Although the Utah Jazz could use an improvement at the shooting guard position, they may be hard-pressed to find the answer via free agency.
About a week ago, I wrote about how the Utah Jazz had two main positions that were in dire need of an upgrade this offseason – the power forward spot and the shooting guard spot – but when push came to shove, I ultimately indicated that shooting guard was a higher priority.
I alluded to the hope that Derrick Favors will be able to round back into form and solve at least some of the power forward issues, but that I don’t believe that Rodney Hood or Joe Ingles were reliable enough answers at the two-guard spot.
Thus it would stand to reason that the Utah Jazz may want to seek out a shooting guard in free agency to help in that regard. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there is a rather large and appealing overall free agent class this summer, the shooting guard position happens to be a little thin.
In the tweet below from Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey, you can get a good idea of what I mean. The chart separates players out by position then organizes them by box plus-minus, therefore ordering them loosely by the value they could hypothetically add to a team:
I hate to say it, but, even though Manu Ginobili is a legend, if a 39-year-old who could very well be on the verge of retirement is the best available free agent shooting guard, then that tells you right there how troubling the two-guard options are. Of course, box plus-minus isn’t necessarily an end-all stat and there’s a few other guys on there who could be impactful, but none that I would consider mind-blowing by any means.
Going down the list, Dwyane Wade is aging and is an unrealistic fit in Utah. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is actually a guy I’d quite like on the Jazz, but it’s looking likely that the Pistons will match any offers on him and honestly in a lot of ways he’d be redundant with Rodney Hood.
Furthermore, Tony Allen will likely be back with the Memphis Grizzlies, Reggie Bullock wouldn’t make much of an impact, J.J. Redick will probably be overpaid and Andre Roberson is a great defender but absolutely atrocious offensively. After all those players, that brings us to Kyle Korver, who I actually touched on yesterday and is my favorite fit of the bunch.
Not only was Korver a fan favorite as a Jazzman, but his three-point shooting which would add some much-needed offensive firepower and stretch the floor for Utah would be extremely helpful. Not to mention, given that Korver is getting up there in age, the Jazz could potentially add him at a rather affordable rate. Unfortunately, while Korver would make for a nice veteran addition, he wouldn’t necessarily be exactly the kind of game-changer the Jazz might be looking for.
After him, the only other guy on the list that makes sense and is somewhat appealing to me is Tim Hardaway, Jr. However, given his youth, upside and status as a restricted free agent, there’s a decent chance that he will likely either remain with the Atlanta Hawks or end up being offered more than Utah would want to give him.
Therefore, although it would be nice to see Utah truly fortify the shooting guard spot, outside of potentially adding some depth in Kyle Korver, there’s not a lot of great options there for adding a free agent that will have a major impact.
Nevertheless, if the Jazz are able to orchestrate a trade, get better in another area to counterbalance the shooting guard woes or perhaps if Rodney Hood can take a major jump this offseason, they may find themselves able to cope despite limited free agent options at the two-spot. Regardless of what happens, I’m confident that Jazz brass knows exactly where they need to make adjustments this offseason and I expect the patch-ups to be more than proficient.
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Even though the Jazz have some tough decisions to make this summer, I’m excited to see how the 2017-18 roster is rounded out.