Jun. 29, 2017
Possible trades to improve the Jazz
The season is officially over, and now the focus shifts to next season. Each team knows that they have to improve, and are looking for ways to do that. The Jazz had a great season, but still need to improve to achieve the ultimate goal. I don't feel the Jazz are willing to part with enough assets to make a blockbuster trade. However, there are still ways to improve the roster. My first trade option is one that I feel benefits both sides:
San Antonio Receives: Boris Diaw
Utah Receives: Pau Gasol
It's no secret that the Spurs would like to add Chris Paul to the mix. In order to do so, they will need to clear cap space. Pau will not turn down his player option, as it is likely the largest amount of money he will make before he calls it a career. Trading Gasol for Diaw is a big benefit for San Antonio. They can waive Diaw, and have cleared over 16 million dollars in the process. They will still have work to do, but that is a big step.
This helps Utah, because it solidifies the front court. The Jazz can play Gasol with either Gobert or Favors and be effective. Gasol can start or come off the bench and make an impact. He has championship experience and can continue to help the growth of this young squad. This should appeal to Hayward, as this is a win now move and Gasol is an upgrade from Diaw at this point in their careers.
Trade option number two:
Phoenix receives: Trey Lyles, Alec Burks, 2017 first round pick
Utah receives: Eric Bledsoe
In this scenario, I assume that Phoenix drafts De'Aaron Fox 4th overall in the upcoming draft. They then are ready to make a decision to move forward with the youth movement and have Fox and Booker be their backcourt of the future. With this trade they get a talented big in Lyles that can play in a fast paced system and be allowed to make mistakes and grow. They get Alec Burks, who when healthy is a versatile player and can be a valuable 6th man. They also get a first round pick this year, which can prove to be valuable if used properly. They get a good haul for a player who doesn't fit where they are right now.
The Jazz get a point guard who they can have locked in for a while. This is another win now move, and comes at a big cost. With Bledsoe running the point, the Jazz add offensive versatility, and a good defender. Bledsoe hasn't had to play winning basketball for a while, but with this trade, he gets the opportunity to push the Jazz to become the second best team in the west.
Trade option number three (this is a total pipe dream):
Golden State receives: Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood, 2017 first round pick, right to swap 2018 first round pick
Utah receives: Klay Thompson
I don't think Golden State will trade anyone, nor should they. Since I can dream, dream I will. Golden State will eventually run into issues with money, who gets the ball, and the ego's of players. I think that Klay Thompson is, and will be the odd man out. In this trade, they get Rodney Hood who can be the starting shooting guard and will not need as many shots as Klay. He is a good shooter, and will improve with being on such a talented team. They get Derrick Favors, who can be their starting center. He is is a tough defender, rebounder, is good in the pick and roll, and is far better than any center they have right now. With pressure taken off Hood and Favors, they improve exponentially, and Golden State possibly gets better on defense. With the salaries that they will need to pay out, they will need rookie contracts, which is an added benefit of the first round picks.
Utah gets its third star. With Hayward, Gobert, and Thompson, the Jazz become the obvious contenders to the Warriors. Thompson will be out to prove that the Warriors made a mistake by letting him go. The Jazz become an extremely dominant defensive team, and Thompson becomes the unquestionable best shooting guard in the league. The western conference finals between these two teams will be must see TV. Although this is likely only an NBA2k type of trade, it would make for good television.