Utah Jazz: Best Trade Options for Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson
Although the trade rumors surrounding Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson have been quiet these past few weeks, the Utah Jazz are perhaps still looking for the best opportunity to land a quality player that can help the rebuilding process.
With all of the players mentioned to be on the trading block for the past several weeks, everyone seemed to forget that the Jazz are in possession of two of the highest-caliber players, who they are looking to deal under the right circumstances (per NBC Sports).
What are some valuable pieces that the Jazz can get in return for either Millsap or Jefferson? This slideshow will break down a couple of potential trades that could help the team's rebuilding efforts going forward if they jettison one of their two best players.
Jefferson and Mo Williams to the Clippers for Bledsoe, Jordan, Butler
This trade will work out for both parties, though it's unlikely that the Los Angeles Clippers will look to make a move with their current success unless it's a deal that is clearly favorable for them.
Even though the Clippers look like the most balanced team in the NBA, they still lack a reliable post scorer who can get points on the interior at will. Blake Griffin has an improving post game, but his work down low is far from brilliant.
Jefferson would be the last missing piece to the Clippers if they were willing to accept his strengths and weaknesses as well. With their depth, he certainly won't hurt them as significantly on defense as one might think.
Mo Williams would fit right in after reuniting with the Clippers and could substitute as the backup point guard once again.
On the other hand, the Jazz get two quality young players in Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan. Bledsoe would be a perfect match for a team with a bunch of young, talented players looking to succeed in the near future. Although learning from Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups has drastically helped Bledsoe, he's a capable starting point guard in this league, and he's too talented to be buried on a deep Clippers bench.
Jordan would probably have to fight for minutes with two of the current young bigs on the Jazz—Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.
However, Jordan still has a lot of room to grow as well, and it's not like he was averaging 40 minutes per game as a starter for the Clippers. He's actually just playing 24.5 minutes a contest and won't stunt the development of Favors or Kanter that much.
Caron Butler can provide some veteran leadership and shooting to a group of young players who won't have many experienced voices in the locker room if Millsap and Jefferson do leave.
Millsap to the Rockets for Patterson, Delfino, Jones, Douglas
Although I wouldn't like to see Paul Millsap traded in the first place, it's unlikely that the Jazz would risk a hard hit to their salary cap if they sign Millsap to a large contract in the offseason, which he'll most likely demand.
The Houston Rockets have a lot of salary-cap flexibility while stockpiling quality lottery picks and young prospects the last few years. According to a report, the Rockets are "highly interested" in Millsap, which definitely isn't a surprise considering they're in need of a quality power forward.
Coincidentally enough, the Rockets are loaded with young players and unproven prospects at the 4. Patrick Patterson is arguably their most complete power forward right now, but Terrence Jones has incredible potential, which he probably won't be able to display because of the Rockets' situation.
Carlos Delfino is a tough, veteran small forward who has shot the lights out of the building from three-point land on multiple occasions this season. He's shooting a solid 39 percent from beyond the arc this season, and his ability to pass and stretch the floor is always a plus.
Douglas is basically a throw-in, but he's still a decent role player off the bench that can fill in at either guard spots, depending on what the team needs. He also has an expiring contract, so the Jazz can decide not to keep him.
Millsap and Marvin Williams to the Pacers for West, Green, Augustin
The Indiana Pacers are playing exceptional basketball, largely due to Paul George's emergence and David West being David West.
However, this Pacers team isn't expected to win a championship, even if Danny Granger returns to the lineup. With West in his last year of his contract, it's unclear if he still wants to remain with the team and if the Pacers management wants to offer West a pricey contract at the end of the season.
Millsap can fill in the void left behind at the starting power forward position, while the Jazz would also receive another versatile swing man in Gerald Green and a young, backup point guard in D.J. Augustin.
With no disrespect to Millsap, West is a great leader and voice in the locker room who can certainly help out this group of young Jazz players as the team builds for the future.
At 32 years of age, West looks like he only has a couple of years left, but his pace and style of play should keep him around for a while. He can still ball and could provide valuable minutes if he starts, or comes off the bench to give Derrick Favors more playing time to grow and improve.
West is due $10 million on the last year of his expiring contract, so it's certainly a gamble if the Jazz can't keep him around—but it will benefit them greatly if they do retain him.
Jefferson to the Raptors for Calderon, Davis, Ross
If the Toronto Raptors want to work out a deal for Jefferson, this is probably the best deal available for the Jazz, because it doesn't include Andrea Bargnani.
Ed Davis and Terrence Ross are both young prospects with plenty of potential, but the Raptors already locked up two young players with similar skill sets—Amir Johnson and DeMar DeRozan.
Johnson is still signed for three more seasons, while DeRozan recently signed a $40 million extension in the offseason. Usually rebuilding teams would be holding on to young talent, but in the Raptors' case, they've already decided on the young players they want to move forward with.
Jefferson will slip into the 5 spot right away and provide a proven scoring presence in the paint on a team that lacks prominent scorers.
Ross and Davis are both exceptional athletes with mile-high potentials. Ross is a great shooter and slasher with the length and quickness to bother any guard on the defensive end.
Davis, on the other hand, has the speed and grit to match up against most power forwards, while averaging a 16.7-percent rebounding rate so far this season (per Basketball Reference). He still lacks a reliable post game and shooting touch, but his hustle and toughness would be a nice addition to the Jazz.
Calderon comes with an expiring contract, so the Jazz can decide whether or not to keep him after this season. He's still one of the most efficient point guards in the league, leading all players in assist-turnover ratio for the second consecutive year.
Jefferson to the Sixers for Thaddeus Young, Wright, Allen
Although the decorated center stated he would be back this season, the trade deadline is getting close, and he hasn't played yet. It isn't a guarantee that a rebuilding Sixers team would sign the 25-year-old Bynum to a bloated contract, as it may hinder the team's future potential if he doesn't come back to the court.
Jefferson could fill his spot instead, as he's almost just as dominant on offense. The Sixers' current starting center, Lavoy Allen, is undersized for the position, and backup center Spencer Hawes has a post game that's hard to look at. Jefferson suffered some nagging injuries recently, but he has proven that he can produce at a high level for multiple seasons in a row and is a more insured option over Bynum at this point.
The Jazz would receive the proficient tweener and matchup nightmare Thaddeus Young, as well as a young, hardworking big man in Lavoy Allen. Dorell Wright is basically just a throw-in because of his expiring contract, but he's still a prominent shooter and a great defender.
Young had high hopes coming into the season, and he has delivered. The dude has executed the hybrid forward position to perfection, and his defense has improved as well.
At only 24 years of age, Young would fit in perfectly with this Jazz team. Although his play this season has been overshadowed by another young player in Jrue Holiday, he's definitely one of the most underrated offensive players in the league.