Re-signing Gordon Hayward and George Hill are the top priority for the Utah Jazz this off-season, according to a report by the Associated Press. After eliminating perennial playoff contender Los Angeles Clippers in the first round, the Jazz looks to take another step in the Western Conference’s pecking order, but the first step to accomplishing such goal is to retain their key stars from last season.

Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey is aware that he needs to re-sign key free agents before mapping out their objectives for next season. “Player retention would be the next step. Player development.

A strategic add that can complement the group where there’s just a really good fit. Whether that fit is mentality, experience or skill-set,” Lindsey told the Associated Press.

Keeping Hayward and Hill in Salt Lake

While he did not make the three All-NBA teams this year, the 27-year old Hayward will still command a yearly salary of at least $30MM per season after averaging a career-high 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 34 minutes per contest. The Boston Celtics are considered the strongest suitor for the All-Star small forward as they have the cap space and the personnel (Brad Stevens) to lure in Hayward.

Hill is another player who can command a significant paycheck this summer after he re-energized his career in Salt Lake City.

Traded by the Pacers to create room for Jeff Teague, Hill came up with his best overall seasons as he put up 16.9 ppg and 4.2 apg in 31 Minutes Per Game.

The 31-year old veteran expressed his desire to stay with the Jazz, though his family will play a role in his free-agency decision. The Dallas Mavericks, the New Orleans Pelicans and the New York Knicks are the three potential suitors for the playmaker.

Major Sacrifice

In an article by Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post, he discussed a potential salary-shaving should the Jazz retain Hayward and Hill. He believes power forward Derrick Favors and shooting guard Alec Burks could be sacrificed via trade to keep their books flexible.

Favors is a talented big (he was a top 30 player in The Washington Post’s preseason Top 100 rankings), but injuries have set him back the past two seasons.

Now, as he enters the final year of his contract — and isn’t a great fit with the modern NBA next to Rudy Gobert — it would make sense to move on from Favors and seek a small asset in return, plus cap relief,” according to Bontemps.

The 25-year old Favors averaged 9.5 points and 6.1 rebounds in 23 minutes per game, while Burks put up 6.7 points in 15 minutes per contest. Bontemps believes the Jazz will have to attach a first-round pick to make other teams accept an injury-riddled Burks.

Follow the page NBA
Follow
Don't miss our page on Facebook!