TIP OFF – July 24th – Karl Malone Day

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke walks through the latest news in the NBA,  insights from Pelton, news on Gobert, Burke and Kanter


INSIDER – Jazz trade 3 for Carrick Felix, 2nd rounder and cash – The in’s and outs

Dennis Lindsey and his staff keeps working.  Today the Jazz made a deal acquiring Carrick Felix and a 2nd round pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers.  In exchange, the Jazz traded the three non-guaranteed contracts of John Lucas III, Erik Murphy and Malcom Thomas.


Felix is a 6’6 shooting guard out of Arizona State and the University of Southern Idaho who was a 2013 2nd round pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  He is 23 years old.

Out of Southern Idaho, Carrick originally committed to Duke, but was denied admission.  He spent two quiet years at Arizona State and then had a very good final year with the Sun Devils.

Felix is a defensive minded wing player who is an excellent athlete.   He has shown signs of being a solid spot up shooter.  He is also a very strong rebounder for a shooting guard.   At Arizona State, Felix was an all-defensive team Pac-12 player averaging a remarkable 8.1 rebounds a game as a shooting guard.

Last year, he played just 7 games for the Cavaliers..   His season was derailed by a stress fracture of his left patella (knee cap) sidelining him for 8 weeks on January 29th.

He played 9 D-league games as well, scoring 11pts, grabbing 5 rebounds and dishing 2 assists while shooting 46% and hitting 33% of his three’s.

Cavaliers coach Mike Brown last year, said Felix “is a young guy that brings a ton of energy and tries to play the game the right way.  He’s a guy who can get extra possessions, who knows how to defend and he’s a great runner in transition.”


Felix is going to a part of the Utah Jazz.  His contract is guaranteed at 816,482 dollars next year.  He has a 4 year contract with the next two years non-guaranteed.

Felix adds depth to the wing positions where the Jazz were a bit thin.  With Hayward, Burks and Hood the Jazz needed a 4th wing player.   Rodney Hood showed in summer league that he is ready for playing time and a rotation spot.  Hood’s performance changed the Jazz approach to another wing player.  The Jazz have opened that door for Hood and Felix is insurance.

The Jazz scouts have had an eye on Felix and like his defensive mindset, his ability to rebound and believe he can shoot the three.  He is not an offensive playmaker with the ball in his hands.  This is an opportunity for the Jazz to add a player they like and believe has a chance to develop into a rotational piece.

I wouldn’t expect a great deal of playing time for Felix unless injuries give him opportunities.


The Jazz gave up two who weren’t going to be on the roster next year and a third who was very unlikely.   John Lucas was not returning as the backup point guard.   Eric Murphy after a disappointing summer league was not going to get his guarantee on August 1st.

Malcolm Thomas had a very strong summer league and was expected to be at training camp for the Jazz.  However, the Jazz have a duplicate at the position with Jeremy Evans.   Evans is guaranteed the final year of his contract next season and his experience gives him the edge at this position.

Thomas was going to have a hard time making the team.  With 6 bigs already on the roster, Favors, Kanter, Gobert, Booker, Novak and Evans it is hard to see the Jazz carrying a 7th big,    If Thomas were to make the team the Jazz would probably have to trade or cut Evans.   With Evans guaranteed 1.7 million and Thomas at 1 million, then you end up with a choice of Evans at 1.7 or Thomas at 2.7 (the two contracts combined) .   Strange how it works, but the numbers were against Thomas.

The Jazz received a player they like  who is going to play for them next year and a 2nd round pick in exchange for three players who were not going to play for them next season.


Gives the Cavs some more flexibility and gives them some tradable chips that non guaranteed contracts.  The rule of aggregation means the Cavs can’t put these three players together in a deal for a period of time (maybe 2 months).  However, they could add Lucas (1.6 million) or Thomas (1 million) to a deal and the receiving  team (read Minnesota) could release the player and never pay the contract.

Just a thought the Cavs need to get within 125% of Kevin Love’s 15.7 million or within 5 million to make a trade as long as they are over the threshold Lucas contract would put a Bennett, Waiters combo within the range of Love.

BREAKDOWN—Gordon Hayward’s shot chart shows growth and promise

This season was a very different season for Gordon Hayward. Last year he played off the action of Jefferson and Millsap. This year he created the action. Comparing the shot charts of the last two seasons shows this difference.

LAST YEAR                                                             THIS YEAR

gordon this year v. last

The right wing action is the most interesting. Last year a great deal of that came off the left block play of Al Jefferson. This year he is creating for himself in those areas.

He has become better in the areas close to the basket. If you narrow it more from what you can see here, he improved from 53% to 57% in the restricted area this year.

Looking at these charts, Gordon has improved in the areas around the basket (which are most difficult) but he lost the good looks from other players’ action. If he gets that back with a better roster around him, he will be a vastly improved player.

Bring back the 40% right-side 3-point shooting with the improvement around the paint and you have a very solid and efficient offensive player.

BREAKDOWN—Breakout to stardom vs. disappointment

One player’s season has been classified as a breakout to stardom. He was an All-Star. At times he has been talked about as the next superstar. At times he has been talked about as the third-best player in the NBA. This player also plays with two other All-Stars. He has a max contract.

The other player has had a disappointing season. He has been classified as overwhelmed and playing outside of his role. Not good enough to handle his role. A national commentator and former successful head coach said he was no better than the fourth or fifth option and is a mid-level exception player.

How big is the difference, really?

geroge and hayward

Let’s look at each of these players since Jan. 1.

Here is the budding superstar:

paul george since Jan 1st

Here is the one being called a disappointment:

gordon since jan 1st

Wow. A better FG% and 3-point FG%. Their combined assists and rebounds are the same. They’re nearly equal in steals and turnovers. The disappointment is averaging more blocks. The only reason the budding star scores more is that he shoots more.

It’s worth noting that the disappointment’s team has been better offensively since Jan. 1 than the budding star’s team.