Utah Jazz Dubbed 'Worst Landing Spot' for All-Star Free Agent

The Utah Jazz might not be the place to land for this veteran free agent.
Apr 12, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) warms up prior to the NBA game against the Utah Jazz at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 12, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) warms up prior to the NBA game against the Utah Jazz at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
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While Danny Ainge and the Utah Jazz are looking to go "big-game hunting" this NBA offseason, some premier stars available on the market might not be the best fit to pursue even with an opportunity to do so.

A few big names will be up for grabs during this summer's free agency period, and the Jazz might be in a position to spend.

With close to $40 million projected in available cap space, Utah can send out a couple of ambitious offers in hopes of landing a big fish in SLC if the right opportunity is on the table.

However, some of these top options aren't a perfect match in Utah.

When plugging in some potential free agency fits and misfits, Bleacher Report pinned the Jazz as the worst spot for Los Angeles Clippers F Paul George to sign, further describing what would be some notable gaps both contractually and timeline-wise:

"There's a way for Utah to acquire George if he declines his player option, but there certainly shouldn't be any will on the part of either party. George is 34, and any four-year agreement could easily turn him into a negative-value asset in the last couple of years of that deal. It's one thing for the Jazz to juggle Lauri Markkanen, who's 27, with a developing core in its very early 20s. But the gap between the veteran George and players like Walker Kessler, Taylor Hendricks and Keyonte George would simply be too wide to make sense."

Grant Hughes, Bleacher Report

George is no doubt a talented player, and probably among one of the top 20 to 25 players in the NBA, but the fit between him and the Jazz has several wrinkles that make any future signing hard to picture.

This past season, George played 74 games for the Clippers in which he averaged 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists en route to his ninth-career All-Star selection. A few unlucky injuries and some playoff misfortune led LA to a first-round exit in these most recent playoffs, but it was another productive year for PG nonetheless.

His departure from the Clippers is unlikely. Combining how much LA has invested into George, along with the current state of the team, the wide expectation is for the 14-year vet to re-sign.

Other suitors like the Philadelphia 76ers have crept into recent discussions to pry him away, but toput it bluntly, the Jazz won't be approaching those talks anytime soon.

Utah does hold a bit of cap space to be a player on the free agency market, but a large chunk of that will likely be dedicated to the re-negotiation and extension of Lauri Markkanen.

PG to SLC won't be happening any time soon, but anticipate chatter to continue the Jazz as we get closer to NBA free agency, which officially opens at the end of the month on June 30th.


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Published
Jared Koch

JARED KOCH

Jared Koch is the Associate Editor of The Frozen Rope — SI.com's team website covering the Utah Jazz. He's covered the NBA and NFL for the past two years, also being the Managing Editor of Inside The Kings — SI.com's team website covering the Sacramento Kings.