SALT LAKE CITY — In the wake of losing All-Star Gordon Hayward, the Utah Jazz have been actively building depth without a marquee name remaining in free agency.
A person with direct knowledge of the deals says the Utah Jazz have reached agreements to sign free agents Thabo Sefolosha, Jonas Jerebko and Ekpe Udoh. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the moves had not been officially announced.
The Jazz also released Boris Diaw, whose 2017-18 salary would have been guaranteed Saturday.
Diaw was a valued and versatile big man in his lone season with the Jazz but his departure was expected after the team tried to trade his expiring contract. The 14-year veteran posted on Instagram, "THANK YOU JAZZ AND JAZZ FANS, It was a great season, I appreciated every aspects of my experience here. I wish you the best for the years to come."
None of the three additions will offset Hayward’s signing with the Celtics, but Sefolosha and Udoh should help a defence that already gave up the fewest points per game (96.8) in the league last season. Jerebko adds another wing shooter.
Sefolosha heads to Utah after three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. The 2006 No. 13 overall pick averaged 7.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and shot 34.2 per cent from 3-point range last season.
Jerebko spent the last two seasons with the Celtics and averaged 3.8 points and 3.5 rebounds and shot 34.6 per cent from beyond the arc last year.
Udoh spent the last two seasons in Turkey, where he won a Euroleague championship with Fenerbahce. The 6-foot-10, 240-pounder was the No. 6 overall NBA pick in 2010.
The Jazz also traded for point guard Rick Rubio just before the start of free agency, partly in an attempt to re-sign Hayward.