And that's a shame.
While Salt Lake City may be one of the smaller markets in the NBA, it could be a solid home for one of these soon-to-be free agents.
The Jazz have yet to win the two-foot-tall, 14.5-pound Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, but they are one of the most successful franchises in NBA history. Since moving to Utah in 1979, the Jazz have collected just six sub-.500 seasons while making it to the playoffs 25 times. Plus, their .543 all-time win-loss percentage is good for fifth best in the league.
With just $25,696,809 committed to 2013-2014 contracts, the Jazz have the most cap space of any team in the NBA and could therefore provide a top-tier player like Paul or Howard with a pretty juicy contract.
Compared to other major cities in the nation, Salt Lake (according to Travel + Leisure Magazine) is the cleanest and safest. As in No. 1.
Family man Chris Paul has to like that.
(I won't mention the inversion if you don't.)
Having grown up in Arizona, surrounded by Saguaros and sagebrush, there isn't a day that goes by when I don't appreciate the shear majesty of the Wasatch Mountains. Each season brings a unique quality to these awe-inspiring sculptures of Mother Nature, including thick and misty low-hanging clouds in the spring, deep gold and fiery red leaves in the autumn and snow-capped peaks in the winter.
Paul and Howard may also like what they see at the nearby Arches and Zion National Parks, where jaw-dropping slot canyons are plentiful.
Attractive Women (For Dwight)
Bill Simmons will back me up here. In fact, when Utah took Enes Kanter in the 2011 NBA draft, he wrote in his Draft Diary XV, "Somehow this leads us to start talking about whether it's an easy transition to go from Turkey (a religious place with good-looking women) to Salt Lake City (a religious place with good-looking women)."
2009 Major League Soccer champ Real Salt Lake is growing in popularity, but Salt Lake is, and always will be, a Jazz town. The fans' loyalty can be seen through (a) league attendance numbers, where Utah holds the ninth-best home attendance average (18,680), and (b) EnergySolutions Arena's raucous atmosphere.
A bronze Chris Paul would look nice next to John and Karl.
Jared Bray, a graduate of Brigham Young University's broadcast journalism program, has followed the Utah Jazz since 2008, when he covered the team as a sports correspondent for KBYU-TV's Daily News at Noon.
- Sports & Recreation
- Utah Jazz
- Dwight Howard
- Chris Paul
- Salt Lake City