Utah Jazz: Wild day as Paul Millsap, DeMarre Carroll leave; Jazz make big trade with Warriors
The Jazz took on three expiring contracts from Golden State that total $24 million, boosting Utah's payroll — relatively small previously because of all of the young players — up to the $49 million mark.
Utah did pick up veterans and shooting in the deal, as Lindsey had said was a priority this offseason.
Jefferson, a 12-year veteran, has an NBA career average of 15.0 points per game, although he scored a career-low 3.1 points per game in just 10.1 minutes per contest last season for the Warriors. Utah will be his fourth NBA team.
Biedrins, a 7-footer from Latvia, is coming off a season in which he averaged career lows in nearly every significant statistical category (0.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 0.8 bpg). The 27-year-old's career averages are 6.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks.
As for Rush, the five-year shooting guard missed nearly the entire 2012-13 season with a torn ACL. The 27-year-old (as of Sunday) has averaged 9.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 41.3 percent shooting from 3-point range in his career with the Warriors and Pacers.
Because those three players' deals are up after next season, the Jazz will be able to be potential players in what is expected to be a mega-offseason in 2014, with a free agency class that is much more loaded than this year's offering.
If Utah chooses, it still maintains the financial flexibility to sign multiple members of its young core to long-term deals. Hayward and Favors are both eligible to negotiate extensions this summer — something Lindsey and their camps will soon begin doing.
Carroll had expressed an interest in returning after playing his high-energy form of hustle ball in Utah since 2012.
"I'm a Utah Jazz until they don't want me anymore, and I'm going to leave it at that," Carroll said.
With Millsap leaving — despite the sides expressing "mutual interest" in continuing the relationship earlier this week — the Jazz are bidding farewell to one of their cornerstones for the past seven years. Though undersized as a power forward at 6-foot-8, the Louisiana Tech product was a workhorse whose game transformed from simply being a rebounding specialist into being an all-around offensive threat.
Millsap was also a durable rarity in this modern NBA, playing in 540 of a possible 558 games while averaging 12.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in Utah since being picked 47th overall in 2006. He was so respected by Jazz brass, Lindsey made it a point to visit Millsap at his Salt Lake City home first thing Sunday night when the free-agency period began.
At locker clean out in April, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin lauded both Millsap and Jefferson for being top notch on the court, in the locker room and in the community.
"They've been great," Corbin said. "They're two great pros for us. They helped us a lot. They carried us for the most part. They're two really, really good guys who are pros about their business."
As the NBA goes — and the key players on the Jazz grow younger — turns out they'll be somebody else's pros from here on out.
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