Ranking the best fits for the Utah Jazz in free agency

While most people are focused on Kevin Durant and how he can change the balance of power in the NBA, There are plenty of other players available in free agency who can make a difference.

Even though the Utah Jazz are out of the Durant sweepstakes, there are still plenty of realistic options for them to pursue who can make the team better as they push for the playoffs.

This is the list of the best fit among the available free agents. The players who have a chance to sign with the Jazz and have an impact from day-one.

10. Marreese Speights, 6-10, power forward-center

Although he wouldn’t add much on the defensive side of the ball, Speights would fit for one reason – he can really score the ball. He averaged 7.1 points a game for the Golden State Warriors even though he played just 11.6 minutes a night. He also provides excellent second-line rebounding, contributing more than 10 boards per 36 minutes in five of the last six seasons, according to Basketball-reference.com.

9. Kent Bazemore, 6-5, wing

Bazemore was thrust into the starting lineup with the Atlanta Hawks after the departure of DeMarre Carroll in free agency and took full advantage. With the added minutes, he showed that he could be a consistent contributor on both ends of the floor. He improved his shooting from the floor and from the foul line while showing good instincts on the defensive end of the floor with a career-high 1.3 steals.

8. Jon Leuer, 6-10, power forward

Leuer is the prototypical energy-guy who has no problem doing the dirty work on both ends of the floor. He is at his best on the glass where he averaged 10.7 rebounds per 36 minutes last season, according to Basketball-reference.com. He also showed off his outside touch with the Suns in ’15-16, hitting on 38.2 percent of his 3-point attempts.

7. Evan Turner, 6-7, wing

Turner isn’t the shooter the Jazz second-unit needs, but he does everything else well on the offensive end. He is a fantastic passer who makes good decisions and can be used to initiate the offense as a point-forward. He also provides solid rebounding a nice second-unit scoring option.

6. Ryan Anderson, 6-10, power forward

Anderson is a scorer. He has nice touch from the outside, a capable mid-range game, and is more than willing to put the ball on the floor to get to the paint and draw contact. He would be at the top of this list if not for his defensive deficiencies or the hefty price he is going to command.

5. Jared Dudley, 6-7, wing

Dudley would be a nice piece on any roster because of his ability to shoot the ball. He doesn’t create his own shot, but is an excellent catch-and-shoot player who is great in the mid-range and from beyond the arc.

4. Solomon Hill, 6-7, small forward

Hill is an athletic wing with solid defensive skills and an improving offensive game. He had a chance to show what he could do for the Pacers in 2014-15, starting 78 of 82 games before landing back on the bench last season with the return of Paul George. Although his minutes took a hit in ’15-16, he had the best shooting season of his young career, connecting on 44.7 percent from the floor and 85.7 percent from the free-throw line.

3. Mirza Teletovic, 6-9, power forward

Teletovic was one of the best offensive weapons off the bench for the Phoenix Suns in 2015-16. He can play either forward position, but is ideally suited to be a stretch-four with the Jazz because of his deadly outside range (39.3 percent on 5.8 3-point attempts last season).

2. Luol Deng, 6-9, forward

While Deng’s best years are behind him, he has still been a very nice player with the Heat. He has decent touch from the outside, is an excellent finisher in the paint and can play either for forward spot. He would be a solid fit in Utah because his effectiveness as a team-defender who could be counted on to score in double figures every night.

1. Marvin Williams, 6-9, power forward

Coming off the most effective shooting season of his career, Williams will be a hot commodity in the free agent market. His 40.2 percent on 4.7 attempts from 3-point range in 2015-16 make him one of the elite stretch fours in the game today.

He would be a nice fit on the second unit as a deep threat who could open up the floor for the Jazz slashers to get tot the rim.


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