Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz Rumors: Buying or Selling Gossip Ahead of 2014 NBA Draft

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2014

Utah Jazz Rumors: Buying or Selling Gossip Ahead of 2014 NBA Draft

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    Trey Burke wants to know, too: Are the rumors true?
    Trey Burke wants to know, too: Are the rumors true?Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    The Utah Jazz hold the No. 5 and No. 23 overall picks in the 2014 NBA draft, and rumors have become a typhoon—they are no longer merely swirling.

    Whether it be which player the Jazz are likely to choose or Utah shipping selections elsewhere, validity of the news is constantly questioned.

    And so, the multimillion-dollar question: Are we buying or selling the latest gossip?

    Draft day is approaching quickly, and Bleacher Report is here to make sense of the recent buzz surrounding Utah's first-round selections.

     

    Note: All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Joel Embiid's Surgery Opens Door for Jazz

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Pegged as the likely No. 1 selection, any team desiring Joel Embiid would be required to make a trade with the Cleveland CavaliersMitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News suggested the Jazz could package Enes Kanter, the No. 5 pick and a future first-rounder to move up for the center.

    But the 7-footer recently suffered a stress fracture in his foot, and there is a very real possibility he drops to the fifth spot.

    Picture this: Cleveland takes Embiid's college teammate in Andrew Wiggins and the Milwaukee Bucks tab Jabari Parker. The Philadelphia 76ers are still anticipating Nerlens Noel's debut and the Orlando Magic already have Nikola Vucevic.

    All of the sudden, Utah is in perfect position for what could be the steal of the draft in five years.

    Verdict: Buy

Julius Randle Workout Heightens Jazz Interest

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    ESPN's Andy Katz tweeted that Julius Randle, during his workout for Utah, "didn't show signs of foot issue, but teams are suggesting surgery to prevent later damage."

    Though the Kentucky product's foot injury is becoming less of a concern, better options exist for the Jazz early in the first round.

    Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey said, "If Utah stays at 5, I'd prefer they went with [Aaron] Gordon or [Noah] Vonleh over Randle because of their defensive potential. I'm worried he won't be able to bully NBA players the way he did in college."

    Besides, if the Jazz are not trading this selection, it means they are looking to pair Derrick Favors with another young power forward or center.

    Verdict: Sell

Jazz Flipping Picks with Milwaukee

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required) notes Utah is among a trio of teams in talks with Milwaukee about the second overall pick.

    Both Parker and Wiggins would be excellent additions to the Jazz, especially considering Gordon Hayward is set to receive a sizable offer in restricted free agency and could head elsewhere.

    But this would mean the franchise is ready to give up on the 22-year-old Favors. The Jazz would almost certainly be requested to swap Favors and the No. 23 selection for either heralded small forward.

    If Utah were to make this trade, the front office is looking toward the 2015 draft to complete the team's top-seven rotation. The appeal in moving up for Parker or Wiggins is obvious, but another season of mediocrity consequently awaits the Jazz.

    Verdict: Buy Interest, Sell Execution

Utah Has No Interest in Marcus Smart

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    Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    Though since deleted, Marcus Smart replied to a Twitter question and said Utah was not interested in him.

    However, Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune quoted Jazz Vice President of Player Personnel Walt Perrin of saying Utah is indeed tracking the 2013 second-team All-American.

    Additionally, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (h/t Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk) says the franchise has attempted to bring in the Oklahoma State guard for a workout...four times.

    Is there any chance Smart was potentially attempting to distance himself from the Jazz? Sure, but Utah could simply take him on Thursday evening anyway, even with the current guard pairing of Trey Burke and Alec Burks.

    Bailey believes Smart represents a "huge upgrade over Burke. The size and athleticism of a Smart/Burks backcourt would be killer."

    Ultimately, the Jazz would not be smart to have no interest. See what I did there? Yeah, it was pretty lame. Sell this rumor hard, just like we're selling my ability to tell jokes.

    Verdict: Sell

Draft-Shaking Trade with Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Via Jody Genessy of the Deseret News, 1280 The Zone host Spencer Checketts reported on his radio show that Utah and the Cleveland Cavaliers may be approaching a draft-shaking trade.

    The reported deal would send Alec Burks, Derrick Favors and the the fifth pick to Cleveland in exchange for the top overall selection and veteran journeyman Jarrett Jack.

    Moving forward, the team's starting lineup would be something like Burke, Jack, Hayward/Wiggins/Parker, Kanter and maybe Jeremy Evans?

    To put it more succinctly, this would be a franchise-depleting transaction. For the sake of Jazz faithful, this rumor better not have any validity to begin with.

    Otherwise, some front-office changes need to be made before Burke is moved for half a cheese pizza, two tickets to a Broadway show and a gently used gaming system.

    Verdict: Sell

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