Tag: Andris Biedrins

Jazz Scrimmage

ProBasketballTalk 2013-14 Preview: Utah Jazz


Last season: The Jazz finished 43-39, but they missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Nobody really knew what direction Utah was headed, perhaps including Utah itself. The Jazz kept Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, both on expiring contracts, past the trade deadline to make a playoff push. All they got was the honor of tying the 2010-11 Rockets as the best team in the last four years to miss the playoffs.

Signature highlight from last season: This was really impressive, but Utah still fell just short – /metaphor – by losing in overtime.

Key player changes: Al Jefferson (Bobcats) and Paul Millsap (Hawks) left in free agency, radically altering the Jazz’s identity. Plus two other starters, Mo Williams (signed with Trail Blazers) and Randy Foye (traded to Nuggets), are gone just in case someone wanted to pretend this was business as usual in Utah.

The Jazz re-stocked by drafting Trey Burke and Rudy Gobert in the first round and accepting the contracts of Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon with the sweetener of the Warriors’ first-round pick – AKA Utah is tanking.

Keys to the Jazz’s season:

1) How many starters can eventually start on a playoff-series-winning team? Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter give Utah a full lineup of young players who can grow together. Now, the Jazz must decided how many of those five are worth building around. They should get plenty of minutes for evaluation.

2) Is Tyrone Corbin a good coach? It doesn’t matter how good the Jazz’s coach is this season. They’re Riggin’ for Wiggins, anyway. But at some point, they’ll need a good coach, and that might not be Corbin. The most important thing an NBA coach does is allocate minutes, and Zach Lowe of Grantland makes a solid case that Corbin does that poorly.

3) How much can Utah gain by flipping its veterans? Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins, Marvin Williams and Brandon Rush represent more than $30 million in expiring contracts. All four might be able to help contenders on the court, too. Utah kept the expiring contracts of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap last season to make a playoff push. This season, there will be no such illusions. If the Jazz can get future value from those four, they’ll surely take it.

Why you should watch the Jazz: See “Why you should watch the 76ers.” Apply more so to Western Conference teams.

Prediction: 23-59. The Jazz are too far into their rebuild and have already acquired too much young talent to be truly horrific, but they’ll still be bad. All their top players will be placed in the largest roles of their careers, and there will be growing pains. At best, Utah will mirror the 2008-09 Thunder – a team that went 23-59.

Report: Jazz to sign John Lucas

Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey talks with guard John Lucas III during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Auburn Hills

If the Jazz are Riggin’ for Wiggins – and by letting two of their top players (Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson) leave in free agency and trading for hefty contracts (Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and, to a lesser degree, Brandon Rush) just to get draft picks, it sure seems like they are – they’ll still need to fill out their roster.

Oh, hey, John Lucas.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Lucas, a 5-foot-11 point guard who averaged 5.3 points and 1.7 assists per game for the Raptors last season, won’t win the Jazz any games and therefore won’t hurt their lottery odds. So, great signing right off the bat.

Developing Trey Burke is still Utah’s top priority at point guard, but the growth of Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter is also important. Lucas, a capable NBA point guard, will allow Favors and Kanter minutes in a viable offense while Burke is on the bench. Without a player like Lucas, the Jazz’s offense could have turned haphazard while Burke rests, those minutes turning worthless in terms of Favors’ and Kanter’s development.

Tanking is about losing a lot of games, but the teams that tank best also develop their young players in the process. Lucas should help Utah do the latter without preventing the former.

Iguodala was an hour away from signing with Dallas then Warriors trade went down

Andre Iguodala

Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks were thisclose to signing Andre Iguodala.

Instead, a capped-out but aggressive Golden State ownership pulled together a three-team trade that gave them the room to add Iguodala to an already strong Golden State roster and makes them far more dangerous in the West.

Iguodala wanted to be a Warrior, but to get there he had to leave other offers on the table while the Warriors pulled the complex trade together. And he did just that according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

To get here, he turned down a four-year, $52 million deal that Sacramento offered July 2 and then pulled, a five-year, $60 million front-loaded deal that Denver had on the table throughout the process, and a lucrative deal with Dallas that Iguodala almost signed an hour before the Warriors were able to create the necessary cap space to offer him four years and $48 million….

Finally, an hour before Iguodala was to sign with the Mavericks, the Warriors made two concessions in the deal with Utah and were able to send Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush – along with two first-round picks and two seconds.

A day later, Denver wanted to be part of the deal, and the Warriors gave up a third second-round pick to the Nuggets in order to make it a sign-and-trade deal that afforded them use of the full mid-level and bi-annual exceptions and granted traded-player exceptions for $11 million and $4 million.

Iguodala would have been a good signing for Dallas, but not the lone guy they could rebuild around. Iguodala brings a lot of important skills to the table, but he needs to be paired with a guy who can put up a lot of buckets. It would have been a good starting place for Dallas, but there would have been a lot more work to do.

For Iguodala this landing makes more sense — he is on a team that is up and coming in the West. They still have to prove themselves — Oklahoma City with a healthy Russell Westbrook remains the team to beat, San Antonio is going to be good again, the Clippers and Rockets are improved, and the list goes on.

Iguodala also is in a city he has wanted to be in for some time, trying to find his way there several times in the past but it never worked out. He took less money to get there.

Thursday And-1 links: List of deals that have become official

Los Angeles Clippers Paul reacts during their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of their NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals basketball playoff series in Los Angeles

Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like they love going to Vegas for Summer League…

• Since the calendar flipped from Tuesday to Wednesday, a lot of the NBA deals that had been agreed to during the signing moratorium have become official with ink put to paper. We’ve been keeping tabs on them at PBT (as did Hoopshype), so here is a list of what we know so far (this list is likely missing a couple deals):

• Chris Paul signed with the Clippers for five-years, $107 million (he has a player option after four years).

• The Clippers also completed this three-team trade: Milwaukee signs then trades J.J. Redick to the Clippers; the Bucks get two second round picks (one from the Suns, one from the Clippers); then the Clippers trade Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to Phoenix for Jared Dudley.

• The Clippers also signed Darren Collison to back up CP3 and re-signed Matt Barnes and Ryan Hollins.

• The Miami Heat re-signed Chris Andersen.

• The Pacers re-signed forward David West and signed backup point CJ Watson.

• Detroit signed free agent forward Josh Smith.

• San Antonio re-signed Manu Ginobili.

• In a three-team trade, Golden State acquired Andre Iguodala from Denver and Kevin Murphy from Utah; the Jazz got Brandon Rush,  Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and what they really wanted two first-round picks (2014 and 2017).

• Dallas signed Wayne Ellington and Israeli guard Gal Mekel.

• The Bulls signed Mike Dunleavy.

• Brooklyn re-signed Andray Blatche.

• Chicago re-signed Nazr Mohammed.

• The Washington Wizards signed draft picks Glen Rice Jr. and Otto Porter, plus inked deals with Eric Maynor, Martell Webster and Eric Maynor.

• The trade became official that sends Andrea Bargnani to New York for Quentin Richardson, Steve Novak, Marcus Camby and three second round picks.

• This three team Tyreke Evans trade went official: New Orleans sent  Terrel Harris and Robin Lopez to Portland, plus they sent Greivis Vasquez to Sacramento, for the draft rights to just drafted center Jeff Withey (Portland) and Evans (Sacramento).

• The Lakers re-signed Robert Sacre.

• The Knicks re-signed J.R. Smith and guard Pablo Prigioni.

• New Orleans (I’m partial to ‘Cans over Pellies if we are going to play with the new nickname) signed center Greg Stiemsma and re-signed  Al-Farouq Aminu.

•  The Trail Blazers inked Dorell Wright and just drafted Allen Crabbe.

• The Charlotte Bobcats signed free agent forward Al Jefferson. They also inked just signed draft pick Cody Zeller.


In some other news not with its own post on PBT:

• Nerlens Noel is going to wear No. 5 in Philly. Why? That’s how many teams passed over him in the draft.

• If you are wondering why the Noel trade is not official, Jrue Holiday (going to New Orleans) is on his honeymoon so he has not taken the team physical to make the trade official. We can cut him some slack on that one.

• In case you missed it, Ice Cube went on stage the night of Dwight Howard’s announcement and summed up the feelings of most Lakers fans pretty succinctly.

They are pretty pumped about Andre Iguodala in Golden State.

• Ty Lawson says the Nuggets are not going to take a step back next season.

• Tyreke Evans is good with being the sixth man in New Orleans.

• Former NBA player Duane Washington was sentenced to 60 days on a hit-and-run charge.

Larry Brown warns Sixers fans this rebuild is going to take a little time.

• Al Jefferson is excited about being in Charlotte, and not just because of the big paychecks.

• When the 1970 expansion draft came, the Cavaliers scouted it with NBA trading cards.

Golden State picked up the 2014-15 contract option for coach Mark Jackson.

• The NBA’s international outreach program Basketball without Borders this year will host camps for youth in Portugal, Argentina and South Africa, it was announced today by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

Report: Randy Foye agrees to be part of sign-and-trade, join Nuggets

Randy Foye

We told you this could be coming on Monday — veteran two guard Randy Foye could be going from Utah to Golden State as an extension to the Andre Iguodala sign-and-trade to Golden State.

Now that is all but official, it has been agreed to according to the Associated Press. Foye is a free agent who goes to Golden State in the trade with a new three-year, $9 million deal, according to the report. The moves cannot be formalized until Wednesday.

This basically just makes the Iggy sign-and-trade more complicated. In that original deal, the Warriors sign  Iguodala to a four-year, $48 million contract. To make room for that Golden State will trade Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins, Brandon Rush and a couple first round picks to the Jazz for Kevin Murphy (who has a non-guaranteed contract and can be cut).

Add in Foye and this is technically a couple separate deals — a sign-and-trade for Iguodala and a sign-and-trade with Utah for Foye — but it has benefits for all sides.

• For Golden State, not only do they land the players they want, they ship out enough assets to stay below the luxury tax line, giving them their full mid-level exception ($5.4 million) to use if they so choose.

• Denver picks up a trade exception out of all of this worth about $12 million, which they can use in the next year to bring in someone.

• Utah was going to lose Foye anyway, now they get a second round pick for the troubles and facilitating the deal, plus the picks from the Iggy deal. All that is part of rebuilding.