The Utah Jazz watched the Deron Williams era end a lot sooner than most had hoped. Of course, that was because the Jazz proactively dealt Williams to avoid the sort of saga we see in New Orleans and Orlando. Jerry Sloan is also gone, and it's time for the Jazz to figure out what's next.
Here's a look at the Jazz's salary cap levels over the past six seasons.
The Jazz had their worst finish in ages (with a dreadful collapse after Sloan's retirement and the subsequent Williams trade), but managed to finish a good bit over the luxury tax threshold. We're as confused as you are.
Heading into free agency, the Jazz have a cap figure of $57 million with the leaguewide team salary cap set at $58 million and the luxury tax line at $70 million. The Jazz won't be able to be players in free agency without using amnesty, making imbalanced trades or messing with the mid-level exception.
The Jazz's free agents are:
Kirilenko's career in Salt Lake finally seems over, as the Russian is deciding whether to remain in Moscow or make himself available to the numerous teams seeking his services. Watson should draw some free agent interest on a small deal as a reserve defensive-minded guard. Price, Fesenko and Elson are, at this point, roster fillers.
Three names will dominate Jazz trade talk through the deadline, and unsurprisingly they are the most expensive players on the roster: Al Jefferson, Devin Harris and Paul Millsap. Harris is the most likely to stick around on account of the Jazz's dearth of point guards; the team took Enes Kanter with the No. 3 pick and Alec Burks at No. 12 in the June draft. Millsap is highly attractive and could pull a nice asset; Jefferson is less valued, but is still a decent chip to shop. With Kanter and Derrick Favors in the pipeline, there's no excuse for Utah to be shy.
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