INSIDER—Who is Trevor Booker? And why did Utah sign him?

The Utah Jazz signed Trevor Booker today. The terms were not disclosed, but reports are two years and $10 million. Booker was a four-year player at Clemson and the 22nd pick of the 2010 draft by the Wizards. He has some international experience as well as he played for USA Basketball in the World University Games.

Booker gives the Jazz nice insurance on the front line. He has 105 starts in four years. Think of the Jazz front line as two centers (Favors and Gobert) with Kanter as the power forward. With the additions of Trevor Booker and Steve Novak, the Jazz now have options on how they want to play when they go to the bench at the power forward spot.

Moreover, if Kanter misses any games, Booker is capable of stepping into the starting lineup—which is not something you want to do with Steve Novak.

Booker is physically strong. He is a decent rebounder, grabbing  a 17.7% defensive rebounding percentage last season. His defensive rating over the last three years has been 104,102 and 104. The Wizards were far more successful defensively when he was coupled with Gortat than with Sheraphin or Nene. This is likely because Booker is not particularly mobile and athletic, so he is better playing alongside a bigger, more athletic big.

Offensively, he is a bruiser who has developed a bit of a mid-range game. Last year he shot 46% from 10 to 16 feet—a huge improvement in his game and well above the league average. In his career, he has shot 36% from 16+ feet, which is right about  league average.

Booker had a strong finish last season. He started 26 of 30 games and shot 56% after the All-Star break. In April, he averaged 11 points per game and shot 65%.

Booker fills a need for the Jazz. He gives them a physical presence. He brings maturity to the locker room. Some nights, when the Jazz go small and spread the floor with the power forward position, he will have a limited role. On other nights, if Kanter is out or having an off night, they will need a solid 25 minutes out of him, which he proved he could do for Washington.

I would suspect the Jazz overpaid for him this season (to acquire him for more than the mid-level exception or tax-payer exception) because they have cap room and because the second year is limited in how much of it is guaranteed.

INSIDER—FAQ on Gordon Hayward

According to Yahoo! Sports and the Charlotte Observer, Gordon Hayward will receive a max offer sheet from the Charlotte Hornets totaling $63 million over four years. Let me try to address a few questions on this issue.


The Jazz have three choices:

1) They can say, “No thank you; this is too much money for Hayward and we’re going to pass.” This allows Hayward to leave and all the Jazz get is cap space.

2) They can try to negotiate a sign-and-trade deal where the Jazz would actually sign Hayward and then trade him to Charlotte for pieces the Hornets give the Jazz. However, the Hornets have very little the Jazz would be interested in as their roster is currently constructed.

3) The Jazz can match the contract offer and assume the contract as their own.


The offer sheet, while reported today, can’t be official until July 10. Once the Jazz receive the offer, they have 72 hours to match the deal.


The Jazz will match the contract and retain Hayward under this four-year $63 million contract.


First, the Jazz have drafted and developed Hayward. He is their player and the Jazz cannot afford to let him walk without receiving anything in exchange.

Also, Hayward is really good. We can debate if he is a “max” player, but he is really good. He is likely to average around 16 points, five rebounds and five assists for the rest of his career. He is an elite passer for a wing. He makes his teammates better.

Yes, the contract is paying Hayward more than he has achieved at this point in his career, but that is the game of free agency and it only takes one team to bust open the bank for a player, so the Jazz must deal with those consequences.

Moreover, the Jazz are in a salary situation where they should still have between $20–$26 million of cap space next year, and another $10 million before the luxury tax.

If the Jazz let Hayward walk, what else would they do with that money? The Jazz wouldn’t be able to get a comparable player in the marketplace. Signing a veteran on a rebuilding team in Salt Lake City is impossible, and trying to find another player of Hayward’s ability at 24 years old is is also highly unlikely.

The Jazz value Gordon Hayward as a player. He is a special talent. Not many players in this league can average 16-5-5 like Hayward can, and if you look at the great teams, nearly all of them have a playmaking wing.

This is minor, but the increases on the contract are only for 4.5% each season and the cap is expected to grow each year at higher than that rate, so Hayward contract will take up less of the cap each year of his contract.

Let’s make sure we remember that Hayward is our best player. You can’t lose your best player.


The market is over-saturated with money and lacks talent. When the market opened, I counted 24 slots of $12 million or more available for players and only 12 players who were near-worthy of a $12 million contract.

It also tells you how the rest of the league views a player that can produce the numbers I just mentioned. The league lacks talented wing players, so the combination of playing a position that is in demand and a market that is overloaded with money created the ideal situation for Gordon Hayward.


As I mentioned before, not a lot of players, average 16-5-5 in this league. Playmaking wings are both really important and scarce.

Hayward’s best talent is what he does for his teammates.

When Hayward was on the floor, Favors shot 54%. When Hayward was off the floor, Favors shot 46%. The same goes for almost everyone on the Jazz last year. Trey Burke’s EFG% was 46.5% with Hayward on and 39.8% with him off. The same applies to Richard Jefferson (55.6% vs. 51%), Alec Burks (50.5% vs. 47%) and Enes Kanter (50.5% vs. 46%).


Absolutely. Nothing that has taken place in this process means Gordon doesn’t want to play in Utah. Hayward’s agent and family have done exactly what the process dictated they should do. Last year, the Jazz and Hayward were in negotiations and couldn’t come to an agreement. One of the main reasons, they couldn’t come to an agreement was Hayward’s agent understood what the marketplace would be this offseason for Gordon.   Therefore, they went into restricted free agency and got a max deal. Now the Jazz are obligated to do what they said they would do the whole time: match the offer. The Jazz have been unbending in their belief in Gordon as a player and how important he is to the franchise. When the Jazz match the contract, they will show action behind their words in this process.

Hayward took the risk of playing a year without a long-term contract and it paid off for him. The Jazz, knowing the market, decided to make Hayward get the offer and he was able to do that. That’s how the rules dictate the game. Both sides played it, and at the end they are still together on the same team.


Nothing is as easy as a “yes” or “no” … but basically, yes. Hayward’s first year of his contract is for $14.75 million. The Jazz will still have $26 million in cap room and another $10 million or more until they hit the luxury tax, so they should be able to sign both Alec and Enes in the offseason if they desire.


The first time it could be an issue is when Trey Burke comes up for his extension during the 2017-18 season. A lot can take place between now and then, so basically I would say no.

This is hard to project, but while Hayward is overpaid at $15 and $16 million a year in the first two years of the deal, by the time the new TV contract kicks in, his final two years may turn out to be the equivalent of $12 million deals.


It’s hard to say this is more than he’s worth when the market dictates his value. However,  I understand the concept of the question. In a lot of circumstances the answer is yes.  However, in this case probably not. The Jazz aren’t expected to win many more games next year from what they did last year. The rebuild is still in its infant stages and is going to take some time before the big steps are taken. Therefore, over the next two years, “overpaying” Hayward while Exum, Kanter, Burke, Burks and the crew continue to develop their games under Quin Snyder is unlikely to hurt the franchise.


This is where I think the impact will be felt. If you were Alec Burks and Enes Kanter and just saw Gordon Hayward get a max contract after his season last year, would you sign an extension or would you want to go to the open market? Both of these players are going to assume they’ll be met with the same love as Gordon Hayward in the marketplace, and this will make it very difficult for the Jazz to be able to sign either of them to extensions this offseason.


The Jazz will wait the entire 72 hours before matching the contract for two reasons. First, the Jazz aren’t going to do the Hornets any favors by releasing their obligation to this money by matching it early. Secondly, the Jazz will have an extra $6 million they can spend in those 72 hours. Gordon Hayward’s current cap hold is about $8 million. Once the Jazz match, he will take up $14.7 million off the cap. Therefore, during those 72 hours, the Jazz could sign a player with that $6 million. After signing, Hayward the Jazz will still have about $8 million (and as much as $11 million) in cap space.


It sounds, though not confirmed, that the Hornets have placed a trade kicker and a player option in the deal. The player option would be for the last year, which is the first time the Jazz may have some financial issues with Trey also due for his extension. The trade kicker is complicated, but the easiest way to think of it is that it will make it harder for the Jazz to trade Hayward in the fourth year of his contract (a year he may be able to opt out of anyway).

If Hayward is worth more than the $16.7 million on his final year and wants to opt out of his contract, the Jazz should be pleased he has improved that much as a player.


This is going to be the hardest part of this situation. Gordon is not going to change as a player. He may have more success in Quin Snyder’s open-floor, pick-and-roll-heavy,  spread offense than in the post-centric offense of Sloan and Corbin. Gordon is an elite open-floor player. If the Jazz can get him more opportunities in space, then he will look better. However, he is not going to change as a player and he is probably not going to be what you perceive a max player to be.


A little bit because the Hayward camp wanted to get a max offer and that was their goal. It was important for them that Hayward was regarded as a max player. The Jazz opened up this portion of the negotiations with an effort to get a deal done, but the Hayward camp wanted to see what the market would deliver. Good on them. In the first portion of the negotiation (prior to the start of last season) the Jazz may look back and wish they had offered more and given more to get a deal done rather than paying the max contract now.

INSIDER—Why Steve Novak and what it means

Today the Utah Jazz acquired Steve Novak (along with a future 2nd round pick) from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Diante Garrett.

* First thing is that Diante Garrett had little place on this team after the drafting of Danté Exum. Garrett had a nice year last season and proved he is an NBA player, but with Exum and Burke the Jazz don’t have a spot for him on the roster. His non-guaranteed contract was appealing to Toronto, which is likely to cut Garrett.

* The Jazz need shooting. Novak brings a true stretch four to the roster. Novak is 6-foot-10 and 235 pounds, and he can flat out shoot it. Over the last four seasons, the 31-year-old has shot 56.5%, 47% 43% and 43% from 3-point range. The last three season he is a combined is 334-for-755 (44%) from three.

* Novak is a one-dimensional player; he is not a rebounder or a passer—he is a shooter.  However, over the last three seasons his teams are +454 when he is on the floor.

* On spot-up 3s last year, he was 39-for-87 (45%). 65% of his offense was on spot-ups.

* On catch-and-shoots last year, Novak shot 47% and 46% on 3s for an EFG% of 69.2%, second best in the NBA for players who had at least 100 catch-and-shoot points. Only Kyle Korver was better.

* Novak is not thought of as a defensive player, yet the numbers don’t show him being exposed when used correctly. He struggles covering post-ups, as teams shot 61% against him. But against other stretch 4s he did a decent job in isolation on the pick-and-roll according to Synergy Sports.

* The Raptors were +6.5 per 48 minutes when Steve Novak was on the floor and +2.7 when he was on the bench. The Raptors’ offense with Novak on floor was at 106.3 when was on the bench was a 105.8. However, when he was on the floor the defense was not as good.

* He is not capable of being a starter even in the case of injury, so this doesn’t close the door on Marvin Williams and doesn’t close the door on the Jazz making frontcourt moves. The Jazz need some insurance in case Favors or Kanter misses anytime due to injury. As the roster sits right now, they don’t have a player who can start in place of either of these players.

* If this move should put anyone’s roster spot in jeopardy I don’t think it does a lot for Jeremy Evans. If Favors, Kanter, Gobert, Novak and another free agent addition are your frontcourt, where does Evans fit?


This is STORYLINE post. I will continually update this post with news about free agency and the impact on the Jazz. Lock this page onto your browser for the latest news

UPDATED – July 3rd 1:41 pm

The Atlanta Hawks have signed Thabo Sefolsha to a 3 year deal.  The Hawks are in need of wing help starting Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll last year.  Atlanta has lots of money and is expected to make a big move.   I have thought of Atlanta as a possible suitor for Gordon Hayward.  Not clear how this impacts that situation.

Hawks have 11 million in cap space left.  The Jazz would obviously match an 11 million dollar contract so Atlanta will not offer.

Also, Jazz might have interest in Mike Scott who is a restricted free agent with the Hawks.

UPDATED – July 2nd 8:55am 

As of last night Gordon Hayward didn’t have a max offer sheet from anyone.  However, numerous teams still are in the mix for Hayward.  Cleveland is the primary player. However, other bidders could include Charlotte and Atlanta.

Phoenix is a common name to be mentioned with the tie to Hornacek, however when you look at the Suns landscape for the next few years I am not sure it makes a lot of sense.  The Suns want to sign Bledsoe this year, Dragic is an unrestricted free agent next year and the Morris twins come up as well.  A major offer sheet to Hayward could upset that apple cart.

UPDATED – July 2nd 8:45 am

The Shawn Livingston deal in Golden State means the Warriors have used their full mid level exception taking them out of the market for other major free agents.  Look for Spencer Hawes to turn his attention to Portland now that Golden State is of the market

UPDATED – July 2nd 7:51 am

Boston has agreed to a 4 year 32 million dollar deal with Avery Bradley.  Boston has virtually no cap space at this point and would make it very difficult for them to enter into Gordon Hayward sweepstakes.

For Boston to get involved they would have to move all the players needed to create room and then give Hayward an offer sheet that the Jazz would likely match and Boston would be without the players they dump to make the offer sheet.

Unless something very strange happens take Boston off the list of suitors for Hayward

UPDATED  – July 1st 5:39 pm

The two teams mentioned the most with Gordon Hayward today have been the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics.

The Cavaliers just finalized their deal with Kyrie Irving and are now looking for the next targer.  The Cavs are not in play for the main targets so Hayward might be a nice addition.

Will be interesting to see if Hayward is willing to take an offer sheet from Cleveland, a place I don’t think he wants to live.

Boston currently doesn’t have a lot of cap room, only 6 million and have to deal with Avery Bradley.   This is not a surprise to hear the Celtics connected to Gordon Hayward.

UPDATED – July 1st 5:36 pm

Spencer Hawes is a hot commodity.  He has already met with the Blazers, Warriors and Clippers.  Warriors have a trade exception that expires shortly that could be used in a deal.

Hawes shot 42% from three last year between Philadelphia and Cleveland.

UPDATED – July 1st 4:33pm

Jodie Meeks has signed a 3 year – 19 million dollar deal with the Detroit Pistons.  This is a lot of money for a fringe starter likely 7th man on a roster.  However, Meeks can shoot.

I had Meeks and Morrow as veteran guards for the Jazz in free agency.  Meeks is now off the market.

Jazz can’t afford to make a move with their cap space yet until they see both what happens with the big boys and what deals they might be able to absorb or what actually happens with Gordon Hayward.

UPDATED – July 1st 10:01 am

Hawks are being mentioned with Greg Monroe.  Monroe is a restricted free agent.  If the Hawks are looking at Monroe it would delay there action toward Gordan Hayward.  It would also bring up a question of what they are doing with both Al Horford and Paul Millsap.  Jazz could be interested in Horford as a piece

UPDATED – June 30th – 11:07 pm

Blazers seem to be setting the pace on the shooting big market and have reached out to Spencer Hawes, Josh McRoberts and Boris Diaw.  Blazers are over the cap so they can only offer the mid-level.

UPDATED – June 30th – 11:04 pm

Atlanta Hawks amongst teams that are talking to Luol Deng.   Atlanta could be a player for Gordon Hayward

UPDATED – June 30th – 11:01 pm 

Is Trevor Booker a shooting 4 for the Jazz

trevor booker

My initial list of shooting pigs for the Jazz was Spencer Hawes, Josh McRoberts, Patrick Patterson with Mike Scott, a restricted free agent from Atlanta.  Add Trevor Booker to this list.

UPDATED – June 30th – 10:58 pm

boston to thomas

Lots of impact here.

If Boston goes down the Thomas restricted free agent road then they can’t also be on the road to Gordon Hayward.

Boston actually only has 6 million in cap space right now and would have to move contracts to make Hayward a big offer.

If the Celtics just drafted Smart and are talking to Thomas what are they doing with Rajon Rondo.

UPDATED – June 30th – 10:54 pm

Spencer Hawes, who could fill the Jazz need for a shooting big, is getting a lot of early interest.  Hawes is hearing from Western Conference contenders according to Marc Stein, Portland, Clippers, Rockets and Mavericks.

Mavericks and Rockets have cap room to spend the other teams would only be able to go full mid-level.  Would the Jazz be willing to go above mid-level to get Spencer Hawes?  How would that impact the development of Kanter and Gobert?

UPDATED June 30th – 10:52 pm

Carmelo will be meeting with the Lakers on Thursday after seeing the Bulls on Tuesday according to ESPN.  Melo will spend Wednesday in Texas with Dallas and Houston.

UPDATED June 30th – 10:41 pm

Carmelo will meet with Bulls on Tuesday.  Jazz need to follow this one closely the Bulls would need to move contracts to get Carmelo done and the Jazz, Sixers and Magic are the only team likely to be able to facility such action.

Would the Jazz take Boozer and Dunleavy (maybe even Hinrich) for Nikola Mirotic and a 2018 1st rounder?  Would Bulls do it.  Mirotic is a big time Europen player a shooting big who, according to scouts could start today in the NBA.

Mirotic is 23 year old, 6 ’11 . He was the U-20 MVP of the Euroleague and 2 time Euroleague 2nd team and Spanish League MVP.

Last season he scored 16 pts while grabbing 4.6 rebounds a game.  He shot 51%  and 46% from 3 point range and 81%

UPDATED June 30th – 10:19 pm

Luol Deng first call was from Mavericks

Kyle Lowry is getting an offer from Toronto and Houston was in Philadelphia to meet with Lowry.

New Orleans needs to move contracts to finalize the Omir Asik deal.

UPDATED 10:05 pm – June 30th (July 1 on East Coast)

Jazz Free Agency Needs

1)  Shooting Big

2)  Veteran Wing player

3)  Veteran back up Point Guard.

UPDATED 10:00 pm (begining of Free Agency)

Jazz have three choices on how to approach free agency

1) Use cap space to sign the big boys.  Unlikely that LeBron, Carmelo, Wade, Bosh, Dirk, etc are interested in coming to Utah at this stage of the rebuilding process.

2)  Use cap space to upgrade positions.  Would a Trevor Ariza or Chandler Parsons be a nice addition.  Seems unlikely if the Jazz are going to match Gordon Hayward, which they are.   What about Josh McRoberts and Spencer Hawes for the middle.  What impact will that make on the other young bigs playing time

3)  Use Cap space to absorb contracts from teams trying to sign  the Big Boys and upgrade your roster with those players or with future assets.

INSIDER—Recap of draft night

How did it happen that the Jazz ended up with two players they never imagined would be available to them at their draft positions?

On TIPOFF this morning, we talked about Embiid going No. 3 to the Sixers as the key to the night. This meant the Jazz knew they would have their choice of Exum or Gordon. Utah’s draft board seemed to be Parker, Wiggins (maybe reversed), Exum, Gordon and Smart.

The front office had spent a lot of hours recently watching the film of Smart closely, in case Exum went three and Gordon went at 4. The Jazz were very concerned that this scenario would play out.

Instead, about an hour before the draft, this happened:


Suddenly, Exum was a possibility for the Jazz at #5. Sure enough, Aaron Gordon went at #4 and the young Australian, who at times this season was talked about as a potential #1 pick, was coming to Utah.

Exum is a lightening-fast 18-year-old who, at 6-foot-6, could be a unique piece as a point guard. It will take him some time to develop. He’s very raw, particularly on the defensive end. He’s not a sure thing. One scout called him the pendulum player in this draft—he could be a superstar and he could be a bust.

I found him to be delightful in our conversations. He was very sure of himself in the interview settings. He’s engaging. He’s crisp in his speech. He’ll be a fan favorite, and the accent certainly doesn’t hurt.

One scout said: “Big point guard. Ok shooter who will get better with strength. Long point guard—great handle with super vision. Can guard multiple positions. Excellant burst. Elite speed with and without ball.”

As we were going through the media car wash with Danté Exum, I looked at the draft board and realized that Rodney Hood was still on the board. From previous conversations with Jazz people, I knew he was very high on the Jazz board and one of the players the Jazz were willing to move up to grab.

The Jazz were sitting at #23 and as the draft hit about #17 the Jazz started to offer #23 and #35 to move up and draft Hood. A few teams said no, and as they were saying no other teams made their intentions known—and all of sudden it became clear to the Jazz they were going to get Hood by staying at #23.

One last issue had to be clarified—the Miami Heat were desperate to grab Shabazz Napier and they wanted Utah’s pick. However, Miami only offered second round picks in order to move those few spots, so the Jazz declined and took Hood.

Hood is left-handed and has good size for his position at 6-foot-9. He shoots it well for a small forward or shooting guard, and he controls the ball well. He averaged 16 points per game at Duke while shooting 42% from three.

One scout texted me: “Shooter, can guard the ball. Good floor game. Best  player that participated in Chicago.” Another said: “He can shoot and knows how to play.”

After those two wins, the Jazz weren’t able to find a player to stash overseas. The team didn’t want to go into camp with three rookies and nine players with four years or less of experience in the NBA, so they made a trade with Memphis. The numbers probably won’t work out on this deal, since Memphis’ pick could be worse than #35.

Frankly, I’m not sure the Jazz had many players they really liked at #35 because in some of the conversations during the week they were very concerned about #23 and how they didn’t have enough players they liked at #23. That became a non-issue when Hood fell into their laps.

There’s a really good chance that we look back at this draft five years from now as the turning point for the Jazz franchise.

STORYLINE — Live from Barclays Center for the 2014 NBA Draft




UPDATED at 5:53 pm

Joel Embiid goes #3 – Jazz get either Dante Exum or Aaron Gordon whomever Orlando doesn’t take

UPDATED at 5:49 pm

No surprises in the first two picks.  Wiggins and Parker.

Woj just reported that Sacramento and Boston are talking about a deal to send Ben McLemore to Boston for the 6th pick.   What would Sacramento do with 6 and 8.

Jazz fans want to hear Joel Embiid with the 3rd pick

UPDATED at 5:19 pm

Chad Ford’s last mock draft has Embiid going 3 and Exum 4 with the Jazz taking Aaron Gordon at 5.  Ford earlier today had the Jazz taking Kentucky’s James Young but now has the Jazz taking elite athlete K.J. McDaniels.

McDaniels is a transition master.  He is a great finisher.  He needs to improve his jump shot.  Jazz are all about player development

UPDATED at 5:16 pm

As i have said all day I keep hearing Noah Vonleh could slip in the draft.  Also hearing either Shabazz Napier or Tyler Ennis could slip as teams are not looking for point guards.   The other talk around the Center is the amount of European stashing that is going to be done tonight leaving some solid players undrafted.

UPDATED at 5:13 pm

Draft Express last mock draft has Jazz taking Aaron Gordon at 5 and P.J. Hairston at 23.  This is one of the first time we have seen Hairston at 23.  It is a possibility.  James Young would still be on the board.  Draft Express has the Jazz taking CJ Wilcox at 35.


UPDATED at 5:12 pm

Is it possible Embiid doesn’t go 3.  That is what it sounds like out of Philadelphia from one of their best and longest running reporters



The Jazz would like Embiid to go 3 to keep all of their options open.


UPDATED 4:33 pm

My intel has Embiid going 3.  However, strange to me that his agent just released a statement and then moments later Scott Howard Cooper mentions a team with Embiid in the teens.  My feeling is 10 is Embiid’s backstop to Philly and Philly clearly thinks Boston or LA will take him so they are taking him at 3.

Could the Jazz trade to 3 to get Exum and Philly still gets Embiid at 5?  It makes sense on paper but what would Sixers want from the Jazz and what would the Jazz be willing to give up.

Embiid needs to go 3 for the Jazz to have the night they want.


UPDATED 3:52 pm

philly workout





This news comes at the same time it revealed that Philadelphia is no longer pursuing the #1 pick in the draft.  With the Afflalo deal  it would seem Orlando is out also.  Leaving just Boston and Utah to pursue the #1 pick.

Why would Philadelphia have Vonleh and Randle in for a workout?  If they are making a move down in the draft with Utah, Orlando  or LA they would need to consider these players.

I am hearing Vonleh could slip but I am not sure he would be able to get to 10.

UPDATED – 3:49 pm

Here is the latest I am hearing around the league.

The Philadelphia Sixers will take Joel Embiid at #3.  With most people expecting Dante Exum to go 4 to Orlando.

This leaves the Jazz choosing between Noah Vonleh, Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart and Julius Randle.

The #3 pick is a key one to watch for the Utah Jazz

I just talked with someone very close to the situation it is still not clear who is going 1 and who is going 2.



STORYLINE – Rumors, Murmurs and News on the NBA Draft


This is a STORYLINE post.  This will continue to be updated as the latest news and rumors are mentioned.  Each will have the Jazz take on the news

UPDATED –  June 26th 1:02 pm

Are you wondering where all the Derrick Favors to the Cavaliers talk started

favors started

It got retweted 312 times and favored 90 times.  It got picked up by every outlet imaginable and likely became definite.  I talked about it , the league talked about it, it became gospel.  This is how modern reporting happens.  Yet, from people I have talked to and people I trust Derrick Favors was never the centerpiece or an integral part of any of the Jazz and Cavaliers direct conversations.

Does that mean that something involving a third team might not bring these back into play, nope.  Trust me Derrick Favors was not an integral part of any of these discussions.

UPDATED – June 26th – 12:39 pm


UPDATED – June 26th – 12:30 pm .

Multiple reports that the Sixers have upped their offer to the Cavaliers.  This tells us a few things.  This is why the Cavs wanted Exum to fly into town.   Secondly, it tells us the pick is still in play.

What could Philly add to the mix.  They own the 3rd pick, the 10th pick, Thadeus Young and Michael Carter Williams.   That is it.  They don’t have another piece on their roster other than future #1 picks that is appealing.

From a Jazz standpoint, I understand they are still making efforts to garner the #1 pick.  Derrick Favors is not and has not been an integral or the centerpiece of the deal.  I am not clear if this is because the Cavaliers with their roster make-up aren’t interested in Favors or why.    The Jazz are unable to deal Gordon Hayward without major complications due to his pending restricted free agency.   Meaning, unless the Jazz can involve a third team who has a larger desire for the Jazz assets it is going to be difficult for the Jazz to get the #1.

My best guess at this point is for the Jazz to get the #1 pick it is going to have to be a complicated deal and those are nearly impossible to pull off on draft night.

UPDATED – June 26th  – 11:55 am 

toronto mephis trade

This impacts the Jazz at 23 a bit.  There has been some talk that either Tyler Ennis or Shabazz Napier could drop to the Jazz at 23 where they would have to decide if they wanted another small point guard.  This deal seems to mean that Ennis goes 22.

In Chad Ford’s latest mock draft he has Kentucky’s James Young this could have impact of that.

UPDATED – June 26th  – 11:31 am

The mystery of the draft was supposed to be Dante Exum but it has become Joel Embiid. Embiid started the draft process with a bad back, added a major foot injury and now his medical records are the most sought after item in the draft


You could really read this as who has Embiid’s medical records.  According to the people I have talked to the only teams with his medical records are Cavs, Bucks, Sixers, Celtics and Lakers.  Jazz and the Magic have been left out.

From a Jazz perspective the Jazz really need Embiid to go #3 to the Sixers to make sure the players they want get to them at 5.

UPDATED – June 26th – 9:03 am

The first big trade of day has been completed

trade 1

This is the use of a trade exception from Denver and a nice pick up.  Afflalo returns to Denver where his career got ignited.   Orlando gains a nice young player in Evan Fournier and a bunch of flexibility.  Why does Orlando want flexibility?   I would assume they have another deal coming to make this work.    Are they absorbing a contract for someone?  Do they have someone they are trying to acquire?

From Denver perspective did they just get the piece they need to get Kevin Love deal done.

Impact on the Jazz is that it takes Afflalo deal off the table with the #1 pick.  It seems as though this may eliminate Orlando from the #1 pick conversation, however it could mean that they have opened the door for a something to get #1

UPDATED — June 26th  8:00am

Yesterday, reports that Cleveland wanted Dante Exum to fly to Cleveland for a last minute workout.  Reports today say that he declined the workout


UPDATED – June 26 – 8:00 am 

The number 1 pick is still in play.  According to Chad Ford the magic may be the leader in acquiring the pick  but it might be based on what other teams think of their picks rather than what the Cavaliers think

ford orlando

The Jazz chances of getting the #1 pick are getting slimmer by the hour.  I will give you more on  this on Tip Off.

UPDATED – June 25 10:53 pm

Looks like there are 4 teams in play for the #1 pick.  Philly, Boston, Utah and Orlando.   Orlando may be getting serious in its quest for #1

amico 1

It is looking more and more less likely that the Jazz are going to be able to get to the #1 pick.   The Jazz assets may not match the work for the Cavaliers demands.

UPDATED -June 25 – 10:12 pm

Looks like the #1 pick is still in play

#1 pick

UPDATED – June 25 — 8:04 pm


UPDATED  – June 25 1:57 pm 

This report is loaded with all sorts of implications.

cavs exum

spears on exum

Why would Cleveland do this?  If they are planning on picking at 4 or 5 then they may want to take a look at Exum.  Orlando and Utah have the most assets to offer Cleveland for the 1st pick and Exum looks to be available at 4 or 5, where Orlando and Utah are picking, if the assumption that Embiid going 3 is accurate.

UPDATED  –  June 25 1:41 pm

The Joel Embiid injury sent Philadelphia, Orlando and Utah for a big loop.  Now Arn Tellum the agent for Embiid holds all the cards

goodman on embiid agent

Tellum is the same agent who controlled Kobe through the draft and moved him to the Lakers via a forced trade with Charlotte.

UPDATED – June 25 7:41 am

Why would Cleveland possibly trade the #1 pick.  Maybe because of inside disagreement. Chad Ford reports that they are split minds in Cleveland over whom to pick.

cleve #1

This maybe why Cleveland eventually moves the #1 pick.  Easier to agree on a deal than to agree on who to take.  However, it also tells you about the power of Dan Gilbert and the multitude of voices which will make it very for any team trying to get a deal done to know if what they are discussing will pass the Gilbert test.

UPDATED – June 24 9:50 pm

Sounds like we can add another team to the list at #1 – The Boston Celtics


So now we have Cleveland talking with Boston, Philadelphia, Orlando and Utah.

What can everyone offer

Boston – has the 6th and 17th picks in this draft.  Of their active players Rajon Rondo and Kelly Olynk are the only other players of interest.

Philadelphia – Has the 3rd pick and the 10th pick.   On their roster they have Michael Carter Williams

Orlando – Has the 4th pick and the 12th pick.  Plus they have Aaron Afflalo and could be willing to offer Victor Oladipo.  Orlando also has Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic.

Utah – Has the 5th pick and the 23rd.  On the roster they have Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, Enes Kanter and Trey Burke plus a 2017 pick of the Golden State Warriors.

Looking at that who can make the best offer?

UPDATED – June 24th 11:46 am

On NBA Podcast Seth Greenberg calls the rumored Favors and #5 for #1 pick a “terrific” deal for the Cavaliers

Greenberg and Katz also called the draft 22 deep.   Let’s hope someone makes a mistake before 23

UPDATED  – June 24th  10:00 am

Fran Franschilla has made a name for himself at ESPN as the international expert on the Draft.   Today he tweeted his top 5 international players

ff 1

ff 2

ff 3

ff 4

ff 5

With picks at 23 and 35 and a pool of young players already on the roster it makes sense for the Jazz to draft an international player.   Keep an eye on these names.

UPDATED – June 23rd 6:13 pm

Clear the Cavaliers are still interested in moving the 1st pick.  Cleveland is under huge pressure to make the playoffs now to get out of the lottery and to keep Kyrie Irving happy.


You can start to put together what these deals would be.  The Sixers have very little other than 3, 10 and Micael Carter Williams on their roster.  The Magic have 4,12 and some nice young pieces.   The Timberwolves bring Kevin Love into the mix.  The Jazz we know where they are coming from.

Remember the Jazz can’t move Gordon Hayward unless he agrees to go to Cleveland in free agency.

UPDATED -June 23d – 10:14 am

Reports have had both Utah and Philadelphia make runs at the #1 pick from Cleveland.  According to ProBasketballDraft add another suitor

orlando wants 1

This makes sense.  Orlando, Philadelphia and the Jazz have all been hit by the Joel Embiid injury.  Orlando wants a point guard but word is Dante Exum could go #3 to Philly and they have cooled on Marcus Smart.

The Jazz seem to have the most assets between Philadelphia and Orlando but it is not clear how many they are willing to part with for the #1 pick

UPDATED – June 23rd – 9:50 am

The biggest impact of the Embiid injury for the Utah Jazz is that Dante Exum chances of slipping to 5 have been reduced greatly.

Prior to the injury Wiggins, Parker and Embiid were expected to be the top 3 picks in some order.   Over the weekend Dante Exum worked out in Philly and according to Chad Ford was very impressive

exum to philly

From a Jazz perspective this means Orlando is a bind needing a point guard and Exum is off the board.  They could take Marcus Smart or Noah Vonleh.  This means the Jazz are deciding between Smart/Vonleh, Gordon and Randle.

UPDATED – June 23rd – 9:26 am

Huge news from Chad Ford, ESPN Insider Dario Saric, a potential top 10 pick has reached an agreement with Turkish team Anadolu Efes.


Saric will stay in the draft, but will likely stay in Europe for 2 more years.  In someways this makes him more appealing for teams that are trying to persereve cap space or have too many young players.

The Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder are all trying to preserve space.

From a Jazz standpoint Saric maybe more appealing. The Jazz would prefer not to come to camp next year with 3 more rookies on an already young roster.  However, this draft is lacking in European players who can be drafted and left in Europe for a year or two.  Saric now matches that description.

Saric is a tremendous talent with a versatile game for a 6’10 player.   The most common comparison has been Toni Kukoc.

It would likey take moving up in the draft from #23 to acquire Saric.  Consider it another option for the Jazz on a draft night with endless options.  Jazz Assistant General Manager Justin Zanik is very well schooled in the European game.

UPDATED – June 23rd 7:23 am

No huge surprise here but you can take Embiid off the list of potential picks at #2.  Bucks will be drafting whomever slips past #1 of Wiggins and Parker. Wiggins was in town on Friday for a workout and Parker was in Milwaukee earlier in the week


Lasry is the new owner of the Bucks.

Doesn’t change anything from the Jazz perspective but it does mean Philadelphia is the odd team out right now of the stars and will likely try to move up into 1 or 2 to get Wiggins.

UPDATED — June 23rd 6:35 am 

Cleveland still believes they can lure free agents.  To do this they may need to clear their books.  These two notes from Sam Amico point to Jarrett Jack

jarrett jac

If the Cavs are really looking to do this they will likely need to move Jarrett Jack who is scheduled to receive 6 million each of the next 3 years.  Jack’s contract may become an important piece as the Cavs discuss trades in the upcoming days.

UPDATED – June 22nd – 10:07 pm 

Who will be the number 1 pick of the draft?  Earlier this weekend the word was it was Jabari Parker.  However, according Sam Amico, who does strong work in Cleveland, that may be changing


If the Jazz are interested in acquiring a pick to get Jabari this may mean the Milwaukee Bucks are in play as well.  The safer route is to get Cleveland’s pick and get the guy you want.  However, it takes two to tango and maybe the Cavaliers aren’t willing to make a deal.

The Bucks need to straighten their books a bit as well and might be willing to do a deal if the Jazz were also willing to take back some of their bad contracts.  For example, OJ Mayo is scheduled to make 8 million both of the next two years and Carlos DelFino has 3.25 each of the next two seasons and Zaza Pachulia is scheduled for 5.2 each of the next two years.

UPDATED – June 22nd – 8:58 pm


We are officially into the period of the draft where we can’t believe anything anyone says, but this is a very interesting development.  Do the Warriors really believe they have a better chance of winning with Lee and Thompson than Love.  If Thompson is not being moved what does Minnesota do next.  In addition, what do the Lakers do next if they are trying to move #7 for a veteran.

Though a very interesting and maybe correct take from a Minnesota writer


UPDATED – June 22nd – 8:35 am

Lots of picks are there for the taking.  Hard to imagine the Jazz need to grab another first round pick but if they are trying to build a deal for Cleveland and #1 maybe they have to grab different assets.

Chicago at 16 and 19 needs to clear cap space more than acquire more talent.  The Bulls are planning a run for Carmelo or LeBron.  If the Jazz are willing to take on a salary (Mike Dunleavy) they could likely get 16 or 19 from Chicago.

.Houston is trying to clear cap space as well and are sitting at #25.

Sacramento is willing to move #8.  Oklahoma City might be willing to move #21.

UPDATED June 22nd – 8:22 am

Lakers 7 is clearly in play.  Talk of Lakers getting involved in a three way swap with Klay Thompson for 7 all as a part of the Minnesota Timberwolves deal to have Kevin Love end up in Golden State.

UPDATED :  June 21st – 3:54 pm


This doesn’t directly impact the Jazz at 5, however ask yourself if there is anyone on the Jazz that you would be willing to give up to get 7.   Would be complicated but is there a way for the Jazz to get 7 and use it to get to 1.   Lots of options in these final days


UPDATED as of June 21st at 3:46 PM

Ken Berger of CBS Sports has these notes

*  Parker is likely to go 1 and Wiggins likely to go 2 – neither is expected at this point to move their picks.  The offers to get one of these picks is going to have to be so good that the GM is able to unquestionably justify the deal to the ownership.  Mostly in Milwaukee with new ownership for GM John Hammon.

*  Talk of Magic talking Vonleh at 4 continues with Exum 3 to Philly.   What do the Jazz do from there.   If Exum and Vonleh are gone the Jazz are deciding between Gordon, Randle and Smart.

* Nuggets may have promised Saric at 11



INSIDER – Highlights from Draft Express Numbers Breakdown

Draft Express does terrific work with situational stats breakdowns.  Here are the highights


  •  Marcus Smart went to the line 31% of his possessions  in transition and 21% of his half court possessions.   Smart only ran the pick and roll 21% of his possessions.    However,  Smart  hit only 28% of his jump shots in the half court, 30.3% on catch and shoot and 28.8% off the dribble.  Smart is terrific at the rim, 57.3%.
  • Tyler Ennis pts per possession is the lowest of any guard in the draft.  20.5% of his shots are floaters and he only makes 28% of those shots and doesn’t get to the rim.
  • Elfrid Payton uses a very high 21 possessions a game.  5 of those possessions were in transition and shot 63% on the break.  Payton only takes 3 jump shots a game and hit just 26% of those shots and just 18% on catch and shoot.
  • Jordan Clarkson was in the pick and roll 6 times a game a game, 3rd most and was 5th in scoring at .92 pts per possessions.  He gets to the rim at a rate higher than anyone other than Payton.  Finished 56% at the rim
  • Shabazz Napier was 3rd among guards in pts per possession in halfcourt, .99 pts per possession.  54% of his possessions came in isolation and pick and roll.   Made 41% of his jump shots.   NBA average is 38%.   Napier is the best pull up jumper of the guards.   He is not good at the rim at 47%.



  • Nik Stauskas  1.124 pts per possession is 2nd best of shooting guards (Spencer Dinwiddie is best) .  Stauskas is the best on jump shot at 1.15 pts per shot.   49% shooting off the catch and shoot and 38% off the dribble.   Using the same system that Trey Burke used at Michigan Stauskas used nearly 30% of his possessions as the ball handler on the pick and roll.
  • Gary Harris 1.02 pts per possession is very average.  His .98 pts per shot at the rim is the 3rd lowest mark of the group.
  • Jordan Adams  ranks 5th in pts per possession.   He played off screens and transition.  2nd best finisher at the rim despite not dunking.   His jump shooting is the worst of the group at .85 pts per jump shot.
  •  PJ Hariston  34% on catch and shoots.
  • Zach Lavine  lowest usage rate in the group and the least efficient scorer in the pick and roll and isolation.   32% of his possessions in transition.
  • Spencer Dinwiddie played just 17 games before an ACL, his 1.17 pts per possession is only surpassed by Doug McDermott in the entire draft.   Dinwiddie is the best pick and roll players and isolation player and 2nd in spot up.  1.127 pts per jump shot.
  • CJ Wilcox is above average in both usage and efficiency.   Used heavily off the screen. Ranks third in at 1.16 pts per jump shot.


  •  Parker pts per possessions (.999)  Wiggins (.974)  Wiggins %FT (19.9% of possessions) and Parker (18.5% of possessions)
  • Wiggins 16% came in transition, 13.5% in isolation, 13% off pick and roll.  Wiggins 19.9% of possessions going line was 2nd highest of small forwards.    Average .72 pts per pull up jump shot.  26% of his attempts were off the bounce making 30%.    Made 37% of his catch and shoot chances.
  • Jabari Parker  18% of his  possessions came on post-ups, 1.06 pts per possession on post up was 2nd best of small forwards.    However, spot up was not good at .82 pts per possessions, 3rd worst of the group.  1.18 pts per catch and shoot 4th best in the group.
  • Doug McDermott used 22 possessions a game and scored 1.18 pts per possession.    He used 25% of his possessions in the post.  Averaged 1.31 pts per catch and shoot.
  • TJ Warren had the highest usage rate in the draft.   32.2% on jump shots but terrific at the rim at 70%.
  • Jerami Grant only 12 possessions per game.  Least good shooter in the draft.   62% of his shots in half court around the rim.
  • KJ McDaniels  top transition player in the draft.  3rd best finisher in the half court.
  • Cleanthony Early 1.11 pts per jump shot.  No isolation game.
  • Kyle Anderson worst small forward in transition .87 pts per possession.  1.41 pts per catch and shoot.
  • Rodney Hood most efficient pick and roll handler in the group.  Went to rim limited.



  • Noah Vonleh only used 11.5 possessions a game.  29% of his offense is post up.  Turned the ball over 15% of his possessions in the post up.  Took only 41 jump shots the entire season.   Pts per possession at 1.17 at the rim is not great.
  • Julius Randle 21% of his possessions are post ups, just average for power forwards.   Shot 39% on post up but drew fouls 26% on post up possessions.  Randle is great on the offensive glass at 2.4 possessions a game. Was used largely in isolation but only scored at .76 pts per isolation.   Shot just 17% on jump shots and .4 pts per possessions the worst of the power forwards.
  • Aaron Gordon 19% of his offense was in transition.  Shot 59% in transition.   11 half court possessions a game and one of the most efficient because 30% of offense came off cuts and put back.  1 isolation possession per game.   He shot just 29% on jump shots
  • Capela only took .3 jump shots a game, making just 21%
  • Adreian Payne 27% of his offense was post ups

INSIDER—Jazz comfortable at #5

With rumors swirling all around the Utah Jazz and the 2014 NBA Draft, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said today: “If we stay at [pick #5] we know the group and we are comfortable with the group.”

In an interview with David James and Patrick Kinihan on 97.5 FM, Lindsey explained that whomever the Jazz draft, the key will be the work done after the draft—not before the draft.

“There is no perfect prospect; there are a bunch of very good prospects,” Lindsey said. “Much of this draft is how good you are as an organization developing the prospect you take. We’re going to have to do a really good diagnosis look under the hood, look at their skill set and support them because they are really young men.”


The group the Jazz will be choosing from at #5 will likely include some combination of 18-year-olds Noah Vonleh and Aaron Gordon, 19-year-old Julius Randle and 20-year-old Marcus Smart.

Lindsey also commented: “There are many different prospects that add different athletic attributes and mindsets.”

Lindsey would not comment on trade rumors or if the Jazz had any players in for an extra workout.

INSIDER—Could Marvin Williams be a Miami target?

Last season, Jazz forward Marvin Williams showed a sense of leadership that makes him appealing to be a part of Utah’s future. However, Williams may have other options in the upcoming seasons.

As a highly coveted stretch 4, teams will look closely at Williams. One team most experts anticipate making a run at Williams is the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, where Williams would fit their Matt Bonner-type role.

However, Grantland’s Zack Lowe mentions Marvin as a possibility to the vanquished Miami Heat in his piece about LeBron’s future.

marvin williams zack lowe

Teams being interested in a class act like Marvin Williams is not surprising. The surprise here is the mention of a full mid-level for Marvin Williams. Some execs I talked to late last year mentioned the idea of a three-year, $9 million dollar deal, and others mentioned nothing more than two years.

What’s clear is that Marvin earned the right last year to be a veteran leader for a young Jazz team if he so desires.