2014 Utah Jazz

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Utah Jazz (Last Year: 25-57)

2013-14 Season Summary:
In the first year of a rebuilding effort, the Utah Jazz finished with the worst record in the Western Conference and the franchise’s lowest winning percentage in 32 years. Utah has a talented, young core in place to build around, but the team still needs to address several needs this offseason.

2014-15 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Enes Kanter/Rudy Gobert

PF: Derrick Favors/^Erik Murphy

SF: *Gordon Hayward/Jeremy Evans/^Malcolm Thomas

SG: Alec Burks/^Ian Clark

PG: Trey Burke/^Diante Garrett/John Lucas III

NBA Free Agents:

*SF-Gordon Hayward (RFA)

F-Marvin Williams (UFA)

SF-Richard Jefferson (UFA)

SG-Brandon Rush (UFA)

PF-^Erik Murphy (TO)

^PG-Diante Garrett (TO)

^SG-Ian Clark (TO)

^F-Malcolm Thomas (TO)

2014-15 Team Salary: Approximately $29 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Re-sign Hayward?: Their best all-around player, Gordon Hayward, led the team in scoring and steals, finished second in assists, and third in rebounds. He is a restricted free agent this summer, so any deal that Hayward might sign in the offseason, Utah has the opportunity to match any contract. Unless some team massively overpays him, the Jazz needs to re-sign Hayward since he is vital piece of the club’s future. Utah has the cap space to keep him around, too.

2. Frontcourt Depth: With Marvin Williams and Richard Jefferson both free agents, Utah needs to add some depth inside behind Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Rudy Gobert is a project big man who still has a long way to go in his all-around development, and outside of him, the Jazz doesn’t really have any other options inside. This will likely be the direction Utah goes with the fifth-overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

3. Three-point shooter: Utah finished 25th in the league in three-point shooting percentage this past season, and the team’s most accurate threat, Jefferson, is a free agent, so this is definitely an area that needs to improve. Finding a sharpshooter or two would help open up driving lanes for Trey Burke, Alec Burks and Hayward, while also providing more space inside for Favors and Kanter to operate.

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