Utah Jazz: 5 best free agent signings in franchise history

Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Utah Jazz
Carlos Boozer of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Clocking in as the best free agency signing in Utah Jazz history is Mehmet Okur teammate Carlos Boozer. This era of Jazz basketball was defined by poaching elite second-round draft selections after the completion of their rookie contracts, and turning them into stars. It’s a bold, difficult-to-replicate organizational strategy, but it certainly worked in the mid 00s.

Unlike his Turkish teammate, Boozer was a throwback, low-block menace in Salt Lake City (although he was equipped with a reliable midrange jump shot). He averaged 17.8 points and 9.0 rebounds in his first season with the team in 2004-05, and never looked back.

His best individual season as a Jazzman would come in 2006-07, when he posted averages of 20.9 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. His advanced stats were even more impressive, with a 24.1 Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and 4.3 VORP. For context, those figures would have ranked 17th and 6th in the 2020-21 NBA season.

Boozer was an All-Star for the Utah Jazz that season, as well as the following one. Furthermore, his individual accomplishments translated into team success. In particular, 2006-07 was one of the finest seasons in Utah Jazz history, as the team finished with a 51-31 record and advanced to the Western Conference Finals.

Next. Predicting stats for every Jazz starter in 2020-21. dark

It’s safe to assume that Salt Lake City will never be a premier destination for top NBA free agents. It is not exactly a celebrity hotspot or fashion hub. However, even without one of the league’s most glamorous markets, it also feels safe to assume that the Utah Jazz will continue to be successful; especially if they can make more under-the-radar free agent signings like these five.