The Utah Jazz Have Found Their Point Guard

Defense first. It’s the Utah way.

The NBA off-season has commenced full throttle, and we sit only one week in. D’Angelo Russell, Dwight Howard, and Brook Lopez are changing colors, and Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley may be next.

Tuesday evening, it was reported that the Houston Rockets were “actively” shopping Beverley, and the guard himself wouldn’t even deny the rumors were true.

When a fan mentioned that trade rumors were bogus, the Rockets guard had to burst his bubble, and in front of his nearly eighty thousand followers at that.

Most recently, the Utah Jazz have emerged as one of many suitors for the guard, as reported by Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune.

“The Utah Jazz have made an inquiry on Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley, sources told the Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday morning. The Jazz are one of 12 teams that have reached out to the Rockets with hopes of acquiring him.”

Last season, the Utah Jazz cleared playoffs for the first time since 2012, and earned their first playoff series win since 2010. They finished with an 51-31 overall record, and are bracing for a deeper playoff run next season.

I’m embarrassed to say, that I never saw these puzzle pieces at work. Patrick Beverley is a perfect fit for the Utah Jazz, and they’ve taken notice.

Defense First

Among defensive stats, Beverley is one of the best around at his position. Where his offense lacks, his defense overwhelms, a concurrent theme with the Utah Jazz. Among other accolades, the Rockets guard was named to the NBA All Defensive Second Team in 2014.

Through 67 regular season games, Beverley held opponents to 33.7 percent from behind the line, where he serves as an adept as a perimeter defender.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz
Feb 23, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (2) defends against Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20) during the first quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz, were the most consistent defensive team in the entire league. They hold a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Rudy Gobert, and were ranked with the 3rd highest defensive rating.

Additionally, the Jazz ranked 2nd in opponent field goal percentage, and 1st in opponent two-point percentage. Defensively speaking, these two parties were meant to be.

Salary Solutions

The Houston Rockets have made the three of Ryan Anderson, Lou Williams, and of course Beverley available for trade. It’s an attempt to clear salary cap for a big free agent contract. They can drop Beverley onto the Jazz for almost nothing, if not cash itself.

Utah Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey is reportedly shopping for a veteran point guard to play alongside George Hill, who is an unrestricted free agent come July.

Even if Hill were to walk in free agency, Beverley is no stranger to the starting spot. He’s started all but ten games over the last four seasons.

Beverley, who turns 29 in July, is on the most team friendly contract across the league. Utah will only pay him just over ten-million for the next two seasons, with a team option on the second.

In Conclusion

Last season with Houston, Beverley averaged: 9.5 points, 4.2 assists, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.

The Rockets are looking to salary dump, making it hard to speculate what the Jazz would send in return.

The Utah Jazz are a defensive team, and Patrick Beverley is a cheap, experienced, and defensive proficient guard.

All stats and information provided by ESPN and Featured image provided by Hoops Habit via Google Images. 


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