While the final t’s and i’s are respectively crossed and dotted on the new collective bargaining agreement, fans everywhere wait to partake of what has the potential to be the most bizarre free agency period in the history of the NBA. Beginning the free agency period on the same day that training camp opens could make for a very wild ride on the trade market, and without a complete understanding of the new agreement, it’s nothing short of absurd to attempt to predict how the market will behave. Nonetheless, with the help of the rest of the boys at Salt City Hoops, I’ve put together a few Jazz-related moves that I think could be, should be, and won’t be made.
Move that could be made
Let me preface this idea by saying how much I love Paul Millsap. He’s a hard worker, and has done everything the Jazz have asked of him & more. Saying that, he’s ultimately an asset… and one that Utah seems to have in spades right now. There have been multiple reports in the past about a trade that is centered around Millsap & Granger and is a rumor that I believe has some legs. This move would most likely cost the Jazz the first round draft pick Utah acquired from Golden State rather than C.J. Miles, but this was the best picture I could paint on ESPN’s draft machine. Paul Millsap is a very nice player, but continuing to hang on to Millsap is like getting full on deviled eggs just hours before Thanksgiving dinner is served. Derrick Favors is ready to start logging minutes, and if the Jazz are committed to developing him then the time has come to cash in on Millsap, whose stock has never been higher. Danny Granger would be a nice reward for grooming Paul over the years. Granger is a lights out shooter and a perennial scorer in this league. Adding a player that has the ability to score like he can from the perimeter will work magic for Al Jefferson’s and Derrick Favors’ ability to dominate the paint. A starting lineup of Harris, Hayward, Granger, Favors, and Jefferson gets me more excited about any current lineup coach Corbin could build around Millsap. I wish I knew what stopped KOC from pulling the trigger on this one a few months ago, but maybe the addition of another big man in Enes Kanter to add to our stockpile of bigs is enough for him to change his mind in favor of the perimeter player.
All indicators point toward Devin Harris and Al Jefferson also being shopped by Utah, but without any idea of what current market value would be for those two guys, I’ll move away from actual speculation and into a dream land of trades that I feel Utah should make.
Moves that should be made
I know Hollinger’s “Analysis” indicates this as being a losing deal for Utah, but I like what I see here. Jazz would upgrade at point guard to a younger, more dedicated PG in Raymond Felton who could lead this team to maturity and who would hopefully stick around for a while. Devin Harris and Paul Millsap seem to currently be our most valuable trade chips as I think Jefferson’s contract might be too high to qualify, so perhaps we could get another piece out of this, but this would significantly improve our backcourt without hurting us much in the front court. Starting lineup: Felton, Matthews, Hayward, Favors, and Jefferson? Better than what we have now.
Another move I would welcome;
Philly has been looking to move Iguodala for a few seasons now, and with Elton Brand as a likely amnesty target, they could be looking for a new Power Forward. Andre Igoudala would provide athleticism on the wing that the Jazz have wished for, and Jrue Holiday seems to be a nice young PG. Saying all of that, the key piece here would be Thad Young. Thad Young is currently a restricted free agent and I’d imagine Utah would need to include a draft pick of some kind to provide enough incentive to Philadelphia to let this young stud go on a sign & trade. Starting lineup: Holiday, Hayward, Igoudala, Favors, and Jefferson with Thad Young as the Jazz’ 6th man? Again, better than currently constituted.
And one more I’d love to see;
This deal makes perfect sense for all teams involved. Despite recent reports, I’m still convinced Portland is going to use their amnesty clause on Brandon Roy and has needs to add some perimeter scoring. Ben Gordon would do just that. Detroit could very well amnesty the overpaid and under-performing Charlie Villenueva, and would be forced to head back to the drawing board in finding a power forward. Enter Paul Millsap. As for Utah, Ray Felton could potentially save the day again! Felton is a young player who plays hard, is a good teammate by all accounts, and a guy I could really see the rest of the Jazz rally around. In addition to the Felton acquisition, this would allow the Jazz to acquire more assets by moving current PG Devin Harris, a player who seems a bit “too cool for school” and almost indifferent about playing in Utah with our young guys. Starting lineup: Felton, Hayward, Batum/AK, Favors, Jefferson, plus whatever players the Jazz could acquire in a Devin Harris deal, which would most likely be a starting lineup quality player.
Moves that won’t be made
Chris Paul seems adamant about joining his BFFs in New York, but unless New Orleans oddly prefers quantity over quality, New York needs to come up with something more clever than this. There’s no doubt in my mind, however, that New York could and very well may find ways to land the PG. It’s almost like the lockout didn’t even happen. The new deal hasn’t even been ratified yet and new super teams are in the works. It makes me wonder what this whole lockout was all about….Oh yeah, $$$.
This move seems to benefit all teams involved except Utah. With Okur finally back in full health and primed to have a monster season, and Jefferson just getting used to the offensive system, I doubt the Jazz would be ready to deal either one of them for just an all NBA point guard, an all star shooting guard, and a hardly proven superstar power forward. If David Kahn were somehow running the show in Utah, the Jazz may get suckered into such a tragedy, but with KOC at the helm, Jazz nation shall stand united against such ludicrous ideas. <SARCASM>
With the new CBA not expected to be officially ratified by both parties until Dec. 8th, we could be in for a wild ride of the shortest free agency period ever. I’m confident in the Jazz front office to do what’s best for our team. After all, as bad as I felt for Cleveland and Toronto last year, I’m starting to feel worse for New Orleans and Orlando for this coming season. Kudos to Kevin O’Connor for ridding us of the non-stop speculation that would inevitably surround a Utah roster that still included Deron Williams.
What do you think of our trades? Any you’d propose?
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