SALT LAKE CITY - The 2012-2013 season is over for the Utah Jazz. Now a very busy offseason begins.
Utah's season ended on Wednesday night with a loss at Memphis that assured the Jazz would miss the playoffs for the second time in three season.
General Manager Dennis Lindsey must decide how to make sure that doesn't extend to three out of four seasons. He'll be faced with major roster decisions; the Jazz have seven unrestricted free-agents, including four starters.
Utah Jazz Unrestricted Free Agents
- C Al Jefferson
- F Paul Millsap
- G Mo Williams
- G Randy Foye
- G Jamaal Tinsley
- G Earl Watson
- F DeMarre Carroll
"It's a great situation to be in if you're a Utah Jazz fan because they got a chance to make some big moves, so you know, I think true fans would love to see how their team could be rebuilt." said Al Jefferson when asked about having so many players with expiring contracts.
That doesn't mean Big Al necessarily wants to leave as part of a rebuilding project. He joked with reporters while deflecting direct questions about staying with the Jazz, but gave a direct answer about playing and living in Utah, "I love the City of Salt Lake. The fans the people here, everybody, it's like a big happy family."
Paul Millsap, the longest tenured player on the roster, said he didn't even want to think about leaving the team that drafted him.
"It's family. Simple as that. You know how close I am to my family so I don't want to say no more about it."
The Jazz brought back point guard Mo Williams for a second stint with the team but he missed significant playing time due to a thumb injury.
He indicated that he'd like to continue his career with Utah, but said the final decision is out of his hands. "You guys gotta understand, we as basketball players, we just sit by the phone in the summertime and the agent and [Executive VP] Kevin [O'Connor] and [General Manager] Dennis [Lindsey], they do all the talking. We just say, 'Oh, okay.'"
Randy Foye played for the Clippers before signing a 1-year deal with the Jazz last summer. He responded by setting the franchise record for 3-point shots attempted and made and made it very clear that he wants to stay in Utah.
"This is just an unbelievable fit for me. I just hope that, you know, they re-sign me back because I want to be here."
Swingman Marvin Williams had spent his entire career in Atlanta before coming to Utah last summer. He has a player option for next season that he will likely pick up.
"I loved it. This has been, honestly man, maybe statistically not my best year, but it was probably my most fun year in a long time."
Point guard will be a big question for the Jazz moving forward as they decide whether to stick with Mo Williams or try to find a longer-term fixture at the position.
Millsap and Jefferson will also be tough decisions. They are both solid veteran players who have endeared themselves to fans. But they are also both likely to command maximum money offers while the Jazz have youngsters Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter waiting in the wings.
"We have our young guys under contract so we'll put a lot of work in with those guys early because they may be the guys that you have to expand their roles, so they have to understand that." Corbin said when asked about the future of the team.
He implied that he's not worried about team management pressuring him to do better.
"I pressure myself to make sure that we do everything we can to take advantage of opportunities and we didn't make it this year."