Utah Jazz: What to do With Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap?

By Ryan Heckman


Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

As NBA franchises dig deeper into their questions this offseason, some have just a bit more on their plate than others. The Utah Jazz, for example, are losing a handful of players out of their starting lineup to free agency. Arguably their two best players, Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, will be headed to the open market soon and the Jazz need to decide what to do with them.

Jefferson and Millsap are both 28 and made a combined $26 million last season. Do the Jazz keep both of them, one of them or let them walk? They could go with the guy they feel best suited for where they’re going in the future and then cut the other loose while saving some money. On the other hand, maybe they just choose to build on their young guys altogether.

Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors have both come on as young NBA players and are two favorites of the organization. The Jazz believe in both of them to be the future of their front court, and at only 21 years old, each of them have bright futures as professionals. If the Jazz decide to go that route, they could not only save some money but bring in a couple other guys via the draft and free agency to help fill other needs.

An interesting proposal would be that of bringing in a point guard either via the draft or the free agent market. But, if the team goes through the open market, the question arises: Who will want to come and play in Utah?

The answer may lie in the amount of cash Utah can throw at them. Letting go of Jefferson and Millsap would be the best decision at this point if they are looking to make a free agent splash.

The Jazz should end up cutting them both loose and going after a point guard, first and foremost. Could they lure in Jose Calderon for the right price? With Jefferson and Millsap out of the picture, money shouldn’t be a huge issue. Calderon would be pricy, but definitely feasible.

With Utah having a few young guys in place already with Favors, Kanter and Gordon Hayward the Jazz may be okay letting their two big names go. Having the 14th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft will help ease the pain. Then, with the money saved, it will be time to go shopping.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA writer for RantSports.com also contributing to the NFL. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman  or add him to your network on Google.

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