Jazz 2023 Offseason Rich With Draft Picks, Salary Cap Space

Apr 17, 2023, 2:59 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz missed the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons, and can now turn their attention to what could be a very busy summer in 2023.

After blowing up the roster in 2022, Danny Ainge, Justin Zanik, and the rest of the Jazz front office have plenty of tools at their disposal to make the summer of 2023 a memorable one.

Here’s a look at what assets the Jazz have at their disposal this summer.

Utah Jazz Draft Picks

With the playoffs underway, the Jazz finally have a clearer picture of where they will be drafting the first round this summer.

Finishing with a record of 37-45, the Jazz own the ninth-best odds of winning the NBA lottery, or moving into the top four spots of June’s draft.

The lottery will be held on May 16th, and the Jazz will learn if they’ve climbed into the top four picks, or wind up selecting ninth or lower.

The Jazz also own two additional 2023 first-rounders from the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Both teams qualified for the playoffs, so their draft position is set. The Jazz will own the 16th pick in the first round via the Timberwolves (Rudy Gobert trade), and the 28th pick from the 76ers (Royce O’Neale trade).

Beyond this summer’s selections, the Jazz own 12 future first-round picks between 2025-2029 that can be traded this summer.

Utah Jazz Free Agents

The Jazz enter the 2023 offseason with only a small number of players becoming true unrestricted free agents, but a handful of players with options to test the open market.

Jordan Clarkson, Talen Horton-Tucker, Rudy Gay, and Damian Jones all have player options to return to the Jazz if they choose to do so.

Of the four, Gay is a no-brainer to pick up his option, unless he decided his playing career was over, bypassing a $6.4 million payday.

Horton-Tucker will likely pick up his player option worth $11 million, while Jones could go either direction with a $2.5 million deal sitting on the table.

Clarkson is owed only $14.2 million on his player option, and after a career year, would be foolish to not test the market for a longer guaranteed deal valued at a higher number next season, even if he resigns with the Jazz.

Outside of those with player options, the Jazz signed Kris Dunn, Luka Samanic, and Vernon Carey Jr. to non-guaranteed deals for next season, while only $3 million of Kelly Olynyk’s $12.1 million is guaranteed next season.

Barring injury, or the unforeseen need for salary cap space, Dunn and Olynyk are safe bets to return to the Jazz next season, while Samanic and Carey Jr. will be able to audition for their sports during the summer league and in training camp.

Juan Toscano-Anderson and Udoka Azubuike will both hit unrestricted free agency this summer, as will Micah Potter and Johnny Juzang, both of whom were under two-way deals this season.

Utah Jazz Salary Cap Space

Entering the season, the Jazz were unlikely to have significant cap room during the summer of 2023 had they stuck with their opening night roster.

However, that outlook changed significantly when they traded the contracts of Mike Conley, Malik Beasley, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Jarred Vanderbilt for Russell Westbrook, Toscano-Anderson, Jones, and a future first-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers.

Conley was set to earn $24.3 million next season, Beasley had a team option of $16.5 million, Vanderbilt had a nearly non-guaranteed deal of $4.6 million, and Alexander-Walker was set to high free agency.

By unloading Conley, the Jazz trimmed at least $24.3 million from their books, and may have cleared as much as $45.4 by moving Beasley and Vanderbilt.

With only Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, Walker Kessler, and Simone Fonetcchio on guaranteed contracts, and just $3 million owed to Olynyk, the Jazz could theoretically have as little as $45 million in guaranteed salaries.

However, with player options for Gay and Horton-Tucker, and very reasonable full-year contracts for Olynyk, Dunn, and Samanic, that number is more likely to sit in the $90-100 million range, with a projected salary of $134.

That means the Jazz could have somewhere in the vicinity of $30-45 million in cap space depending on the decisions from Clarkson and Jones, and based on the number of first-round draft picks the team makes in June.

Important Dates And Exceptions

  • May 16 – NBA Draft Lottery 
  • June 22 – NBA Draft
  • June 23 – Damian Jones Player Option Date
  • June 28 – Kelly Olynyk’s Contract Becomes Guaranteed
  • June 29 – Talen Horton-Tucker Player Option Date
  • June 29 – Rudy Gay Player Option Date
  • June 29 – Jordan Clarkson Player Option Date
  • July – Utah Jazz And Las Vegas Summer Leagues
  • July 18 – Luka Samanic Contract Becomes Partially Guaranteed
  • October 23 – Kris Dunn Contract Becomes Guaranteed
  • October 23 – Vernon Carey Jr. Contract Becomes Guaranteed
  • October 23 – Luka Samanic Contract Becomes Partially Guaranteed
  • Jazz Have $6.4 Million Of Mid-Level Exception Available
  • Jazz Have $4.1 Million Bi-Annual Exception Available.
  • Jazz Have $19.2 Million in Trade Exceptions From Last Summer

Contract numbers and guarantee dates courtesy of Basketball Reference and Spotrac.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Jazz 2023 Offseason Rich With Draft Picks, Salary Cap Space