Jazz fully committed to youth movement

Jul 6 2013 - 10:50pm

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SALT LAKE CITY -- No longer are the Utah Jazz talking about rebuilding or reworking or reinventing themselves.

The process has begun.

A day after center Al Jefferson reportedly agreed to a multiyear deal with the Charlotte Bobcats, the Jazz on Friday said goodbye to forwards Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll.

According to numerous sources, Millsap and Carroll will sign with the Atlanta Hawks when the NBA's free agency moratorium is lifted.

As they look to the start of the 2013 Orlando Pro Summer League, which gets under way this morning, the Jazz look almost nothing like they did last year.

Rookie point guard Trey Burke and veterans Alec Burks and Jeremy Evans highlight Utah's summer league roster, which also includes French big man Rudy Gobert, the No. 27 overall pick in last month's draft.

Late last month Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said the team would not "skip steps" when it comes to building a long-term product around the young group of players it already has under contract.

Lindsey also joked that the roster is "a little incomplete" with a great deal of work left to be done.

Clearly, that work is underway.

Since dealing All-Star point guard Deron Williams to the Nets in 2011, the Jazz, local media and the team's fan base have pondered the possibility of a new-look roster. However, until the departures of Millsap and Jefferson that was only a theory.

Gordon Hayward, 23, is now the most tenured player on the roster. The swingman from Butler was drafted in 2010.

Hayward and teammate Derrick Favors are not on this year's summer league roster. They're training in Las Vegas in preparation for a USA Basketball minicamp.

Also, third-year center Enes Kanter is in Chicago, rehabbing the shoulder injury he suffered late last season.

The Jazz had seven potential free agents on their roster at the close of the 2012-13 season with Jefferson and Millsap providing the most star power.

Jefferson is expected to sign a three-year, $40.5 million deal with the Bobcats. Millsap on Friday agreed to a two-year $19 million deal with Atlanta.

Carroll, a fan favorite in Utah, will sign a two-year $5 million deal with the Hawks.

Also on Friday, the Jazz worked a deal with Golden State, acquiring center Andris Biedrins, small forward Richard Jefferson, guard Brandon Rush, unprotected future first-round picks (in 2014 and '17), two second-round picks, and cash. In return Utah sent the Warriors shooting guard Kevin Murphy and trade exceptions, which will be used to help sign Denver guard Andre Iguodala.

Biedrins and Jefferson may provide a veteran presence on the roster but their expiring contracts are in place to provide salary cap flexibility for summer of 2014.

Although their roster is in flux, the Jazz have a core of young players to build around. Chief among them is Hayward, followed by Kanter, Favors, Burks and Burke, the No. 9 pick in last month's draft.

That gives them a young player at all five positions.

 

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