Utah Jazz: 2 free agents they should have pursued this offseason

Utah Jazz (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /
3 of 3
Dennis Schroder (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Dennis Schroder (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Utah Jazz boast a hyper-talented guard rotation, as few teams across the Association can claim to have a trio as talented as Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley Jr., and Jordan Clarkson. After those 3, however, the rotation thins out considerably.

Recent draft pick Jared Butler and Summer League standouts Trent Forrest and MaCio Teague are all options to complete the rotation as Quin Snyder’s fourth guard. However, each is lacking the NBA experience one might expect from a rotation regular on a title contender. If only a talented, veteran point guard with playoff experience and an ability to consistently drive to the basket were available for $5.9 million dollars this season…

Admittedly, the Jazz almost certainly did not have Dennis Schroder on their radar heading into this offseason. No matter how highly one values the German floor general, there would have been a league-wide consensus that he’d have been too pricey for Utah to seriously pursue. Nonetheless, Schroder’s market value plummeted like a pale lager in a boot-shaped mug at Oktoberfest, as he agreed to a one-year, $5.9 million dollar pact with the Boston Celtics. 

That’s a price point the Utah Jazz would have at least mulled over. Schroder’s market value, of course, did not sink without cause. He’s slightly prone to inefficiency: his 2020-21 54.3% True Shooting (TS%) is subpar. Moreover, his advanced metric simply do not portray an impactful player. He finished last season with a 13.8 PER and -1.1 Box Plus/Minus (BPM).

Still, his basic counting stats of 15.4 points and 5.8 assists per game suggest that Schroder can at least generate offense. Some Utah Jazz fans may protest that, with an addition of Schroder to the triumvirate of Mitchell, Conley Jr. and Clarkson, Snyder’s rotation suddenly becomes too crowded. There is validity in that concern, however, 3-guard rotations are increasingly popular in today’s NBA, and would have allowed each man to find sufficient minutes. It’s particularly easy to envision Donovan Mitchell playing spurts at the 3 spot.

3 Rudy Gobert trades that absolutely will not happen. dark. Next

As it stands, the Utah Jazz are hoping that a fourth rotation guard will emerge from a hodgepodge of talented-but-inexperienced rookies and sophomores. That’s a fine gamble, but the addition of Dennis Schroder at $5.9 million dollars next season would have represented a safer bet.