The Utah Jazz just experienced one of their best seasons in a long time, netting a top-five record in the West and going as far as the second round. Despite being swept by the Golden State Warriors, they showed plenty of promise but have a huge offseason conundrum ahead of them.

Their own free agents

Gordon Hayward will become the biggest concern for the Jazz during the offseason. The All-Star forward has a player option, which he will decline to test the free agent market. Staying in Utah may be his strongest desire, but he will not come cheap. If the Jazz are determined to keep him, they must spend plenty of money on him or else he will flirt with other teams.

The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics are two big markets that will actively pursue him.

Thankfully, the Jazz had a successful year despite losing in the second round. They went further than most people expected, which may be enough to persuade Hayward into staying. At the end of Game 4 against the Warriors, the Vivint Smart Home Arena crowd was chanting “Gordon Hayward,” and the 27-year-old acknowledged the fans.

In addition to keeping Hayward, the Jazz must also worry about retaining George Hill, who was a pleasant acquisition to the team last summer. Hill had a breakthrough year, sufficiently fitting into Quin Snyder’s system. He was a major reason behind the team’s success this season and should be a priority for Utah this offseason as well.

Joining Hayward and Hill is Shelvin Mack, Joe Ingles, and Jeff Withey. Out of the three, Ingles is the most important piece to bring back, as he turned into a solid 3-and-D guy this year. Mack and Withney weren’t part of the regular rotation on a consistent basis, so bringing them back will not be a chief urgency.

It’s also worth noting that Boris Diaw has a $7.5 million team option, which the Jazz are likely to exercise to maintain his veteran presence.

Is maintaining the same roster essential?

The great improvement Utah showed this season was very encouraging. They added a few veterans to the mix of young talent, which was a recipe for success.

Hayward and Rudy Gobert are only going to get better, which is why it is essential to maintain the same roster. If it’s possible, they could perhaps upgrade some minor areas, but the Jazz current roster was very competitive and must stay together. Of course everything revolves around Hayward’s decision. If he leaves, the franchise will take a huge step back.

Therefore, the Jazz shouldn’t be worried about anything else other than preserving Hayward. It’s never easy keeping a star player on the roster these days, but Utah’s terrific season was the greatest pitch to Hayward -- what happens next is totally up to Hayward.

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