The Utah Jazz kicked off the NBA free agency period and this holiday weekend with a bang, sending guard Diante Garrett to the Toronto Raptors for Steve Novak, according to a report filed on Friday, July 4 by Yahoo! Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski.
For Jimmer fans, this is probably a sad day--because it probably means the former BYU star is also not coming to play for the Jazz this season. And if you're a Marvin Williams fan, you probably want to prepare yourself for a sad goodbye--because Novak's arrival almost certainly means Williams will depart.
For Diante Garrett, this day was probably coming sooner rather than later when the Jazz drafted guard Dante Exum with the No. 5 pick at the 2014 NBA Draft. Not only do the Jazz want to get taller--which Garrett undoubtedly is for a guard--but it wants to become more athletic and dangerous from beyond the arc.
Bringing in Novak accomplishes two things. One, it gives the Jazz an outside presence that it hasn’t had since Mehmet Okur, the Turkish dynamo who played here back in the mid-to-late 2000s. Second, and like Okur before him, Novak gives the Jazz the ability to open up the floor with his outside shooting touch.
Although this deal to send Garrett to Toronto and Novak to Utah will not be finalized until the NBA’s moratorium lifts later next week, it does appear that Utah will get something they haven’t had for a while: three-point shooting. (The Jazz will also reportedly receive a future second-round pick from Toronto.)
Novak is a bit of a journeyman, having played for six NBA teams in eight seasons in the league. He has two years remaining on the $7.2 million contract he signed with the Raptors after coming over from the New York Knicks in 2012-13.
The sharpshooter out of Marquette did not play his best game with the Raptors, averaging just over three points last season. Prior to playing in Toronto, however, Novak had his best years as a pro in New York, averaging over seven points per game--and almost nine in 2011-12--with the Knicks.
Novak, who stands 6-feet-10-inches and weighs 235 pounds, shoots 43 percent from three point range for his career and has even appeared in the Three-Point Shootout during NBA All-Star Weekend.