Summer rewind: Utah Jazz

George Hill solidifies the Jazz's point guard situation. (AP)
George Hill solidifies the Jazz’s point guard situation. (AP)

A look at the key offseason moves and changes for every team in the league. Next up are the Utah Jazz.

Free agent

Joe Johnson

Boris Diaw
George Hill

Stability at the point

The sting of missing the playoffs last season saw Utah, which has a nice young core, place a heavy emphasis on veterans during the off-season.

The acquisition of effective but not flashy George Hill ends the rotating door at point guard.

Utah has built its team through the draft but tweaked that philosophy when it moved a late lottery pick to the Pacers for the Hill.

The closer
The acquisition of Johnson should lessen the workload for Gordon Hayward and Rodney Hood.

Although the 35-year-old Johnson will not be the primary focus in Utah, defenses still need to respect his ability to close games and his positional versatility.

Johnson proved in the second half last season with Miami (13.4 points per game) that he is still an effective scorer when used in the right role.

One thing Utah will not need to worry about is Johnson’s durability.

The veteran has only missed seven games since the 2013-14 season.

The veteran
The final piece of the Jazz’s off-season was added after the Spurs came to terms with free-agent All-Star Pau Gasol.

With San Antonio needing to create cap space to sign Gasol, veteran Boris Diaw was shipped to Utah.

The versatile Diaw, still effective at 34, gives Utah a different dimension along with another leader in the locker room.

Player 2016

1. Gordon Hayward $16,073,140
2. Derrick Favors $11,050,000
3. Joe Johnson $11,000,000
4. Alec Burks $10,154,495
5. George Hill $8,000,000
6. Boris Diaw $7,000,000
7. Dante Exum $3,940,320
8. Tibor Pleiss $3,000,000
9. Shelvin Mack $2,433,334
10. Trey Lyles $2,340,600
11. Joe Ingles $2,150,000
12. Rudy Gobert $2,121,287
13. Rodney Hood $1,406,520
14. Raul Neto $937,800

Non-guaranteed 2016
15. Chris Johnson $1,050,961
16. Jeff Withey $1,015,696

Salary table 2016
Guaranteed salaries $81,607,496
Dead money $0
Non-guaranteed $2,066,657
Tax variance $0
Free-agent cap holds $0
Incomplete roster charge $0
Salaries: cap $83,674,153
Salaries: tax $83,674,153
Salary cap $94,143,000
Luxury tax $113,287,000
Cap space $10,468,847
Tax room $29,612,847

Free agency opened with the Jazz right at $32.9 million in cap space.

An additional $3.4 million in room was created when Utah moved backup point guard Trey Burke to Washington for a future second-round pick.

Hill and Diaw were acquired with cap space, and Johnson was signed with room.

The Jazz currently have $10.4 million in cap space.

Joe Johnson was productive at the end of last season. (AP)
Joe Johnson was productive at the end of last season. (AP)

Free agents signed in the offseason cannot be traded until either Dec. 15, Jan. 15 or for three months if they signed after Sept. 15.

Johnson cannot be traded until Dec. 15.

Because Hill and Diaw were acquired with cap space, both players are eligible to be traded.

Hayward has a 15 percent trade bonus.

Although Hayward has a player option for 2017-18, the 15 percent bonus is applied to both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 season.

The current value of the bonus is $2.4 million, which would be applied to the current season.


Gobert, a 2013 first-round pick, is eligible to have his rookie contract extended.

Gobert, who is in the final season of his contract, can have his contract extended until Oct. 31.

Because Gobert has a low cap hold of $5.3 million for next summer, expect talks between the Jazz and Gobert’s camp to remain quiet this fall.

The Jazz can take advantage of possible cap space before addressing Gobert and his high price tag.

Handing an extension to Gobert in the next few months would limit the Jazz’s flexibility unless both sides can meet in the middle.

Hill and Favors can have their current contracts extended or renegotiated.

Hill is entering the final season of a five-year, $40 million deal. Because the Jazz are $10 million under the cap, Hill would have his current $8 million salary renegotiated for an amount higher than the 7.5 percent raise in an extension.

Hill is still within six-months of being acquired in a trade, so Utah can only add two seasons to his current contract.

Although Favors is only in the third year of a $47 million rookie extension signed in October 2013, Utah and Favors can renegotiate a new contract beginning on Oct. 19. The NBA looks at the anniversary date of when a contract is signed to determine if a player is eligible to have his contract extended or renegotiated.

Favors can add two more seasons to his current contract and increase his 2016-17 salary of $11 million to more than that 7.5 percent allowable in an extension.

Starter Bench Bench

PG George Hill Shelvin Mack Dante Exum/Raul Neto
SG Rodney Hood Alec Burks Chris Johnson
SF Gordon Hayward Joe Johnson Joe Ingles
PF Derrick Favors Trey Lyles Boris Diaw
C Rudy Gobert Jeff Withey Tibor Pleiss

The Jazz, with 14 guaranteed contracts and 16 players currently under contract, will need to trim their roster by the end of October.

Johnson and Withey have non-guaranteed deals.

Expect second-round picks Joel Bolomboy, Marcus Paige and Tyrone Wallace to spend the year with the Jazz’s NBA Development League team in Idaho.

If either player signs his rookie tender or a training camp contract, the Jazz will lose their rights if waived during camp.

The priority for Utah will focus on its own free agents.

The Jazz, who will be right at the cap next July, will place an emphasis on retaining their own free agents: Hayward (player option), Gobert (restricted) and Hill.

Dante Exum

Although the Jazz traded a lottery pick this June, they regain one with the return of the fifth pick in the 2014 draft.

Exum, one year removed from a torn left ACL, is returning for his third season in Utah.

Expect Utah to be cautious with Exum because now they have Hill.

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