As I was celebrating the 4th of July holiday yesterday, I had no cell phone or phone service. I got home extremely late that night, and come to find out the Utah Jazz made a move this off season. The move was one that we’ve all known they were looking for, but the player that we received, I’m not sure anyone thought about.
On Friday, the Utah Jazz sent guard Diante Garrett to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Steve Novak and a future 2nd round pick. The trade cannot be completed until after the moratorium is lifted on July 10th. Media outlets are reporting that after the trade is done, the Raptors will waive Garrett.
For the Jazz, Novak fills a role that coach Quin Snyder has been wanting. The Jazz want to spread out the offense with their new head coach, and in doing so, they wanted a “stretch four” player that can shoot the ball well from outside. Novak is an outstanding three point shooter. Novak for his career shoots 43.2% from downtown. Last season with the Raptors, Novak only averaged 10.0 minutes per game, but still shot 42.6% from deep.
Novak, who is 31 years old, has two years and $7.2 million remaining on his current contract. That said, the trade to add Novak to the Jazz roster, doesn’t effect much salary wise. They still have plenty of room to match any offer for restricted free agent, Gordon Hayward. They also have plenty of room to sign a guy like Marvin Williams, who they’ve been talking to.
This trade also sends away a player who played the back up point guard role very well for the Jazz. Garrett, from the time he got a phone call from the Jazz while he was in Walmart, clear until the end of the season, Garrett was someone the fans loved.
The move also only leaves two point guards on the Jazz roster, considering they put rookie Dante Exum listed as a shooting guard. That being said, the Jazz have had talks with unrestricted free agent, Kent Bazemore. Before the trade, it didn’t look like there was much room on the depth chart to sign Bazemore. After the trade to send off Garrett, a spot opened up.
Novak is a fantastic three point shooter, who is exactly what the Jazz front office and coaching staff wanted. I still believe they will want to sign Marvin, and then bring Novak in off the bench. Currently, this is how I see the Jazz’s rotation looking after the trade, and considering they re-sign Marvin.
SG – Dante Exum, Alec Burks
SF – Gordon Hayward, Rodney Hood
PF – Marvin Williams, Steve Novak
To me, the Jazz need to sign a better back up point guard. Lucas isn’t a player that Jazz fans necessarily enjoy seeing on the court. However, with Bazemore possibly signing in Utah, and Exum and Burks being able to play the point a bit, the Jazz might not even use Lucas.
This trade helps the Jazz. They got a three point shooting specialist that they desperately needed. The off season isn’t over, though. The Jazz still have some moves that need to be made, but the first move they made, is pretty darn good.