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The Utah Jazz traded center Tibor Pleiss to the Philadelphia 76ers for point guard Kendall Marshall on Friday.
The Jazz then waived Marshall in a salary dump two days before his contract of $2 million becomes guaranteed, making the journeyman out of North Carolina an unrestricted free agent.
Pleiss has a $3 million guarantee for this upcoming season. And with the Jazz having 15 guaranteed contracts on their 15-man roster before Friday morning's trade, dealing Pleiss alleviates a numbers crunch on the roster and allows the Jazz a bit more salary cap flexibility.
The Jazz have also sent a pair of future second-round picks to the Sixers. All told, the move puts Utah at $12 million under the cap, which is enough to make another move if it chooses, such as renegotiating the contract of Derrick Favors in order to get to the cap floor.
So here's what it means: This week, the Jazz signed rookie second-round pick Joel Bolomboy to a deal that includes $1 million in guaranteed salary. Bolomboy, an athletic power forward out of Weber State, has impressed the Jazz with his work ethic, demeanor and play during summer league and is now expected to make the opening night roster. Utah envisions Bolomboy replacing some of the energy and athleticism the team lost when Trevor Booker left for the Brooklyn Nets in free agency this summer.
On paper, the Jazz have 14 guaranteed contracts, with center Jeff Withey and guard Chris Johnson battling it out for the last remaining roster spot. The Jazz were impressed by Withey last season, his defense, and his ability to step up when big men Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert missed significant time due to injury.
Withey's production last season was unexpected on some levels by the organization. Should he make the team, the remainder of his contract would be guaranteed in January. But there is little doubt that his shot-blocking and defense last season were welcomed by the Jazz.
Friday's trade is also the last physical remnant of the Enes Kanter deal of two seasons ago to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Jazz could receive OKC's 2018 lottery-protected first round pick, however. In 12 appearances this past season, Pleiss averaged two points and 1.3 rebounds per game, while making more of an on-court impact in the D-League, than with the big club. Pleiss, had he stayed with the Jazz, again figured to be at the bottom of the big man depth chart especially with the acquisition of Boris Diaw and Bolomboy's signing.
Utah begins training camp on Sept. 26. The Jazz begin their preseason slate on Oct. 3, at the Portland Trail Blazers.
Jazz trade recap
What the Jazz did • Traded 26 year-old Tibor Pleiss and two future second round picks to the Philadelphia 76ers for point guard Kendall Marshall.
Why did the Jazz make the move? • The move saves the franchise $3 million, and puts them $12 million under the salary cap. It gives the front office more flexibility.
What does the move mean? • Utah has 14 guaranteed contracts, with Jeff Withey and Chris Johnson expected to battle for the 15th and final spot on the opening-night roster. The move also ensures Weber State product Joel Bolomboy will make the opening-night roster.