Ranking the best free-agent signings in Utah Jazz history

Published: Saturday, July 12 2014 4:43 p.m. MDT

Honorable mention: Earl Watson Next » 1 of 28 « Prev
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Watson signed with the Jazz before the start of the 2010-11 season and earned plenty of minutes as a backup point guard. He played 178 games with Utah and averaged 3.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists a night.

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No Donyell Marshall?!

Fountain Valley, CA

So lets Bring Boozer back Right now!!! he is avaliable

Long Lost America
Salt Lake City, UT

Some very strange omissions from this list; agree that Donyell Marshall was WAY more valuable than some of the names mentioned here.
Wesley Matthews was an undrafted free agent, as was David Benoit. Also, since Bristow was mentioned why isn't Ben Poquette on the list? Signed the same day as Bristow and listed #29 on the scoring list, he was the only one who could play the center spot in the early years before Eaton was drafted and probably had a longer term impact than Bristow. Billy Paultz was also noteworthy on the famous playoff upset of the Rockets in 1985. He should make the list if for no other reason than the famous "sucker punch" from Akeem Olajuwan.

Cedar Hills, UT

Does this list need to be 28 player long? Did you just wikipedia every Jazz free agent signing and then just make a list? How about cutting the list down to 10 and adding some information or opinion about the role free agency has played in the Jazz success and not just citing the stats each player had.

Sandy, UT

Donyell Marshall and Ben Poquette didnt make the list because they actually both came over in trades and not as free agents.

Long Lost America
Salt Lake City, UT


You may be right about Donyell Marshall; I took the word of the other poster without checking into it.
But you are definitely incorrect on Poquette. On Jun 28, 1979 Ben Poquette signed a multi-year contract with the Utah Jazz, having previously played for the Detroit Pistons after being drafted in the 2nd round in 1977. There was no trade with Detroit to bring him here, as he signed a free agent contract. He currently is the #29 all time leading scorer for the Jazz, and was a far more important asset to the Jazz than some of the names mentioned on this list, such as Dee Brown at #20 (How could Dee Brown be in the top 20?).

Sandy, UT

It is Devin Brown that is number 20. As for Poquette, He was sent to the Jazz along with a pick as compensation for the Pistons signing Jim McElroy a day before he signed his contract, according to basketball-reference.com.

Long Lost America
Salt Lake City, UT

Unfortunately the internet does not always give the best research for acquisitions of 35 years ago. Possibly there was a trade worked out after the fact, those kinds of things were not entirely out of place in those days. There was a time in the NBA where free agent signings meant the other team needed to be given compensation.
It was 35 years ago, and all I have is a recollection of the sports reports on TV showing Bristow and Poquette being introduced as the first free agent signees for the Jazz. This meant their original teams were due compensation. McElroy signing with Detroit would have provided the obvious solution to both teams needing to compensate the other, so it is possible the free agent signings were ultimately recorded as a trade for convenience' sake. Obviously memories of watching TV sports 35 years ago can't exactly be proven today using the internet, so if this was later referred to as a trade by a credible source then so be it. But we often see mistakes in these kinds of websites on a frequent basis. Devin Brown or Dee Brown, neither was spectularly great in a Jazz uniform. Devin Brown had his best years in New Orleans

Long Lost America
Salt Lake City, UT

Luddington Daily News 6/29/1979, regarding Ben Poquette being signed by the Jazz:
PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — Detroit Pistons utility man Ben Poquette had said before that he was willing to talk to other National Basketball Association teams. And he did.
The 6-foot-9 free agent signed a four year contract Thursday with the Utah Jazz, formerly of New Orleans, announcing the signing just a short time after the Pistons had signed forward Phil Hubbard.
Poquette became a free agent at the end of the 1978-79 season.
“It will be great to be a starter instead of a backup center for the next few years,” the 24-year-old former Central Michigan star said.
While in Detroit, Poquette had been used in reserve as both a forward and center.Detroit Pistons head coach Dick Vitale will be discussing compensation with the Jazz. “I won’t take money for him,” he said.
Poquette played in 76 of the Pistons’ 82 games, averaging 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds a game.
He was one of three free agents talking about leaving the Pistons next season. Guard Kevin Porter and forward M.L. Carr...

Long Lost America
Salt Lake City, UT

Any doubts that Ben Poquette should not have been left off the best free agent list should have been erased. He was a very important piece of early Jazz history, arguably a better free agent signing than Allan Bristow, since Bristow was traded a quite a bit before Poquette was. At 6-foot-9 and able to match rebounding with players typically 3 inches taller, he very much personified the kind of traits in a player the Jazz were seeking to build upon.

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