Free Agency, Offseason and Draft – What should Jazz do?

The Jazz will have a busy summer as they look to keep their best player, try to re-sign a few others, and draft 4 new players. With all of the hype going on with the draft and free agency, I wanted to speak on a few of these topics and give some of my own opinions on what I think will happen, and what I think should happen.

Free Agency

Let’s get started with free agency. There are so many possibilities being thrown out right now. I really think the Jazz are feeling the pressure to re-sign Hayward, as the Celtics and Heat are prepping their pitches for the first time all-star to join their squad in hopes of building a contender in the East.

But which team poses the largest threat? To me – Boston. I know Miami has a lot of cap space available and is going to use that to lure in Hayward and another all-star caliber player, but I don’t see them being able to challenge the Celtics’ pitch. As we all know and have heard thousands of times, Hayward would be playing under his former college coach Brad Stevens. The two spent 4 years together at Butler, and I’m sure they have a solid relationship.

But what really stands out is the future of the Celtics. They already have a great core with Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and Al Horford with a talented bench featuring Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Kelly Olynyk. Plus, they own the 1st overall pick in the upcoming draft, who many think they will use to select standout guard Markelle Fultz. A starting lineup featuring Thomas, Fultz, Hayward and Horford could be scary. With Lebron getting older, and the Celtics growing stronger, I could see the Celtics competing for a championship in the next 2-3 years. The thought of playing for your old head coach with one of the most iconic teams in the NBA could be a tempting situation for Hayward with all of the pieces already in play.

What I think will happen: Hayward signs with Boston

What I think should happen: Hayward signs with Utah

 

Offseason

There are a handful of players that play big minutes for the Jazz that could possibly end up on another team this summer. George Hill, Joe Ingles, and Shelvin Mack all have expiring contracts. Boris Diaw also has a team option which the Jazz could use to release him.

What I think will happen:

Hill – re-sign with Jazz

Ingles – re-sign with Jazz

Mack – sign elsewhere

Diaw – released by Jazz

What I think should happen:

Hill – sign elsewhere

Ingles – re-sign with Jazz

Mack – sign elsewhere

Diaw – released by Jazz

Hill was great for the Jazz while healthy, but with his tendency to get injured it will be hard for the Jazz to pay him what it seems like he will be asking. If the Jazz can get him for a bargain, I would love to see him back with the team; otherwise, take a hike. Ingles is a huge piece of the puzzle for the Jazz as his defensive contributions and top 7 3-point shooting percentage is very valuable. Mack was inconsistent at best and Diaw just couldn’t shoot the ball this year. The Jazz need a stretch 4 who can shoot the ball well and play solid defense. Diaw didn’t seem to be able to do either very well while with the Jazz.

If the Jazz decide to be aggressive in free agency, a few guys I would like to see them go after are:

PG – Kyle Lowry

PG – Jrue Holiday

PG – Jeff Teague

SF – Rudy Gay

PF – Paul Millsap

PF – Taj Gibson

Draft

Draft

Last but not least is the 2017 NBA Draft. It should be an eventful night for the Jazz because they have the second most draft picks in the draft (4).

The Jazz have 2 first round picks (24 & 30) and 2 second round picks (42 & 55). There are a couple of things the Jazz can do with these picks: They can package a couple of their picks to a team to jump into the lottery, they can trade a couple of picks for a player that can make an immediate impact, they could trade down in the draft to acquire additional picks, or just keep their picks and hope they strike gold.

Dennis-Smith-Jr..jpg

What I think will happen: Jazz will keep both picks to select SG – Josh Hart (Villanova) 24th overall, and PF – Semi Ojeleye (SMU) 30th overall.

What I think should happen:  Jazz trade 24th & 30th overall picks to the Charlotte Hornets for the 11th overall pick to select PG – Dennis Smith (N.C State).

This year’s draft seems to be one of the deepest in recent years, so the Jazz have a lot of options. Some other players I really like that the Jazz could look at in the second round:

PF – Jordan Bell (Oregon)

SG – Frank Jackson (Duke)

PF – Kyle Kuzma (Utah)

PF/C – Caleb Swanigan (Purdue)

SF – Dillon Brooks (Oregon)

PG – Frank Mason (Kansas)

SG – Tyler Dorsey (Oregon)

PG – Nigel Williams-Goss (Gonzaga)

 

In Dennis we trust!

 

– Jesse Thayne

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