.9% shooting record, he’s made just 8 of 31 of his inside shots. He also has’t been much of a distributor, thus far, averaging only 1.7 assists per 36 minutes. He’s also turned over the ball 2 times per game in his relatively limited minutes.
Millsap’s defensive record is also mixed: while the Jazz put up just a 97.2 defensive rating when he’s on the floor, a good number, and visually, his defensive toughness has brought a new element to the squad. But he also fouls a lot, 5.4 times per 36 minutes, and his matchup defensive numbers aren’t great either, allowing a 19.9 opposing PER to his positional matchup on D.
Quin Snyder summed up his game today: “He’s given us, particularly on the road trip [on which he joined the team], he gives us a presence defensively. I think he’s gotta make sure he’s not a mistake player. We, as a group, right now are turning the ball over way too much, and it puts a lot of pressure on our defense. A lot of that, you know, we had three players on the floor the other night that weren’t on opening day rosters in the NBA. And they’ve gotta be better, we’ve gotta be better.”
As for the signing itself, Snyder commented: “We’re glad that he’s been able to impact the game and help us, he’s another guy on the team that I just want to see improve. If it works out that he’s with us for the rest of the season, I’d like to see that happen.”