DeMarre Carroll hasn’t held his tongue since the Raptors traded him in a salary dump to the Brooklyn Nets on July 9. And in his July 19 introductory presser with local Nets media — after already addressing his role in Toronto’s offense — Carroll acknowledged again that he wasn’t the best fit for the Raptors’ isolation-heavy system that ran primarily through DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, and, later, Serge Ibaka.
The Jazz will attempt to make up for his absence, of course. They may offer a loaded, player-friendly max offer sheet to Otto Porter Jr., daring the Washington Wizards to match it. (By all accounts, if it comes to that, Washington will.) Rudy Gay seems like a good, short-term fit — as much as Gay can be a good fit anywhere, given his checkered career and the injury that he’s rehabbing from. It appears that JaMychal Green’s future in Memphis is at least cloudy, although what Utah really needs is a small forward and Green’s ability to fill that role is questionable.
Still, Hayward was the plan. Next summer, with Gobert, Hayward, and the potential to acquire cap space, was looking like Utah’s best chance to strike. Another playoff season might have swung the Jazz in the right direction, earning their reputation as a free agency destination.
Instead, Hayward’s gone, likely turned off by a veritable Western Conference Cheap USA Hockey Jerseys arms race and seeing the Celtics — already a No. 1 seed with even more ways to get better — as a better long-term future. There’s nothing Utah could have done Cheap Tigers Jerseys about that. It can only try to regroup now that it has happened.