There’s another manner in which a Butler trade could dramatically impact the Jazz as well, although it wouldn’t take effect until after the conclusion of this season. If LA lands him and decides to invest in him long-term while also honoring his wishes of bringing in a second pricey star to pair him with, it could make it a little tricky for them to afford all their guys.
The Clipps owner can afford it
With all that being the case, there’s a certain Clipper that has been on the radar of Jazz fans, and I presume Jazz brass as well, for quite some time, that could very well become available in free agency. That man is Tobias Harris.
He might want to stay in LA if they have two stars
There have been reports that Harris has even expressed some degree of interest in joining the Utah Jazz, so if Butler and whoever else LA aims to bring in essentially push him out, it could increase Utah’s chances of landing the versatile stretch-four player who fits several of the coveted attributes the Jazz have been pursuing in a player for so long.
The Salt Lake City Stars were hoping for their version of that Cinderella story through open tryouts at Bruin Arena on the campus of Salt Lake Community College. “A Jonathon Simmons is what everyone is looking for,” said Bart Taylor, the Stars’ vice president of basketball operations. “We definitely challenge ourselves every year to try to find that guy.” – via Deseret News
“From afar, it’s such a great story, even coming from the University of Houston, with my ties to Houston and the way he came in,” Dennis Lindsey said of Simmons. “We actually had him in Utah Jazz mini-camp and he played very well and we hesitated so there’s a lot of pieces to Jonathon Simmons, but the San Antonio franchise should be proud that they helped him get in the league, although he’s now in Orlando.” – via Deseret News
“Every so often a club will catch lightning in a bottle with a Jonathon Simmons of the world or a David Nwaba, but a lot of good local, high school, college talent that these guys deserve and want a shot,” Lindsey said. “Even the guys that didn’t play at higher levels, that they now have had their opportunity to play in a pro camp and be evaluated here by professionals here with the Stars.” – via Deseret News
Lindsey still has a couple of training camp invites to hand out, but the Jazz's 2018-19 roster looks complete. Someone deserves a relaxing vacation on the beach after assembling the team.
No he doesn't
After adding Rubio last summer, the Jazz struggled during the first half of last season; so did Rubio. The Jazz clicked when Rubio did and went on to win 29 of their final 35 games. They jumped from 10th to fifth in the West and won their first-round playoff series. The entire team deserves credit for the turnaround, but Rubio played a key factor.
During this incredible stretch, Rubio averaged 16 points, five rebounds and five assists a game. He also had a fantastic playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, highlighted by his triple-double in Game 3.
Rubio is a great teammate, one of the best passers in the game and a pesky defender. But what he’s been really known for is being one of the worst shooters in the NBA. His improvement in this area under Quin Snyder has been remarkable. Lindsey will need to determine if Rubio’s improved shooting was just a hot streak or the new norm, which will affect how much he gets paid.
some of the ugliest passes you will see and a matador on D.
However, Lindsey just signed Exum (who plays the same position) to a three-year deal worth $11 million a season. If Rubio is extended for $15 million a year, Utah will have a bunch of money tied up in one position. Maybe this isn’t even an issue as the league is trending toward position-less basketball. If both of them improve their shooting, playing them together wouldn’t be a problem. If for some reason this pairing doesn’t work out, trading talented players isn’t overly challenging.
Exum is untradeable and Rubio was early last year.
There are no guarantees that the Jazz will land one of those names, so keeping Rubio now instead of hoping to sign someone later is the safer option. Because if Rubio bolts for another team (looking at you, Igor Kokoskov, and your Phoenix Suns) and the Jazz strike out in free agency, the team will be out of good options, much like the recent history of the Dallas Mavericks.
Exum, Mitchell, O'Neale and Allen. No reason to extend Rubio
The moral of this story is Rubio's contract should be extended. The Jazz have a history under Lindsey and Snyder’s leadership of players continuing to improve late in their careers; Joe Ingles is a great example. Believing in Rubio is a safe and smart bet.