In order to bring in the new, the Jazz have had to lose some of the old.
While Derrick Favors was traded to New Orleans to open up cap space, it wasn’t quite enough to keep Raul Neto, it seems. On Monday, the Jazz officially waived Neto in order to complete the trade for Mike Conley.
Neto, who was slated to make $2.1 million next season, now will go through the waiver process. Every team with cap space will be eligible to make a claim on him. If no team does, Neto would be an unrestricted free agent and could sign with any team. That would include Utah, but the Jazz could complete the deal only at the league’s minimum, about $1.7 million for Neto.
Any player the Jazz hire to replace Neto would also have to agree to the league’s minimum. Second-round pick Justin Wright-Foreman could fill the slot, or the Jazz could look elsewhere on the free agent market. As of Monday evening, T.J. McConnell, Quinn Cook, Jeremy Lin, Raymond Felton, Shelvin Mack, and Emmanuel Mudiay were among the still available point guards on the market.
After being drafted in the second round in 2013, Neto joined the Jazz for the 2014-15 season and immediately became the team’s starting point guard until the club acquired Shelvin Mack at the deadline. Since then, Neto has been the team’s backup or third-string PG, including playing 37 games last year. Various hamstring and groin injuries have also limited Neto’s time on the court.
Over the course of his four-year Jazz career, Neto has averaged 4.8 points, 1.9 assists, and 1.3 rebounds per game, shooting 44% from the field and 37% from 3-point range.