A complete breakdown of the key dates on the offseason calendar for the Utah Jazz, who will aim to reach new heights in the West next season.
The Utah Jazz’s 2018-19 season may have ended last month, but for some, the most exciting part of the year is still yet to come.
I’m talking about the offseason — that magical time when anything is possible and a team’s fortunes can be reversed in an instant in the draft, during the free agent frenzy or with a blockbuster trade.
Clearly, the Jazz have a lot going for themselves already with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert leading the charge, Quin Snyder manning the sidelines and the Dennis Lindsey/Justin Zanik dream team in the front office.
That said, there’s also obvious work that needs to be done for the team to get to the next level. The offseason is the time to make it happen. And for those of you who are wont to follow the action, here are your key dates —
May 14: NBA Draft Lottery 2019; obviously the Jazz will be picking far from the lottery, but this is still when we’ll known the official draft order.
May 14-19: The NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. Prospects will gather and undergo a battery of athletic tests, as well as visit with NBA team decision-makers. This is when the draft really begins to take shape; how players do here and how they measure out physically can be the difference between being a top-five guy or a late lottery pick, a late first-rounder, a second-rounder, or someone who will have to duke it out in the summer league.
June 10: NBA Draft early entrant withdrawal deadline (3 PM MT). This is decision day for underclassmen in the draft pool; stay in school or turn pro.
June 20: The 2019 NBA Draft. The Jazz currently own pick No. 23 in the first round and pick No. 53 in the second round. There are rumblings that the Jazz may be open to moving their first-rounder. Also — if the talk of Utah reviving their pursuit of Mike Conley is anything close to reality, draft week would probably be the time.
June 24: 2019 NBA Awards Show (7 PM MT on TNT). This is when we’ll find out if Rudy Gobert is repeating as Defensive Player of the Year. Also — Donovan Mitchell is up for the NBA Cares Community Assist award, while Kyle Korver is a nominee for Teammate of the Year.
July 1: The new league year begins, as does the July moratorium. Free agents can begin negotiating their prospective deals and even reaching verbal agreements with teams, but you won’t see pen being put to paper until the moratorium expires. The exception there is restricted free agents, who can sign offer sheet, but their former teams won’t be on the clock to match until after the moratorium. Teams can also begin signing players to rookie-scale deals and two-way contracts.
Look for the Jazz to hit the market hard here, exploring the markets for players like Tobias Harris, Kemba Walker, Bojan Bogdanovic, Nikola Mirotic and perhaps even Khris Middleton and/or Malcolm Brogdon (player option and RFA, respectively).
They need to have a pretty solid idea about what they’re doing before the moratorium ends, because Derrick Favors‘ contract for next season quickly becomes guaranteed, with Raul Neto and Kyle Korver to follow in short order.
July 1-3: Salt Lake City Summer League. This year it will be the Jazz, San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzlies and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a four-team, six-game, round-robin event. This will be your first chance to see Jazz rookies.
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July 6: The July moratorium comes to an end (10 AM MT) and teams can officially sign players, extend players and complete trades with the league office. The two-day period for matching offer sheets on RFAs signed during the moratorium begins.
July 6: Derrick Favors’ $16.9 million salary and Raul Neto’s $2.2 million salary guarantees for the 2019-20 season. Again, whether or not the Jazz keep them, especially in Favors’ case, will likely depend on what happens during the first five days of free agency.
July 7: Kyle Korver’s $7.5 million salary guarantees for ’19-20. Korver was undoubtedly a difference-maker for the Jazz last season, but if the team wants to make a splash in free agency or on the trade market, they probably need his money off the books. It feels like less than a 50-50 shot that he’ll be back — and he may just retire — but I wouldn’t be stunned by another year, either.
July 5-15: MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 in Las Vegas. I would anticipate that the Jazz will field a team here once again following the conclusion of their team-hosted event in SLC.
August 31-September 15: FIBA World Cup 2019 in China. The Jazz could have several players involved in the event, assuming they’re A) not totally burnt out from the NBA grind and B) still on the team. In any case, FIBA events are always worth watching in my book.