First off, Salt City Hoops has a lot of great NBA trade deadline material. If you’ve not done so, check out Dan Clayton’s perspectives on each team’s outlook for trades, both in the Eastern and Western Conferences. Denim Millward also lays things out quite well and predicts that the deadline comes and goes quietly for the Utah Jazz. Only time will tell.
So far, the rumor mill has been humming loudly, with many names and deals circulating out there. It may not be everyone’s thing, but count me as one who likes himself a good rumor. Or two. Or twenty.
As it typically the case, the Utah Jazz have not been tied to many of these rumors. Perhaps that’s a precursor to something actually happening, seeing as the franchise is notoriously tight-lipped. Last year, some rumors came out, but mostly after talks (whether or not they actually took place or not) did not pan out.
Yesterday, A. Sherrod Blakely and CSNNE.com reported–to no one’s surprise–that the Boston Celtics have interest in Gordon Hayward. That has been mentioned often the past two months, including the one and only Bill Simmons (always looking out for a deal that helps his beloved Cs). Obviously people connect the dots because of the Butler connection between Hayward and Boston head coach Brad Stevens. The report mentions the Jazz being reticent of bringing back mercurial Rajon Rondo (fearing he would not re-sign in Utah after 2015) or Jeff Green and that the Celtics are leery of including any picks from their incredibly massive hoard of them. So then, how exactly would a deal get done? Your guess is as good as mine.
More importantly, Hayward is a talent that a lot of teams would love to have on their roster (and not just Boston), but as Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk asserts, that does not mean the swingman changes locations. And I mostly agree. The Jazz brass are high on Hayward, but at the same time, I think if a killer deal was presented, they would listen. Boston and the Phoenix Suns both make sense both with coaching (Jeff Hornacek) and their litany of draft picks and young players.
Now, how about a little ESPN Trade Machine fun? Heaven bless the individual who created this, by the way. Here are a few trades that would make some sense from a Utah Jazz perspective. To absolutely clarify, these are just one person’s takes. Our friends Clark Schmutz and Peter J. Novak at SLC Dunk also had some great trade suggestions for the Jazz.
Utah trades forward Marvin Williams and swingman Brandon Rush to the Charlotte Bobcats for guard Ben Gordon and a draft pick. (here is the deal on the Trade Machine)
By all accounts, the Bobcats are buyers with the postseason as their goal. Al Jefferson is doing everything in his power to propel them there, but they could use some depth, scoring and shooting (thus the rumors around guys like Evan Turner and Gary Neal). Enter Williams and Rush. This would be essentially trading expirings for expirings, but would add two guys who could fit into the Charlotte rotation for a guy who is not playing at all. They would provide some perimeter marksmanship, with Williams being the key. The Bobcats have a few picks, so might be willing to part with one of them. Lastly, Williams would be back home in North Carolina–something that might appeal to Michael Jordan.
Utah trades forward Richard Jefferson to the Milwaukee Bucks for forward Ersan Ilyasova and big man Ekpe Udoh. (the deal on the Trade Machine)
It sounds like almost everyone on the Milwaukee roster is available, especially with the Bucks the clear “leaders” in the tanking game. This move would enable them to shed Ilyasova’s long-term deal. Now, in this scenario, the Jazz would have to view him as a piece to the puzzle, thanks to his ability to be a true stretch four. He can definitely shoot and is a decent rebounder, things that could complement Derrick Favors up front. The Jazz want to maintain financial flexibility moving forward, but I think would take on money if it meant they got a guy they like. Udoh is a decent back-up big.
Utah trades John Lucas III and a second-round pick to the Sacramento Kings for guard Jimmer Fredette (this trade on the Trade Machine)
This is mostly to see if you were paying attention. There’s no lightning rod like Jimmer amongst Utah Jazz fans. But this actually would make some sense…
Another team to watch is the Los Angeles Clippers. With their desire to inject some front court depth, perhaps Marvin Williams would be of interest. They are said to be dangling Jared Dudley and Matt Barnes. While neither of these guys makes sense for Utah, should a pick or Reggie Bullock be included, perhaps it might get Utah’s attention.
Any trade thoughts or suggestions? Feel free to share in the comments. You may now go back to refreshing Twitter.