Kragthorpe: Steve Novak brings much-needed shooting to Utah Jazz
There’s a lot to like about the Jazz’s reported trade for Toronto forward Steve Novak.
The Jazz desperately need shooting, and that’s Novak’s game. He’s more of a shooting specialist than former Jazzman Kyle Korver, which is to say his game is limited. But what the Marquette product can do as an NBA player, he does very well.
He’s a career 43.9-percent shooter from 3-point range over eight seasons, almost exactly the same figure as Korver. Novak has two years remaining on his contract, and is owed a total of about $7.5 million. That was enough to make the Raptors want to dump some salary, but it’s certainly a reasonable contract for the Jazz to absorb.
This is an example of Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey’s creative approach to improving the roster outside of free agency. Novak is the equivalent of a lower-tier free agent, except he comes in a trade with a contract already in place.
All they lost, according to the Yahoo! report, is point guard Diante Garrett, who wouldn’t have figured prominently into the Jazz’s plans with the arrival of rookie Dante Exum.
The Jazz also will receive a second-round pick, but this is much less of a future-oriented trade than the one they made during the July 4 weekend last year. In that deal, they were taking on huge, expiring contracts from Golden State while getting two first-round draft picks.
This move will help the team in 2014-15. The Jazz have missed Korver’s shooting ever since he departed to Chicago as a free agent in 2010. He’s now in Atlanta, where new Jazz coach Quin Snyder worked closely with him this past season. So Snyder should know how to use a shooter such as the 6-foot-10 Novak, even if he’s more of a one-dimensional player than Korver.