Once again, the Utah Jazz head into the offseason with a few key players heading to free agency, and while changes are likely coming to the core of the Jazz roster, general manager Dennis Lindsey warns that Utah could bring the same team to the court next season.
“I think we’re in a good position where we haven’t cornered ourselves economically relative to the performance of our team, and that should give us a few options to consider,” Lindsey said, according to Deseret News Sports. “My best guess is the option that we’ll ultimately consider, is bringing the team back intact, but I don’t know what other things are going to come our way.”
Utah will have to make some tough decisions when it comes to forward Derrick Favors and guard Dante Exum. Favors, a free agent, is likely to yield a solid contract on the open market, while Exum will be an unrestricted free agent.
Lindsey says that while ownership, the Miller family, are smart with their money, they are not afraid to spend money to be competitive.
“The Millers have always stated that to stay championship-competitive or to take it to the next level, that they’re willing (to spend),” Lindsey stated. “To what degree and how long, those are for future conversations. They were in the luxury tax during the (Andrei) Kirilenko era, as an example.
“As far as their commitment to the team, look what they did with the Legacy Trust. They’re not taking a dollar of profit on the team, all of the dollars are going back to the team. They want to compete at the very highest level.”
Lindsey is happy with what the team did this season, but expects both Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell to be better in their roles next season.
“There’s a chance for the team to still improve,” he said “We’re not going to be conservative if we bring the whole team back to be conservative. It’s because we looked at all the options and the best alternatives were the incumbent alternatives.”
As far as Favors and Mitchell, Lindsey said he “hoped” both players would be back for next season.
“He’s a good player on a good team and Derrick is very consistent in his want to be back here,” Lindsey said. “I think he understands what he has here and we certainly understand what he produces. His agent is a terrific person and that’s been able to carve out good deals for both sides, so I don’t see any initial obstacles. Derrick’s got to go through this process, but that’s my hope (he’ll be back).”
“Dante wisely understands the personnel we have here to help him and his body technically,” he said. “He’s dealing with a hamstring and there’s not a better place to rehabilitate. He’s moving past rehabilitation and doing a little more in performance. He wanted to get all the way back so he could split time between here and L.A. to play basketball.”
Jazz Exercise Third-year Option on Donovan Mitchell
The Utah Jazz have officially exercised their third year option on shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, the team officially announced on Wednesday via a press release.
With the option, Mitchell will make $3.1 million this season and $3.6 million next year.
Mitchell is a budding superstar in the laeague after an incredible rookie season in which he posted 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game and was the runner up for the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Jazz Exercise Team Option on Donovan Mitchell pic.twitter.com/sZJiRZHc9U
— Utah Jazz PR (@UtahJazzPR) October 11, 2018
Jazz Dante Exum Hopes To Play in All 82 Games After Extension
The Utah Jazz ensured that guard Dante Exum will remain with the team for the future after inking the Aussie to a three-year, $33 million contract extension earlier this summer, and Exum is looking to do more for his team now that his future is settled.
“I wanna play 82,” Exum said, according to Olgun Uluc of FOX Sports Australia. “I played 82 in my first season. That’s 100 percent my No. 1 goal. I think, just being given that opportunity to play 82, I’m going to earn my minutes, earn my time, and be in one of those critical roles where I can have a major impact.
“Not just an impact; a major impact on a team. I want to be that guy on at the end of the game, and even taking the last shot. I think that’s a goal I’ve definitely set for myself, and expect myself to make.”
Exum played in only 14 games in 2017-2018 season.
Jazz Sign Isaac Haas
The Utah Jazz have signed center Isaac Haas, who played for the Jazz in Summer League this past July, although no terms of the deal were disclosed in the initial announcement, according to the team’s official website.
Haas made an impression during Summer League play totaling 15 points, 19 rebounds, and three blocks over four games in Las Vegas. Haas spent four years playing at Purdue and earned All-Big Ten Third team honors during his senior season.
Utah now have 19 players under contract, with one spot remaining on their offseason roster.
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