Derrick Favors, Grayson Allen, and Ricky Rubio: The Utah Jazz Offseason Roundup

After a tremendous second-half to last season, the Utah Jazz have had a relatively quiet off-season, but you'd be hard-pressed to call it a failure. The Jazz are looking to reload and come into the 2018-19 season with a similar roster with an added year of experience.

Summer league is over and Grayson Allen has already been in a small fight. The Jazz played three games in their own summer league; that's all it took. Allen's reputation as a pest could go over brilliantly in Utah, where try-hards who play solid basketball are the way, the truth, and the light.

However, drafting Grayson Allen wasn't the only exciting summer moment for the Utah Jazz. Coming in at a close second was the Twitter love shown between Donovan Mitchell and NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone. It wasn't exactly a "story," but at a time when a bunch of rookies play a handful of games in the middle of four months without on-court action, things get a little desperate.

On to the roster moves!


There's only one subtraction from the roster thus far; Jonas Jerebko. The 31-year-old Swede put in a solid season as the 8th (or so) man on the roster, primarily as a deadeye shooter. Jerebko shot over 41% on three-pointers last season and took two of them per game (he played about 15 minutes per game). As an illustration of how the NBA has evolved, Jerebko was born during the 1986-87 season, at which point his 65 made three-pointers would have had him tied for 11th most in the entire league. In the 2017-18 season, he ranked fifth on his own team.

Jerebko signed with the Warriors earlier this month in the kind of move that made NBA fans roll their eyes and think "ugh. They got another shooter. Great." He'll play sparingly, but he'll get open looks anytime he's on the floor, which will be horrifying for opponents.

Lastly, and on a personal note, seeing less of Jonas Jerebko will be hard for me, as I always loved singing (to the tune of "You're Welcome," from Moana) "What can I sayyy? Jonas Jerebko!"


As previously mentioned, a relatively high-profile move was the drafting of Grayson Allen, one of college basketball's most polarizing personalities from last year. People tend to have strong opinions about Duke University basketball players, and Allen was their most visible, which lent him an extra air of "I would hate this guy if he played for my opponent but love him if he were on my team."

More importantly, Allen shot 38% on three-pointers in college, despite being hounded by opponents. He averaged a few rebounds and assists over each of his final three seasons at Duke, while also being a dynamic scorer. As a combo-guard, he likely won't step into the fray right away (he's behind Mitchell and Burks, but may also see time behind Ingles, O'Neal, and Sefolosha at small forward or in other small lineups), but it will be interesting to see how he's used or if he's used at all.

The Jazz re-signed Derrick Favors to a two-year, $36 million contract, which seems like a lot, but is less daunting than it first appears. Favors' contract is only guaranteed for the first year, meaning the veteran power forward is an extremely valuable trade chip as well as a solid big man. Favors is, by all accounts, the starting 4 for the Jazz, and he began to develop some major chemistry with Rudy Gobert in the second-half of last season. If things start poorly or if the Jazz decides they want to commit to smaller lineups, he could be flipped for a draft pick very easily - although I personally think that would be a bad decision.

Utah also re-signed Dante Exum for three years and $33 million. There's still a chance that this signing turns out to look (half) as good as the long-ago Stephen Curry deal of four years and $44 million, during which time he became the league's MVP. Exum won't become the MVP, but the Jazz are betting on potential, as he can still be a very good player if he can just stay healthy. Exum has played in just 80 games over the past three seasons but has shown flashes of what made him worthy of the 5th overall pick.

The other semi-notable signing for the Jazz was for backup (to the backup) point guard Raul Neto. Neto's deal is for two years and $4.4 million. He's not moving the radar too much for a lot of people, but with the persistent questions about Exum's health, Neto is a serviceable backup.

Off the Court

Off-court stories happen, and the aforementioned Mitchell/Malone love-fest is arguably the most notable. Additionally, though, Donovan Mitchell didn't win Rookie of the Year, but he did win Best Breakthrough Athlete at the ESPYs. He also apparently showed up to a stranger's 4th of July barbecue, so that's cool.

Ricky Rubio made the news this week when he launched The Ricky Rubio Foundation at an event in Barcelona. The foundation states that its focal points are lung cancer, supporting underprivileged youth (primarily in Salt Lake City and his native province of Barcelona), and the Special Olympics. Rubio's mother, who was not a smoker, died of lung cancer two years ago, hence the connection to that particular disease.

There are undoubtedly other matters that have, well, mattered this summer, but these are what I have viewed as the biggest stories. Stay tuned, as we'll get into more detail about things like Dante Exum's breakout chances, Donovan Mitchell's plateau-risk, and whether or not Rudy Gobert is taller than me.

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