Utah Jazz finalize trade for veterans, draft picks
Orlando, Fla. • The Jazz sent starting shooting guard Randy Foye to Denver and guard Kevin Murphy to Golden State on Wednesday, making official a trade that executives say bolsters the Jazz lineup, brings in future assets and preserves the all-mighty flexibility under a stringent salary cap.
In return for the two shooting guards, the Jazz received Warriors veterans Andris Biedrins, Brandon Rush and Richard Jefferson, as well as five future draft picks.
"We needed size," Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said. "We needed shooting. Clearly, with what we have on our roster, we needed some experience, and I think we checked a few boxes there."
The Jazz have up to three roster spots open, and are expected to add at least one more point guard before the season begins in October.
The trade connected several dots that happened independently. The Warriors originally agreed to move the players and four picks to the Jazz to clear room for Nuggets free agent Andre Iguodala. Meanwhile, Foye was negotiating independently with Denver. By turning it into a three-team, double sign-and-trade, the Jazz were able to add Denver's 2018 second-rounder to their pot.
The deal solidifies the Jazz's youth movement. While Jefferson, Biedrins and Rush are all experienced, none is expected to take time away from young stars Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and Trey Burke, a problem the Jazz dealt with throughout last season.
"We were trying to give the veterans proper respect and opportunity," Lindsey said, "as well as develop."
He added: "We really appreciate the patience and the trust that Alec and Gordon and Enes and Derrick have shown thus far, but they're ambitious and they're competitive. They wanted more opportunity, and here it is."
Biedrins, Rush and Jefferson will all be free agents in 2014, meaning the Jazz will have more money than most teams for what is considered one of the best free agent classes in years. The Jazz will also have two first-round picks (one from the Warriors) in a similarly stocked draft next summer.
With a number of teams dead set on rebuilding this year, Lindsey was careful with his words when discussing sacrificing on-court performance, or taking a step back to ultimately progress.
He said rather than talking about projecting wins and losses, the buzzwords around the Jazz would be "defensive foundation" and about the development of young players.
"We're never going to concede anything," Lindsey said. "We're going to compete to the best of our ability and we hope that home-court advantage we have had historically maintains itself."
• Andris Biedrins
• Richard Jefferson
• Brandon Rush
• 2014 unprotected first-round pick (GSW)
• 2017 unprotected first-round pick (GSW)
• 2016 second-round pick (GSW)
• 2017 second-round pick (GSW)
• 2018 second-round pick (Denver)
• Randy Foye
• 2018 second-round pick (GSW)
• Andre Iguodala
• Kevin Murphy