Utah Jazz Trade Rumors: Al Jefferson or Gordon Hayward Could Be Traded

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Utah Jazz Trade Rumors: Al Jefferson or Gordon Hayward Could Be Traded
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

In the beginning of the season, Al Jefferson was considered one of the Utah Jazz players who was likely going to be dealt before the trade deadline. Most recently, Jefferson was rumored to be in trade conversations with the San Antonio Spurs (via Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops).

According to Paul Coro of Azcentral Sports, the Phoenix Suns are another team in the running to land Jefferson, but they are also interested in the Jazz's young versatile swingman, Gordon Hayward:

The Suns also have shown interest in a bigger splash for Utah’s Al Jefferson or Gordon Hayward. Dudley could be a part of either of those deals with center Marcin Gortat likely needed to make one work for Jefferson, a 28-year-old power forward who makes $14 million and is averaging 17.4 points and 9.5 rebounds. Hayward, a 22-year-old swingman, is averaging 13.5 points in a reserve role.

 

Jefferson will most likely demand a hefty contract during the offseason and a small-market team like the Jazz would probably not offer him one, especially since they have already found their two future big men—Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.

The Suns could offer a package surrounding Marcin Gortat for Jefferson, and this trade would help both teams. Gortat turned down a multi-year contract offer earlier this season (via AOL Sporting News), so it's unlikely that he will remain with the Suns if he demands more money. 

If the Suns end up giving Gortat and Jared Dudley for Jefferson, the Jazz would get rid of his bloated contract for some quality veterans on more reasonable contracts. 

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As for Hayward, I highly doubt that the Jazz would take any offer for him at the moment, considering that he is one of the future building blocks on this young team. He is a versatile, two-way swing-man who has incredible potential, and will only get better from here on out.

If the Suns want to make an assertive effort to land both Jefferson and Hayward, they'll probably have to give up more than just Dudley and Gortat. I can't even see the Jazz accepting a bigger package including picks and other young players because Hayward's ability and skills are a rarity in this league.

The only way I can see a deal happening between the Suns and Jazz is if Kendall Marshall is included in the deal. Mo Williams is a capable playmaker, but it's unlikely he would be the future point guard for the Jazz as they move forward.

Even so, I wouldn't trade a proven young player in Hayward for an unproven rookie point guard who has only played 18 NBA games. 

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