Utah Jazz: Ranking Two Decades Worth of Trade Deadline Deals

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2) The Jeff Hornacek Trade, February 24 1994

The Jazz move Jeff Malone and a first round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Jeff Hornacek, Sean Green and a second round draft pick.

This was the deal that changed it all for the Jazz. After bringing “Horny” into the fold, the Jazz went from the team that lost in the playoffs in the Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle SuperSonics and Houston Rockets to the class of the Western Conference. He was the ultimate number three to Karl Malone and John Stockton and helped lead the Jazz to two NBA Finals.

Ironically, this trade irked yours truly more than any that the team made had before (or since) at the time. While I respected Hornacek as a player, Jeff Malone had been a 20-point scorer for the Jazz and one of the team’s cornerstones during my years as a young Jazz fan.

Of course, Malone was on his last legs and Hornacek had more range, was a better defender and could run the offense, but I digress. Such is the folly of youth.

In six-plus season with the Jazz, Hornacek averaged 14.4 points per game, while shooting an incredible 49 percent from the field, just under 43 percent from three-point range and nearly 90 percent from the free-throw line. His No. 14 now hangs in the rafters at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

Next: No. 1: The Infamous Knicks Pick