Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

Ranking the best free-agent signings in Utah Jazz history (28 items)

By , For the Deseret News

July 12, 2014

We are smack dab in the middle of the NBA free-agent signing period and there have already been plenty of moves that will change the face of the league for years to come.

Free agency is always an exciting time for basketball fans because they get to see what their teams are trying to do to build for the future. Every year, there are plenty of big names available that could change the fortunes of many teams and this year is no different.

This time around, the crop of game-changers include the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Greg Monroe and a handful of others, who could make a serious difference to any franchise. But, as in years past, none of those big names were linked to the Jazz. In fact, when it comes to free agency, the Jazz are more about making strategic moves to fill holes as well as finding diamonds in the rough.

While there aren't many big stars on the list, the Jazz have signed plenty of players who made a difference. Where they have had their most luck has been in the point guard department with nine lead guards making the list.

Here is a look at the best free agents the Utah Jazz have signed.

1 of 28. Honorable mention: Earl Watson

Watson signed with the Jazz before the start of the 2010-11 season and earned plenty of minutes as a backup point guard. He played 178 games with Utah and averaged 3.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists a night.

2 of 28. Honorable mention: Jamaal Tinsley

Tinsley inked a contract with the Jazz in December 2011 and appeared in 111 games over three seasons. His best year with Utah came in 2012-13 when he averaged 3.5 points, 1.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 66 games (32 starts).

For his Jazz career, he averaged 3.4 points, 1.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists.

3 of 28. Honorable mention: John Crotty

Crotty came back to Utah as a free agent in the summer of 2000 and played in 72 games over two seasons as a backup point guard. His most productive season came in 2001-02 when he averaged 6.9 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

For his second stint with the Jazz, Crotty averaged 4.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

4 of 28. 25. Armen Gilliam:

Gilliam played the last year of his 13-year career with the Jazz after signing midway through the 1999-00 season. He appeared in 50 games as a back up power forward and averaged 6.7 points and 4.2 rebounds a night.

5 of 28. 24. Milt Palacio:

Palacio signed with the Jazz just before the start of the 2005 season. He played 71 games (18 starts) over one season as a point guard and averaged a career-high 6.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
1. agarrett
PROVO, UT,
July 12, 2014

No Donyell Marshall?!

2. BYUSoCal
Fountain Valley, CA,
July 13, 2014

So lets Bring Boozer back Right now!!! he is avaliable

3. Long Lost America
Salt Lake City, UT,
July 13, 2014

Some very strange omissions from this list; agree that Donyell Marshall was WAY more valuable than some of the names mentioned here.
Wesley Matthews was an undrafted free agent, as was David Benoit. Also, since Bristow was mentioned why isn't Ben Poquette on the list? Signed the same day as Bristow and listed #29 on the scoring list, he was the only one who could play the center spot in the early years before Eaton was drafted and probably had a longer term impact than Bristow. Billy Paultz was also noteworthy on the famous playoff upset of the Rockets in 1985. He should make the list if for no other reason than the famous "sucker punch" from Akeem Olajuwan.

4. Itsnotjustagame
Cedar Hills, UT,
July 13, 2014

Does this list need to be 28 player long? Did you just wikipedia every Jazz free agent signing and then just make a list? How about cutting the list down to 10 and adding some information or opinion about the role free agency has played in the Jazz success and not just citing the stats each player had.

5. Jmoney34
Sandy, UT,
July 13, 2014

Donyell Marshall and Ben Poquette didnt make the list because they actually both came over in trades and not as free agents.