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The NBA’s offseason is already underway for everyone not in a Milwaukee Bucks or Phoenix Suns jersey, and the July 29 draft is right around the corner, but the days that will be of most interest to executives, players and fans are Aug. 2 and 3.
At 4 p.m. MDT on Aug. 2, teams can officially begin negotiations with free agents and come to verbal agreements on deals or agreements in principle, which can then be made official on Aug. 6.
But there are other deals that can be made beginning on Aug. 3. First-round draft selections can sign contracts, minimum contracts of two years or less can be signed, restricted free agents can sign an offer sheet and third- and fourth-year rookie options can be exercised.
That means there are likely to be a lot of big deals agreed upon on the evening of Aug. 2 and that even before things can be made official on Aug. 6 that many NBA teams might have made all their moves and have deals in place by the day’s end on Aug. 3.
Since the Jazz’s only big free agent move would be to re-sign Mike Conley, expect for that to happen in the opening days of free agency. And, since signing players to minimum deals is one of the only other resources the Jazz will have available to them, they’d be smart to get things moving on that front Aug. 3.
Keep in mind that if the Jazz are able to re-sign Conley, the salary at which he signs could have other implications on the Jazz’s offseason.
The Jazz are already going to be a luxury tax-paying team so the size of Conley’s contract could deter the team from using their $5.9 million taxpayer mid-level exception or adding multiple minimum contracts, which will all be subject to luxury tax.
So, those first two days of free agency could dictate what the Jazz do with the rest of the summer.
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This week on ‘Unsalvageable’
Check out “Unsalvageable: A Utah Jazz Podcast,” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster). This week, they talk through Sarah’s recent article for the Deseret News in which each Jazz player receives a letter grade for their 2020-21 performance.
Special edition mailbag
How do the Jazz add length? Is trading one of Ingles/O'Neal/Bogdanovic the only option?— Jarell Brantley Stan Account (@Nbasuperfan24) July 14, 2021
The Jazz have three ways that they can add players this offseason before they would have to resort to trades: the NBA draft, minimum contracts and a $5.9 million taxpayer mid-level exception.
They can certainly find some length and wing depth on the free agent market and sign players to minimum contracts without having to trade away their rotational players, but they might choose to trade away someone like Joe Ingles in order to add a player or two who are younger and bring more versatility.
From the archives
This week in Jazz history
As players were preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro there was a virus that had many people worried: the Zika virus. Now, five years later, Rudy Gobert, Joe Ingles and Miye Oni are preparing to represent France, Australia and Nigeria, respectively, at the postponed Tokyo Olympics as the coronavirus pandemic looms over everything.
- Jazz offseason primer (The Athletic)
- Utah Jazz games will be on AT&T SportsNet again in 2021-22 season (Salt Lake Tribune)
Around the league
Wizards guard Bradley Beal will not play in Tokyo Olympics.
Suns assistant Willie Green to become next head coach of New Orleans Pelicans.
Up next: NBA Finals
July 14 | 7 p.m. | Game 4, Phoenix Suns @ Milwaukee Bucks | ABC
July 17 | 7 p.m. | Game 5, Milwaukee Bucks @ Phoenix Suns | ABC
July 20 | 7 p.m. | Game 6, Phoenix Suns @ Milwaukee Bucks | ABC
July 22 | 7 p.m. | *Game 7, Milwaukee Bucks @ Phoenix Suns | ABC
* Game if necessary