Utah Jazz: 5 Potential Deadline Deals for the Jazz

Broox Anderson@@BrooxAndersonCorrespondent IIIFebruary 15, 2013

Utah Jazz: 5 Potential Deadline Deals for the Jazz

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    In the wake of the Deron Williams era: The Utah Jazz management has reached an acting point.

    A deal by the trade deadline (February 21) will almost inevitably occur. They've hired Dennis Lindsey to operate the general manager position under longtime GM Kevin O'Connor. Lindsey has brought in his incorporation of advanced statistics to aid in the process of rebuilding this formerly-elite Jazz team.

    The heralded situation in Utah is their inability to re-sign both of their foremost players—Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, who are on expiring deals—for fear of incapacitating their glutton of cap space and ability to sign young stars Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors to long term agreements in the following seasons.

    A subsidiary of the aforementioned problem is the rising performance of Jefferson and Millsap's backups Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors.

    The potential of Favors and Kanter alone could instigate a deal. Throwing fuel to the fire in the form of cap space oppression and ability to re-sign promising young players, it becomes glaringly apparent that a trade will be made. If not by the deadline, then before Millsap and Jefferson's contracts expire on July 1.

    Following are five ideal trades for the Utah Jazz—with the upcoming NBA trade deadline in mind.

5. Pacers Deal (An Unrealistic Trade)

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    Realistic chance of this happening: less than 10 percent.

    The deal:

    Danny Granger G/F, DJ Augustin PG, Miles Plumlee F/C to Utah; Paul Millsap F, Marvin Williams F, Jamaal Tinsley PG to Indiana.

    Why it makes sense:

    In the first deal, Utah picks up a formidable backcourt star that plays the game on both ends of the floor in Danny Granger. The Jazz also pick up a young, real backup or starting point guard in DJ Augustin and a ferocious rebounding big to come off the bench in Miles Plumlee.

    Why it makes sense:

    Indiana retains their All-Star guard in Paul George while further freeing up his playing time and establishing his "number one" presence on the team by ridding themselves of Danny Granger. To perfectly complement George, they add a do-everything forward who knows his role in Marvin Williams. Jamaal Tinsley is reunited with the Pacers, where he played the glory days of his career.

    The real prize for Indiana in this deal is Paul Millsap, who will more than certainly start for the Pacers. David West would move out of the starting lineup and deepen the roster's notoriously weak bench. The only red flag in this deal for Indiana would be re-signing Paul Millsap in the offseason.

4. Toronto Deal (A 'Derrick Favors' Trade)

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    Realistic chance of this happening: less than 10 percent.

    The deal:

    Amir Johnson F/C, Nick Young G, 1RD pick via Toronto to Utah; Paul Millsap F, Spencer Hawes F/C to Toronto; Andrea Bargnani F/C, Raja Bell G, second-round pick via Toronto to Philadelphia. Toronto also surrenders its first-round pick to Utah along with a future second-round pick to Philadelphia.

    Why it works:

    Utah ends up receiving Amir Johnson to back up the power forward, and occasionally center, position off the bench in this deal. They save roughly $400,000 in owed salary and bring in a young guard prospect—Nick Young—on an expiring deal.

    The real sweetener for Utah is the freed-up playing time for Derrick Favors and the mouth-watering likely lottery-to-high-teens pick from Toronto that they could use to address their point guard positional needs. (Trey Burke, anyone?)

    Why it works:

    The Raptors have been rumored to have unfinished business on the trade front. Toronto shifts wholeheartedly into win-now mode by adding a dangerous piece in Paul Millsap along with a solid reserve in Spencer Hawes.

    Toronto needs to shore up the power forward position, and this trade fills a need while boosting them into top-four Eastern Conference status. Their first-round pick is an afterthought at this point, on its way to Utah, synonymous to their second-round pick that took flight and landed in Philly.

    Why it works:

    Philadelphia is in desperate need of a frontcourt presence while Andrew Bynum's status and future is murky at best. Here, they add a deadly threat in Andrea Bargnani to seal up their shooting woes and bolster their frontcourt moving forward.

    When Bynum returns (or if?), he'll have a complementary piece that can draw defensive assignments away from the basket, leaving Bynum to wreak havoc in the paint, and vise versa. This would allow Bargnani to nail jumpers and short-to-midrange shots while the opposition is consumed with double-teaming Bynum.

3. Nets Deal (A Trade for the Future)

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    Realistic chance of this happening: more than 20 percent.

    The deal:

    Marshon Brooks G, Tyshawn Taylor G, first-round pick via Charlotte to Utah; Paul Millsap F, Tyrus Thomas F to Brooklyn; Kris Humphries F to Charlotte. Charlotte also surrenders the rights to Portland's 2013 first round pick to Utah (top twelve protected).

    Why it works:

    Utah accumulates more young talent in this trade while jettisoning Millsap and his expiring contract. The Nets have reportedly been interested in acquiring Millsap. The Jazz receive a likely lottery pick from Charlotte (via Portland), albeit in a weak draft, a scoring threat at the two-guard position in Marshon Brooks, and an athletic, young point guard in Tyshawn Taylor.

    Why it works:

    Brooklyn apparently has interest in Utah's Paul Millsap, and they could swing a deal for him before the deadline. They rid themselves of Kris Humphries's contract and bad attitude, while taking on Tyrus Thomas and his contract in order to snag Millsap's talents from Utah.

    Why it works:

    Charlotte has reportedly been interested in Kris Humphries, who needs a change of scenery from Brooklyn after falling out of favor with Coach Carlesimo.

    In this trade, they deal themselves out of the lower-lottery of a "weak draft" while retaining their likely first overall pick. Humphries could thrive with the Bobcats, whereas Tyrus Thomas's outgoing talents were wasting away on the bench.

2. Spurs Deal (A Balancing Trade)

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    Realistic chance of this happening: more than 40 percent.

    The deal:

    Tiago Splitter F/C, Patty Mills PG, Stephen Jackson G/F to Utah; Al Jefferson C/F, Raja Bell G to San Antonio.

    Why it works:

    Utah needs to trade one, or both, of their starting big men to open up cap flexibility and playing time for Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.

    In this deal, they acquire a solid backup center/forward in Tiago Splitter, a possible starter at the point in Patty Mills and a dynamic wing (who might not fit so well in Utah) on an expiring deal—Stephen Jackson. The Jazz also rid themselves of Raja Bell's contract for this season. However, with the addition of three new players, they would have to assign guard Kevin Murphy to the D-League. This deal has been rumored here.

    Why it works:

    Tim Duncan isn't the force he once was. While he has adapted to his age and decline in prowess nicely, he needs a partner in crime down low.

    Enter Al Jefferson. One of the best low-post scorers in the game. Jefferson could open things up nicely for an already fluent San Antonio offense. He provides offensive heft without too much defensive liability on a solid Spurs roster. The Spurs take on Bell's contract this season and could possibly coax him into putting on a jersey for the duration.


    The Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs swapped front office pieces prior to this season. Dennis Lindsey, former assistant GM for the Spurs, was hired by Utah to undertake the general manager position beneath Kevin O'Connor.

    The Spurs then interviewed and hired assistant coach for the Utah Jazz Scott Layden to Lindsey's former position. Communication and familiarity could pose as a catalyst for a Utah-SA deal.

1. Clippers Deal (An Ideal Trade)

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    Realistic chance of this happening: more than 40 percent.

    The deal:

    Eric Bledsoe PG to Utah; Nene C/F to Los Angeles; Deandre Jordan C, Jamaal Tinsley PG, first-round pick from Utah via Golden State, second-round pick via Utah to Washington. Utah also surrenders Golden State's first-round pick in 2013 to Washington (top seven protected) and a second-round pick.

    Why it works:

    Jazz fans everywhere will be happy with this deal. Why? Utah acquires one of the NBA's most athletic, young point guards.

    Bledsoe plays defense at his position about as well as Derrick Favors defends the league's top power forwards. The already bright future of the Jazz gleams even brighter with the addition of a true young point guard to join the "Core Four" (Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Enes Kanter) who will assume a position to lead them back into contention.

    Why it works:

    The Clippers won't part with their coveted, young backup easily. However, if a deal were to come across in which Los Angeles has the opportunity to add a player like Nene from the Wizards, Bledsoe suddenly becomes expendable.

    With Chauncey Billups returning from injury, the Clippers no longer need such immense depth at the point. Where they do need some bolstering, on the other hand, is in the middle.

    Nene is ferociously athletic enough to thrive in Coach Del Negro's system, while providing a solid upgrade in defense, low-post scoring and rebounding on both ends of the floor compared to Deandre Jordan. The Clippers have needed a traditional go-to scorer on the block all season. This trade would put them over the top without sacrificing more than a backup guard and an offensively handicapped center.

    Why it works:

    Washington has its eyes on the playoffs, but to the rest of the association that seems highly unlikely at this point. I

    n this three-way trade, the Wizards accumulate a young, highly athletic center in Deandre Jordan to pair with John Wall. They add a veteran presence in Jamaal Tinsley to further sustain a winning attitude in the locker room, while tying it all together with an enticing first-round pick that could fall anywhere from just outside the lottery to the early 20s and a second-round pick.

Do They Stand Pat?

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    Realistic chance of this happening: about 70 percent.

    It's a possibility; a very enticing possibility. The Jazz sat out the trade deadline last year, and there's a general vibe around the team's executives and players that this may be the case again this year.

    Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap recently caught fire before the All-Star break and knocked off the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road after annihilating the Oklahoma City Thunder at home. It's hard to pull the trigger on a deal when your team begins to round into form and perform according to expectations.

    In the end, it will be up to the Miller family, Dennis Lindsey, and the coaches to come together to make a decision regarding the future of professional basketball in Utah.

    Do we ride out the teams success and try to meet our goals for this season?

    Or do we send off one, if not two, of our best players and bank on a rocky ride back to the top four of the Western Conference?

    All will be decided in the next few days.


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