COMMENTARY | After four days of staying out of headlines, the Utah Jazz finally made some noise.
On July 5, team officials acquired center Andris Biedrins, small forward Richard Jefferson, shooting guard Brandon Rush, unprotected first-round picks in 2014 and 2017, two second-round picks, and an undisclosed amount of cash from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for shooting guard Kevin Murphy, trade exceptions, and $24 million in cap relief, which will allow the Oakland-based team to sign free agent small forward Andre Iguodala.
Though Biedrins and Jefferson are old and overpaid (they'll make $9 and $11 million this year, respectively), and Rush is coming off an ACL injury, they all possess expiring contracts that will give the Jazz flexibility to sign players in next year's loaded free agency market as well as work out extensions with Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors.
Also, Biedrins, who has nine years of experience, and Jefferson, 12, give the Jazz two veteran mentors for their young players.
Plus, Jefferson and Rush give the squad some much-needed shooting. Jefferson holds career percentages of 46.6 from the field and 37.1 from 3-point range, while Rush has collected marks of 44.0 and 41.3.
In case, you're lost in all the draft and free agent activity, the Jazz's roster should look something like the following once the transactions are official:
PG: Trey Burke
SG: Alec Burks, Brandon Rush
PF: Derrick Favors, Jeremy Evans
C: Enes Kanter, Rudy Gobert, Andris Biedrins
The Jazz still need to sign at least two more players, and since recently drafted Raul Neto of Brazil will likely play for Lagun Aro (Spain) next year, look for the team to pick up a couple of backups for Burke.
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.