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Utah Jazz trade Ed Davis to try to avoid luxury tax

By Ryan Miller, KSL.com | Posted - Nov. 19, 2020 at 4:27 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — A day before free agency is set to begin, the Utah Jazz haave made a move to try and stay under the luxury tax.

In a salary dumping move, the Jazz are trading reserve center Ed Davis and two 2023 second-round picks to New York, according to reports from ESPN and The Athletic.

The move gets Davis' $5 million salary off the books and gives the team more flexibility to build the team once free agency begins Friday.

The Jazz had to sacrifice two draft picks to make the salary-dumping move, and the team made a similar cost-cutting move during Wednesday's draft when it traded Tony Bradley and a second-round pick to Detroit. The Jazz have now sent out three second-round picks to free themselves of salary.

Those moves, though, make it much more possible for the Jazz to avoid the $132.6 million luxury tax.

With Davis traded, Utah has about $106 million in committed salary for seven players. That gives them about $26 million to fill out the rest of their roster. If Utah guarantees the deals of Georges Niang ($1.7 million), Juwan Morgan ($1.5 million), Miye Oni ($1.5 million), Rayjon Tucker ($1.5 million) and Nigel Williams-Goss ($1.5 million), they'll have about $18 million in cap space.

Davis was signed by the club in the summer of 2019 and was expected to be Rudy Gobert's primary backup. Davis struggled to play in the Jazz's scheme, and by the end of December had completely fallen out of Utah's rotation. He ended up playing just 28 games for the Jazz, averaging 1.8 points and 2.5 rebounds.

Earlier on Thursday, the Jazz reportedly signed Florida State guard Trent Forrest to a two-way contract. As a senior, Forrest averaged 11.6 points and 4.0 per game while shooting just over 28% from the 3-point line.

As a two-way player, Forrest will spend most of the season with the Salt Lake City Stars but can spend up to 45 days of the season with the Jazz.

Ryan Miller

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