3 Utah Jazz players who definitely shouldn’t be back next year

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While the Utah Jazz found success within many players in the 2022-23 season, there are a few players the team should be cutting ties with going into next year.

The Jazz enter the offseason with a few young studs and talented players that’ll most likely stick on the team for the coming years. Players like Most Improved Player candidate, Lauri Markkanen, or Rookie of the Year candidate, Walker Kessler have cemented themselves as Utah Jazz cornerstones.

We do know Danny Ainge in the front office isn’t afraid to take a swing, so you never know who could be on their way in or out. However, what Danny Ainge is always willing to do is try whatever it takes to build a championship team.

With that, there are a few players on the roster entering this off-season that should be on their way out for the betterment of the franchise going forward. Whether it be for the Jazz to improve at the position, or to save cap space, the Jazz could look to make a few adjustments to the roster this offseason to make a stronger playoff push for next season; and they should.

Let’s take a look at three players the Jazz should be looking to move on from this offseason:

1. Rudy Gay

The Jazz signed Gay to a three-year deal a couple of offseasons ago, with the third year being a player option. Whether he declines the option or accepts it, the Jazz need to move on from Rudy Gay going into 2023.

At this point in his career, Rudy Gay does not fit the team’s timeline. He’ll be 37 entering next season with only 19 career playoff games played. At this point in Gay’s career, he should be following championships and contending rosters, and at this point, that’s not the Jazz.

If Gay accepts the pending player option, he’ll be due about $6.5 million this upcoming season. For the Jazz, not only is this too much to pay an aging role player, but he also takes a roster spot from what should be a young player to develop. While there is truth to having some value in veteran leadership, Rudy Gay is not worth the money or the roster spot for Utah at the moment.

If Gay declines the player option, the decision is easy to not bring him back to the roster. If he accepts the player option, look to see the Jazz trade Gay to a contending team, or to another team as a salary dump.

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