Utah Jazz: The future implications of the Ed Davis trade

The Utah Jazz have made a few low key moves this offseason. Another one they have made is to send Ed Davis to the New York Knicks.

The Utah Jazz have made a few small deals since the trade moratorium was lifted prior to the 2020 NBA draft. The first move they made was to send pick 23 to the New York Knicks. In return, they received the 27th and 38th pick in the draft.

While this move was a little confusing to the outsider’s eye, it appears they needed a pick to send Tony Bradley to the Detroit Pistons. Troy Weaver, the Pistons new general manager, is showing that he is not going to take an empty salary without assets.

The move saved the Jazz $3.5 million in salary next season. While this may not sound like an earth-shattering move, it is very important in the grand scheme of things, especially if you combine it with the Ed Davis move.

What is important about the Ed Davis trade for the Utah Jazz?

When ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that the Jazz were trading Davis and two 2023 second-round picks to the New York Knicks, you could have been forgiven for not being that excited. It is not like Davis did a great deal last year.

However, the implications go a little deeper than that. His contract was worth $5.0 million next season which was basically dead money. He only averaged 1.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Hardly needle-moving stuff there.

However, where the Jazz have been quite smart is that this $5.0 million is now off the books. In two trades that have basically cost the Jazz nothing, they have saved $8.4 million in salary for next season.

This money is going to be crucial when they go to the negotiating table to re-sign Jordan Clarkson. He arrived via trade last season and gave the Jazz some immediate momentum. His ability to find space on the court help disrupt opposition defenses.

At the age of 28, Clarkson is going to want to negotiate a decent deal as he will only have one or two more opportunities in his career to do so. His ability to seamlessly fit into an offense is going to provide the Jazz some difficulties this offseason.

The free agent class is fairly weak, especially at the top end, and Clarkson is going to get some decent offers from teams with more space than the Jazz. What the Jazz can offer is a winning culture and the potential for more playoff action.

Without the $8.4 million they have just saved, no Jazz offer could come close to what Clarkson is going to get. The Jazz have ten contracted players plus Azubuike and they are $18 million below the tax according to Bobby Marks of ESPN. They now have a chance to re-sign him.

On top of this, the Jazz have the extensions of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell to consider. While they only have $44 million in committed salary, you can expect this cap space can fill up very quickly.