The NBA Free Agency season begins on Tuesday, and like all the other teams, the Utah Jazz are looking to add some quality pieces to their roster.
For the Jazz, they are one of the teams with the most salary cap room to sign free agents. However, it also doesn’t just come down to dollars and cents for them, they have to sell the city of Salt Lake to free agents. Some players, though, it truly is just about dollars and cents.
So how much can the Jazz spend in free agency? With the maximum salary cap set at $63.2 million, and the Jazz roughly at $27.1 million on the books, they can spend roughly at least $36.1 million in free agency. Now, how do they use that money?
First off, they have said that any offer that restricted free agent, Gordon Hayward, receives, the Jazz will match it. The Jazz could possibly meet with Hayward and discuss a contract and not have to worry about matching another teams offer, but that is unlikely to happen. The Jazz can also offer Hayward more money, and years, than any other team can.
If Hayward receives a max offer sheet from another team, which could be very possible, he would sign for 4 years and roughly $63.4 million. With that contract, Hayward would roughly make $14.8 million in the first year, and it would go up gradually every year, ending with him making roughly $16.8 million in the final year of the deal.
For this upcoming season, adding Hayward’s $14.8 million towards the Jazz’s salary cap leaves them with roughly $21.3 million to spend before hitting the maximum salary cap. What else do they do?
There has been people say that the Jazz would like to sign a player who can play in a “stretch four” type role for the Jazz. One of those players they are scheduled to meet with, Marvin Williams, who played that same role for them last season.
Williams is rumored to be gaining interest from playoff and championship caliber teams. One of the rumored teams to be interested in Williams is the Miami Heat. With the Heat looking to re-sign the “Big Three” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, they won’t have a ton of room to offer contracts to free agents, but the possibility of playing for a championship will convince some players to take less money.
If the Jazz were to get Williams back in Salt Lake City next season, it could run them roughly between $6 – $8 million per year. However, with the way he has played the last couple of seasons in Utah, most fans would argue that they don’t believe he is worth that much.
Assuming that the Jazz can have Williams return to them, they would be left with between $13 – $15 million to play with. However, the Jazz don’t necessarily have to use all of that. The $63.2 million is the maximum salary cap. The Jazz, as well as all the other teams in the NBA, only have to be over the minimum salary cap, which is roughly $56.2 million. If the Jazz brought back Hayward and Williams at the above estimated prices, they would be just under $50 million on the books for this upcoming season.
The other thing that needs to be kept in mind, is that the Jazz still have to sign their rookies to their contracts. Those two contracts won’t effect the books too much, as Dante Exum should be making roughly $3 million, and Rodney Hood making roughly $1.1 million.
The way things work with contracts, salary caps, and all other things in free agency can get very complicated. This is mainly just a quick, rough look at what to know for this upcoming season.
I’m going into this free agency season expecting Hayward to sign that $63.4 million contract. Once he does that, and the Jazz match, the Jazz won’t have nearly as much money to play with this summer. However, they will have enough that they could make a run at a very good player. They also may only have a handful of roster spots available.
The other aspect of this, as I mentioned before, if the Jazz are looking at wanting to sign a very good player, not only will they have to have the money to do so, but Jazz general manager, Dennis Lindsey, will need to convince that player to come to Utah. Some players are harder than others to convince of that.
The Jazz hit a home run with the NBA Draft to get their off season off on the right foot. Will they replicate that with a great run in free agency?