The Most Important Free Agent for the Utah Jazz to Sign This Offseason

Ricky FrechCorrespondent IApril 13, 2013

Is Jose Calderon the answer for the Utah Jazz at point guard?
Is Jose Calderon the answer for the Utah Jazz at point guard?Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Utah Jazz are a fringe playoff team this season and employ one of the league's deepest frontcourt rotations. However, their lineup is set to undergo some major changes this summer.

Utah has only five guaranteed contracts locked up for next season, meaning that the Jazz will be heavy players in the free-agent market. Obviously, it'd be great if they could resign either of their star big men, but it looks like both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap will be hitting the open market at season's end.

Luckily, the Jazz have two young prospects in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter who could fill the holes left by Jefferson and Millsap, so the team doesn't have a pressing need at either frontcourt spot.

In fact, if there's an area Utah should be looking to improve the most, it's probably point guard.

All four of the team's point guards are on expiring contracts and, even if they weren't, none of the players currently on the team really strike fear into opponent's hearts. Mo Williams is far from the player he was early in his career, and none of the other guys have ever been much more than backups.

Fortunately, there are quite a few PGs in this year's class that could come in right away and be a huge upgrade at Utah's weakest position.

Jazz fans would love to see someone like Chris Paul walk through the door, but for now, they should temper their expectations just a bit and look at guys like Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack.

It's definitely up for debate, but for my money, Calderon makes the better fit.

He isn't quite the scorer Jack is, but his assist ratio is the highest in the league for point guards who average more than 29 minutes per game. 

In addition, his true shooting percentage is the highest at his position, and his turnover ratio is right up there with the NBA's best.

The only major problem with Calderon is that he's 31, and we could see his production take a major dip as he gets up in years. However, you can't deny that he makes a great fit for a team that wants to work through its big men on every possession.

Utah needs to bring in a distributor like Calderon if it wants to take another step towards being a perennial playoff team. He's going to make good plays within the offense, while providing deadeye accuracy from all over the court.

Ideally, the Jazz would pair Calderon with a young point guard to let him develop under the veteran player. Considering this free agent class is light on those, the team might be best served going after someone in this year's draft class.

Either way, picking up Calderon and a future replacement is the best move for the Utah Jazz this offseason. They already have quality pieces down low and solid players out on the wings in Gordon Hayward, Randy Foye and Alec Burks.

Calderon isn't going to turn them into an instant championship contender, but he'll start them in the right direction. It's a move that makes sense, and one that should happen early this summer.