Offseason grades for all 30 NBA teams

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 12 2014 9:58 a.m. MDT

Utah Jazz Next » 1 of 30 « Prev
The headline for the Jazz this offseason has been the polarizing contract of Gordon Hayward. Utah signed Hayward to a max-deal four-year, $63 million contract. Some view the contract as a deal the Jazz had to make, while others think that letting him walk would've been best.

The fact of the matter is that Deng, Stephenson and Ariza were all on the market the same time as Hayward, but all signed for less money. Hayward certainly isn't the best of the four players, and it is clear that he was overpaid, but the Jazz saw it fit to keep him.

Under new head coach Quin Snyder, defense will be a priority, and that is something Hayward can complement now. Hayward is also familiar with the roster and he can perhaps have a breakout season under Snyder's new system.

Where the Jazz really were impressive this offseason was in the draft. When considering what Utah did with the picks it had (fifth and 23rd overall), the Jazz may have had the best draft in the league.

With the fifth overall pick, the Jazz drafted Dante Exum, a 6-6 guard who many thought would be a top-three pick. Exum is gifted with size, quickness and court vision. He is an excellent passer, who is full of potential. He could be a superstar in the making, and for Utah, that is something to be extremely excited about.

With the 23rd overall pick, the Jazz drafted Rodney Hood, a sharpshooter who played alongside Parker at Duke. Hood proved in the summer league that he can be a deadly three-point shooter, and if he can remain consistent, he could see solid minutes this season.

The Jazz lost Williams, Rush and Jefferson, but signed Trevor Booker (two years, $9.7 million) and Steve Novak to replace what they had lost.

Overall, the Jazz ended up overpaying for Hayward and Booker, but they also added two great pieces through the draft. Utah has a young team with a ton to look forward to, but as far as improvement goes, the Jazz still have a long way to go.

Grade: C

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Ben H
Clearfield, UT

Am I the only one disappointed with the way the Jazz took care of business in the off-season. I expect the final result will be just as poor, if not worse than last season. They failed to acquire the player who can make that immediate positive impact.

Man in Charge
Chihuahua, 00

Ben H

I'm pretty sure Lebron was waiting by his phone for Dennis Lindsey to call him. The Jazz can't get the free agents you want because they are a rebuilding team.

Santa Monica, CA

@Man in Charge

Being a rebuilding team has nothing to do with why the Jazz couldn't sign Lebron. That would be the perfect time to sign a superstar as many other decent players would be likely to follow. Cleveland was a rebuilding team until he signed with them and they have been for the last few years. Now many predict them to win the championship. The Jazz don't have the resources or popularity to sign a superstar like James. They do not have enough money as he would take up most of it. They do not play in a large enough market. There are no connections that James has to Utah like he does Ohio and they simply aren't a popular enough team. How many fans of the Jazz are there outside of Utah and Idaho? Not many. (and most of those who are have significant ties to Utah.)

Santa Monica, CA

The only way the Jazz will land a mega superstar is to sign them before they are a star or draft and develop them from the beginning. See: John Stockton/Karl Malone.

Sturgis, MS

I give the Jazz an A. Baring injury they will win this year. I will know not to read anything by Kunzler after this.

White Sir
Salt Lake City, UT

Are the Utah Jazz a basketball team, though?

Uncle Rico
Provo, UT

How did you give the Heat an A?
Bosh is way over paid, they resigned Wade who will be in a resthome soon.

Heat will be lucky to be in top 4 in East next year (even in a horrible Eastern Conference).

CJ Miles
Dallas, TX

I would give them an A for the draft and and F for the free agency signings. Hood is going to be very good. Exum could be a star. That's all you can expect for the draft. But the Jazz did nothing to make their team better for next year. Hayward was an awful signing. Deng would have been a much better deal and a better player. Hayward proved he is not a go-to player. Max money ridiculous. Unless Kanter and Favors are all-stars, this team is worse than last year's team.

south Jordan, UT

I also liked the Jazz draft choices. I would give them an A for the draft. And the worst rating possible for the free agency. I suppose that is why he gave them a C. I would not have taken Hayward if had accepted half the money he was offered. He does not help the team, shot 30% from 3 point and something like 41 percent from the field, both close to the worst in the league! He does not make great decisions with the ball. This was during a contract year! Imagine now that he doesn't have to worry about a contract for the next 4 years. Stupid money decision. I suspect Hood will take over in close games because he can shoot. Hayward will not even be starting in 2 years!

Ivins, UT

Breaking news: looks like the Jazz will be signing Toure Murry away from the Knicks. I read he is a very athletic combo guard that's a free agent but the Knicks really wanted to resign him. The Heat and Lakers wanted him too. He really tore it up in summer league and it just sounds impressive to grab a player from under the nose of some big market teams. Yeah!!

Salt Lake City, UT

Since LHM and Sloan moved on to bigger and better things, the jazz have failed at everything. Three reasons. 1. Owners unwilling to pony up cash beyond the salary cap. 2. Trading away the talent because they were too expensive. 3. Keeping the old coach for far too many seasons.

Even with a new coach and another top draft pick, I expect this team to be a sub 40 win team. The new coach is unproven in the NBA, and he was shamed in the NCAA. So ...we can all hope things get turned around and the Jazz find a way to win.

Austin, TX

"When considering what Utah did with the picks it had (fifth and 23rd overall), the Jazz may have had the best draft in the league"

Whoa Nellie, I bet you said the same thing when they drafted Burk and Kantor and my has that draft been a huge waste of top picks.
The Jazz will still be claiming that fans just need to be patient with their youth movement when Gordo is collecting Social Security. If you love the thrill of hoping to make a run at the last playoff position, you and the Jazz are in for a lengthy affair.
We saw a repeat of the poor decision to max pay AK-47, with Hayward, along with a few years of throwing away productive players like Jefferson and others, and then signing other teams past draft lottery picks found to be busts. The "system" isn't working, although I'm certain 30-40 Kool-Aid drinkers will follow my comment, trashing my logic and expressing faith in the "youth movement".

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