by Daniel Olsen | Jazz fans can rest assured that the Ryan Smith era of the Utah Jazz ownership won’t wait long to pay to build a championship contender. The Jazz don’t look like a team that is going to go quietly in the night. They have been active in the NBA Draft, trade market and contract extensions. We will take a look at the NBA Draft in another article but for now, let’s look at the other offseason acquisitions that will be integral parts of the 2021 Utah Jazz rotation.
1. The Return of Derrick Favors: This is the biggest change on the Jazz lineup. Most of the other changes involve substantial pay raises. While it is nice that the Jazz is mostly bringing the whole band back together, it’s nice to see a former Jazzman make a return.
Enter Derrick Favors.
Favors is still young in NBA years at age 29 and was rewarded with a friendly three year $30 million dollar deal. He immediately provides an integral piece at the power forward position. The Jazz will be able to tinker with the roster to find the best role for Favors. Having started nearly every game for the Pelicans last year, he should be able to compete for the starting four spot.
If the Jazz decide to go with small ball offense, Bogdanovic could start at the four and Favors could be the primary backup post player. This is a role the Jazz have been severely short handed at. With the friendly rookie contract of the #27 pick Udoka Azubuike, the Jazz will be in a much better position than they were with a good but limited Tony Bradley last year. Bradley was traded to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for the 38th pick and cash consideration. The Ed Davis contract was also dumped to the New York Knicks along with two second round picks in 2023.
These moves will solve the questions that were apartment regarding the front court for the Jazz. Gobert will have some help to protect the paint and score some buckets in the paint.
2. Donovan Mitchell’s Contract Extension:
The Jazz have made their statement clear: Donovan Mitchell is an extremely valuable asset for their team. The Jazz showed their appreciation by offering him a five year extension worth $195 million dollars. $163 million is guaranteed on his rookie max deal but he can make the full amount if he signs the super max extension at some point. He will also need to be selected to one of the three All-NBA teams to be eligible for this bonus.
The Jazz have shown they are committed to Donovan long term so don’t expect to see him involved in any trades. He is one of the untouchables as far as the Jazz are concerned.
3. The resigning of Jordan Clarkson: Clarkson finished third in bench scoring last year. He was highly sought after on the open market but the Jazz cleared enough cap space to sign the 28 year old backup guard. Clarkson earned a $52 million dollar year which he will get over the course of four years. He will be an integral part of this team as they look to build a championship contender.
Clarkson averaged 15.6 points per game in the regular season but increase his production by a significant point per game during the playoffs. He made all 10 of his free throw attempts in the playoffs. He also improved his postseason effective field goal percentage to 55.2 percent, which is up over 20 percent from his first playoffs with the Cleveland Cavaliers years a couple years prior.
What is left?
The Jazz have just over $114 million dollars committed to their roster. This leaves them with about 7 million dollars to work with for their final four spots. Look for the Jazz to sign an older experienced player to the veterans minimum and a few undrafted guys. The Jazz are mostly bringing back the same guys and hope the return of Favors and new faces on their bench can immediately contribute and help lead the team to a long playoff run.
Featured image courtesy AP Photo | Matt York