Jazz to trade Diante Garrett to Toronto for Steve Novak, 2nd-round pick
Danny Moloshok, ASSOCIATED PRESS
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz added some small fireworks to Fourth of July celebrations.
In between Friday morning parades and the night's light shows, the Jazz agreed to trade guard Diante Garrett to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for sharpshooter Steve Novak and a future second-round pick, sources confirmed to the Deseret News.
The swap, first reported by Yahoo Sports, cannot be made official until the NBA's moratorium ends on July 10.
The Jazz weren't expected to be major players going into the free agency period, which began on Monday night, but the team was looking to find a sharpshooting veteran big man.
Novak, a 6-foot-10 forward, fits that bill for the Jazz.
Although the journeyman has only averaged 5.0 points over his eight-year career, the 31-year-old Marquette product has shot 43.2 percent from 3-point territory in the NBA.
It's uncertain if the Jazz will continue to pursue free agent forward Marvin Williams, whom the team has reached out to this week. The 6-foot-9 Williams played an appreciated role as a stretch-four player and was a valued locker room presence in Utah for his two seasons.
A tweet sent Friday afternoon by TNT's David Aldridge makes it seem unlikely the Jazz remain interested in Williams: "Marvin Williams solidly on 'next' line for threes after top four/five. Talking with Spurs, Heat, Wizards, Hornets, Clips, Magic, Suns."
Garrett was a D-League success story this past season for Utah after being called up from the Iowa Energy in November. The 6-foot-4 playmaker eventually became rookie Trey Burke's primary backup and ended up averaging 3.5 points and 1.7 assists for Utah.
Garrett, who was planning on participating with the Jazz in the NBA Summer League, had a non-guaranteed contract for $915,000 for the 2014-15 season, but Yahoo reported that he will be waived after this deal is finalized. Per CBA rules, Garrett could not rejoin the Jazz until 2015-16.
The move still leaves the Jazz with five backcourt players under contract for this season, including point guards Burke, No. 5 draft pick Dante Exum, veteran John Lucas III, and shooting guards Alec Burks and Ian Clark.
This transaction isn't on the scale of the salary dump the Jazz helped Golden State pull off last summer when Utah received two first-round picks, multiple second-rounders and cash in exchange for taking on $24 million worth of expiring contracts of Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush.
However, the move will clear up some payroll space for Toronto and help the Jazz inch closer to the salary cap floor of $53.7 million. The team currently has about $39.3 million in salary for 2014-15 for 13 players (not all guaranteed contracts), not including Gordon Hayward.
Novak has two years and $7.2 million remaining on his contract, including $3.4 million this season.
Utah's main priority in this free agency period remains the same: re-sign restricted free agent Hayward to a long-term deal. He will reportedly visit Charlotte next week, but sources continue to insist that the Jazz are intent on matching any offers made to the 24-year-old swingman.
Novak's best season came in 2012-13 when he averaged 8.8 points on 47.8 percent shooting for the New York Knicks. He only averaged 3.3 points and 10 minutes in 54 games last season after being traded to the Raptors from New York. He scored a season-high 20 points with five 3-pointers against the Jazz for the Knicks at Madison Square Garden in March 2013.
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