The Utah Jazz ended their season in a series against that Rockets that was, outside of the Game 2 anomaly, not very close. The Jazz need to work quickly if they are going to try to gain any ground in the ever-improving Western Conference.
Here are the upcoming free agents for the Utah Jazz this offseason…
Derrick Favors ($12M)
Dante Exum ($5M)
Raul Neto ($1.47M)
What to do with their free agents
Derrick Favors needs to be a priority for the Jazz to consider. There are many rumors circulating about whether or not Favors is even willing to sign with the Jazz now that he is set to become an unrestricted free agent. It is my belief that Favors is willing to re-sign, but the Jazz will not offer enough to keep the 26-year-old power forward, who will eventually look to make more money elsewhere. To replace the loss of Favors, the Jazz may look to Julius Randle as a potential replacement. Randle is a restricted free agent and could be matched by the Lakers, who are rumored to like him. However, if it comes down the Randle or a George + James combination, the choice for the Lakers is clear. If the Jazz offer enough, they could very well steal Randle from the Lakers.
As for Dante Exum, the Jazz should re-sign him for the right price. Exum is 22 years old and is still a work in progress that could be resigned for less than $10 million. Exum has the potential to be the starting point guard for the Jazz if he can build on last season, but he needs to find a three point shot most importantly.
Another way the Jazz could improve their roster would be to try and trade up in the draft to take a top player. The Jazz would be wise to test the market to see what Joe Ingles, Jae Crowder, and the 21st overall pick in the draft are worth. By getting rid of Ingles’ contract of $14 M and Crowder’s contract of $6.7 M, the Jazz could look to sign a player who can both hit the three ball AND play defense; perhaps Avery Bradley?
Regardless of what direction the Jazz go, it must look to try to stay stride for stride with the the other elite teams of the Western Conference. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are a great start, but the Jazz need to find ways to continue their recent upward trend.