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Jazz officially usher in new era by taking on Warriors' bad contracts

The Utah Jazz received several useful assets in exchange for also acquiring Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins, but did they get enough value for taking on Golden State's dead weight?

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors needed to dump a lot of salary to create room to sign Andre Iguodala, and they found a willing trade partner in the Utah Jazz. Utah provided a home for Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson, so long as the Warriors also provided Brandon Rush and unprotected first-round picks in 2014 and 2017.

Let's discuss this deal from both sides.

FOR THE WARRIORS: Much of this was covered in the Iguodala write-up, but this was a risk the Warriors needed to take. One could argue that the price to acquire him -- Rush, two first-round picks, two large expiring contracts and the inability to re-sign Jarrett Jack or Carl Landry -- was steep, but those pieces are replaceable with veterans who will sign cheaply to chase a title.

There's also a chance that the Warriors gain three trade exceptions ($11 million, $9 million, $4 million) in this deal that can be used to replace the players they lost, but that would only happen if they can negotiate a sign-and-trade with the Nuggets for Iguodala after the moratorium ends on July 10. Teams can have exceptions or cap space, but not both. If Iguodala is signed using cap space, the trade exceptions go away, but if he's acquired via a sign-and-trade, even for just a draft pick, the Warriors could use any of those three exceptions over the next calendar year to acquire players without having to match salary.

But that's a bonus. The bottom line is the Warriors traded spare parts to sign Iguodala, and that's worth it.


FOR THE JAZZ: Two future draft picks that'll likely land near the end of the first round and Brandon Rush. That is the return Utah received for holding on to Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap instead of trading them sooner. Rush is a decent player, but he's also 28 and coming off knee surgery. The two picks are cool, but unless Stephen Curry's ankles go haywire again, they aren't that valuable. All in all, that's pretty underwhelming.

To Utah's credit, re-signing Jefferson and/or Millsap probably would have been worse. There's something to be said for the Jazz renting their cap space instead of signing a Jose Calderon or Carl Landry for multiple years to reach the salary floor. Big picture, the Jazz now can rebuild around Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Gordon Hayward, Trey Burke, Alec Burks and six first-round picks in the next four years. That's good.

But in this specific transaction, the Jazz are paying $24 million for two likely late first-rounders while eliminating the possibility of getting something back for Jefferson and Millsap rather than losing them for nothing. I like Utah's general direction, but I think they overpaid here.


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