Utah Jazz: Ready or not, Jr. Jazz movement is here after draft, trade
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
ORLANDO, Fla. — On Wednesday, the Utah Jazz officially welcomed NBA veterans Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush to the family while announcing that a massive three-way trade with Golden State and Denver had been formalized.
"We needed size. We needed shooting," Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said. "Clearly, what we had on our roster after the draft, we needed some experience. We checked a few boxes there."
While the Jazz press release listed off the five draft picks and cash considerations the Jazz will also receive in the deal, it didn't mention the names Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter or Alec Burks.
It could have.
This transaction was about them.
The deal helps fill up Utah's roster for 2013-14, but it was mostly for the future.
Combine this wheeling and dealing with the fact that Utah is watching all of its 2012-13 free agents drift off elsewhere, and it's clear the Jazz have made a strong commitment to complementing a young core that now also includes enticing point guard Trey Burke.
Let the Jr. Jazz movement begin.
"Difficult decisions need to be made," Lindsey said. "I saw it as a dilemma where we really had several good options as far as signing guys back or going with a youth movement."
So long, grizzled veterans Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Earl Watson and Mo Williams. Good luck, Randy Foye, Jamaal Tinsley and DeMarre Carroll.
Have at it, kids.
"We really appreciate the patience and the trust that Alec and Gordon and Enes and Derrick have shown thus far, but they're ambitious and competitive," Lindsey said. "They wanted more opportunity, and here it is."
Ready or not.
Trading up to get Burke after Minnesota drafted him ninth overall set in motion a flurry of action by the Jazz.
So far, that's resulted in the Jazz acquiring a half-dozen new players — three on draft night, with Burke, Rudy Gobert and Raul Neto, and the three transplanted Californians in this trade.
In this latest deal, Utah also hauled in unprotected first-round picks from Golden State in 2014 and '17, second-round picks from the Warriors in 2016 and '17, the Nuggets' 2018 second-rounder, and what Lindsey described as "a significant amount of cash."
In exchange, the Jazz had to take on $24 million in expiring salaries from the Warriors, do a sign-and-trade with Foye before shipping him to Denver with a three-year, $9 million contract, and throw 2012 second-round pick Kevin Murphy to Golden State (which also gets shooting guard Andre Iguodala from the Nuggets).
That keeps Utah's options open as it negotiates extensions for Hayward and Favors this summer and looks to make a splash in a 2014 offseason that has a bundle of intriguing prospects.
"It also helps us keep our flexibility moving forward," Lindsey said. "We were able to pick up what we think were some key assets and some future picks to allow us to continue to add to the core that we have."
As Utah's roster currently stands, the Jazz have 11 players with guaranteed contracts for 2013-14. The Jazz will almost certainly continue shopping for another veteran point guard (not Mo Williams) to help mentor Burke, while guard Jerel McNeal (non-guaranteed contract) and summer league players hope to fill out the other one to three roster spots.
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