Off-Season Moves the Utah Jazz Should Consider


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By Aria Fatahian, Sports Writer


After a disappointing loss to the LA Clippers in the second round of the NBA playoffs, the Utah Jazz now turn their focus to the off-season. With yet another year ending prematurely, the organization faces what could be a make-or-break off-season as the clock for legitimate contention continues to run. The following is a list of off-season moves the Jazz should consider if they are to improve their postseason performances.


Quin Snyder was heavily criticized for his poor coaching during the second round of the playoffs and left people asking the question, “Will he be fired this off-season?”

Although a lot of fans and analysts want him gone, it’s unlikely that the Jazz part ways with him. Snyder, who finished third in Coach of the Year voting, has a pretty good relationship with the Jazz front office and has great chemistry with the players. Firing him and finding a new replacement could ruin all the momentum the Jazz have right now and would lessen their chances of winning a title next year.

If Snyder can fix all the mistakes he made during that second-round series, there’s a good chance that the Jazz can get far in the playoffs next year. Even if the Jazz did fire him, the pool of candidates to replace him is very slim and might not have the experience that Snyder possesses.

However, if the Jazz continue to be an “above average team” next season and have another second-round playoff exit, then there’s a high likelihood that Snyder will be fired. But, as of now, the Jazz and him have a lot of momentum going for them and firing him now would only ruin that momentum, and for that reason he should return as head coach for next year.

Free Agency

Luckily for Jazz fans, this year’s free agency is a rather good one as most Jazz players are returning next season. The question that lingers for the Jazz is: will Mike Conley re-sign?

Simply put, the Jazz’s number one priority this off-season should be to re-sign Conley. Conley had a career season with the Jazz and became a first-time All-Star as well. However, his $30-million-a-year contract is going to be cut significantly if he re-signs. With the Jazz’s salary cap space being very small this upcoming season (due to new contract extensions with Rudy Gobert, Jordan Clarkson and Donovan Mitchell) it’s very likely that Conley will have to take a huge pay cut in order to remain with the Jazz. So, it’s likely that Conley will re-sign with the Jazz, but for less money.

Conley has always said that his number one priority is to win a championship, and with the Jazz he could do so. Conley has been a great fit with the Jazz and they’ve done very well these past two seasons with him, so winning a championship in Utah is very likely. Also, all of his teammates and the entire front office want to have him back next year so that also helps his situation. So, if Conley takes the pay cut, there’s a strong likelihood he returns next year for the Jazz.

While there might be teams that offer him more money, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be championship contender teams like the Jazz. Also, his multiple injuries these past two seasons have put him as a “liability,” so teams might not be attracted to that aspect of him as well. So, for those reasons, it looks like Conley will re-sign.

Some other Jazz free agents are Georges Niang, Juwan Morgan, Ersan Ilyasova, Trent Forrest, Jarrell Brantley and Miye Oni (team option). Although the Jazz have hope to re-sign all free agents, it’s unlikely that all of them stay due to the Jazz’s small cap space situation. With that, it’s unlikely that the Jazz will sign any big names this off-season as well.

Staying Healthy

Besides free agency and the coaching situation, the only thing the Jazz have to focus on is staying healthy. From Mitchell to Conley, all Jazz players should focus on recovery and getting healthy this off-season.

Injuries hurt the Jazz a lot during the regular season and playoffs, but if the Jazz can remain healthy and recover this off-season, they should come back even stronger next year. With the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, a lot of players want to play for their countries this summer. This is seen as a “problem” by some teams, but for the Jazz it shouldn’t be.

All the committed Olympic players on the Jazz have been healthy this past season and don’t have a high likelihood of getting injured. Additionally, Mitchell recently declined his invitation to team USA, turning his focus to healing his ankle. So, overall, staying healthy shouldn’t be a problem for the Jazz.

All in all, the Jazz should have a pretty laid-back offseason. With the Jazz’s main priority being to re-sign Conley and to stay healthy, Utah should only get better from this off-season and come back even better for next year.


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