The Milwaukee Bucks reportedly expressed interest in trading for Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson this offseason but were unable to reach a trade agreement.
"Milwaukee showed a lot of interest in him," Tony Jones of The Athletic said on The Bill Riley Show. "But the Jazz would have had to take back George Hill in a potential trade, and they weren’t going to do that. That was kind of a non-starter for them. But other than Milwaukee, I don’t think there’s really been a serious suitor for Jordan."
Clarkson is one of several Jazz veterans who could likely be had via trade for the right price as the team embarks on a rebuild. Utah already traded Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanović and Patrick Beverley earlier this offseason.
Clarkson, 30, will make $13.3 million this season and has a player option at $14.3 million for 2023-24. He averaged 16.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 41.9 percent from the floor last season, continuing to stand out as one of the league's premier bench scorers.
The Bucks have quietly been aggressive on the trade market looking to fill out their roster. ESPN's Zach Lowe reported Milwaukee expressed interest in Jerami Grant before he was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers, and they're expected to be in the race for disgruntled Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder.
From a Jazz perspective, it seems a little odd that taking back the contract of George Hill was a "nonstarter" in Clarkson trade talks. Hill will make just $4 million this season, a pittance in NBA salary circles. While he does not fit in the team's window, Hill could take a buyout for $1.3 million and then sign elsewhere for his veteran's minimum ($2.7 million) and still make the same salary. That's a small cost of business at the NBA level, particularly if there were draft picks involved in Milwaukee's offer.
The Suns could use Hill as part of their rotation, so Milwaukee may find a more natural trade fit in Crowder.