In the first year of a rebuilding effort, the Utah Jazz finished with the worst record in the Western Conference and franchise’s lowest win percentage in 32 years. Utah has a talented, young core in place to build around but still needs to address several needs this off-season.
Utah Jazz (25-57 last year)
2014-15 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Enes Kanter/Rudy Gobert
PF: Derrick Favors/^Erik Murphy
SF: *Gordon Hayward/Jeremy Evans/^Malcolm Thomas
SG: Alec Burks/^Ian Clark
PG: Trey Burke/^Diante Garrett/John Lucas III
NBA Free Agents:
*SF-Gordon Hayward (RFA)
F-Marvin Williams (UFA)
SF-Richard Jefferson (UFA)
SG-Brandon Rush (UFA)
PF-^Erik Murphy (TO)
^PG-Diante Garrett (TO)
^SG-Ian Clark (TO)
^F-Malcolm Thomas (TO)
2014-15 Team Salary: approximately $29 million
1. Re-sign Hayward?:
Their best all-around player, Gordon Hayward led the team in scoring and steals, finished second in assists, and third in rebounds. He is a restricted free agent this summer so any deal that Hayward might sign in the off-season, Utah has the opportunity to match any contract. Unless some team massively overpays him, the Jazz need to re-sign Hayward since he is vital piece of their future and they have the cap space to keep him around.
2. Frontcourt Depth:
With Marvin Williams and Richard Jefferson both free agents, Utah needs to add some depth inside behind Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Rudy Gobert is a project big man who still has a long ways to go in his all-around development and outside of him, the Jazz don’t really have any other options inside. This will likely be the direction Utah goes with the fifth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
3. Three-point shooter:
Utah finished 25th in the league in three-point shooting percentage this past season and their most accurate threat, Jefferson is a free agent so this is definitely an area that needs to improve. Finding a sharpshooter or two would help open up driving lanes for Trey Burke, Alec Burks, and Hayward while also providing more space inside for Favors and Kanter to operate.
OTHER NBA OFF-SEASON TEAM NEEDS PAGES:
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Milwaukee to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag), and finished with the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft (nearly a three-peat.) You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks