Utah Jazz free agency: 3 guards to complete the rotation

Utah Jazz (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Utah Jazz
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Possible Utah Jazz addition: Avery Bradley

Speaking of low-usage, high-caliber defensive guards, Avery Bradley is a solid veteran who could effectively fill out the Utah Jazz’s top-heavy guard rotation.

The primary concern with Bradley is health. Last season, the veteran off-guard managed 27 total games between the Miami Heat and the flagrantly tanking Houston Rockets. In fact, the last time Bradley completed anywhere close to a full slate of games in an NBA season was 2015-16, when he suited up 76 times for the Boston Celtics.

Nonetheless, Bradley’s impact when he does see the floor is undeniable. During the 2019-20 season, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Defensive Rating was an elite 98.7 with Bradley on the floor. That number dropped to 107.1 when Bradley sat.

To call that swing significant would be akin to calling the dissolution of the Soviet Union “a pretty big deal”.

Throughout his career, Bradley has typified the 3-and-D archetype from the shooting guard position. Last season, his 27% conversion rate from deep fell well short of his career mark of 36.3%, but much of that discrepancy can probably be attributed to the 17 out of his 27 total games he played for the Houston Rockets.

The Rockets finished an NBA worst 17-55 last season. It’s safe to say nobody on their roster was creating the kind of space a supplementary scorer like Bradley thrives within. The Utah Jazz, meanwhile, excelled at creating space for the deep ball, finishing second in the Association with 39.2% accuracy.

With elite perimeter defense and generally solid three-point accuracy, gambling on Bradley’s health could pay off in a big way for the contending Utah Jazz.