NBA Trade Rumors: Jazz's Joe Ingles Mentioned in Talks Since 2021 NBA Draft

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 29, 2021

SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 27: Joe Ingles #2 of the Utah Jazz dribbles the ball during the game against the San Antonio Spurs on December 27, 2021 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images)
Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images

If the Utah Jazz are going to upgrade the roster around star Donovan Mitchell and center Rudy Gobert, don't be surprised if veteran wing Joe Ingles is in the outgoing trade package. 

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported "Ingles' name has come up since the draft in trade talks, according to rival executives I've spoken to. It's unclear who's initiating that, but his name has been brought up. You have to wonder if the trade talks have gotten to him because he's having a down season compared to last year."

Ingles, 34, has spent his entire eight-year NBA career with the Jazz, providing the team with excellent playmaking, defense and perimeter shooting. For his career, he's averaged 8.7 points and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 41.3 percent from three. 

But he's having something a down year for the Jazz this season, averaging 8.1 points and 3.6 assists while shooting 38.9 percent from three in 33 games (seven starts). Hardly shabby numbers compared to his career averages, but well below the 12.1 points, 4.7 assists and 45.1 percent from three he averaged last season. 

He also started more regularly last season (30 of 67 appearances), though the Jazz have largely rolled out a starting group of Mitchell, Gobert, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O'Neale this year, which isn't likely to change anytime soon. That starting group is outscoring opponents by 11.8 points per 100 possessions, per NBA.com, across a sample size of 412 minutes.

So there isn't much incentive for the 24-9 Jazz to mess with a good thing when it comes to their starting 5.

Another factor to consider is that Ingles will be a free agent after the season, and it might be tough for the Jazz to bring him back unless he's willing to take a pay cut from the $12.4 million he's making this year.

The team currently has $143.2 million already on the books for the 2022-23 season, per Spotrac, with players like Gobert ($38.1 million), Mitchell ($30.3 million), Conley ($22.6 million), Bogdanovic ($19.3 million), Jordan Clarkson ($13.3 million) and O'Neale ($9.2 million) carrying significant cap hits. 

So Ingles may be able to get a bigger offer elsewhere than the Jazz will be able to make. The end of his time in Utah might be on the horizon, trade or not.

It would be a big loss, no doubt—Ingles is a respected veteran who has contributed in a lot of different ways for the Jazz during his career. But if the Jazz are in the market for a bigger fish, Ingles would make sense as one of the outgoing pieces.