Several NBA trade rumors are swirling across the league, but more than likely the Utah Jazz should avoid getting caught up in the mix.
Although with August quickly approaching, one might surmise that the NBA offseason is largely reaching its slow point, it just so happens that there could be a couple of blockbuster moves still in the works. Both Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving have expressed their discontent with their current teams – the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively – and as such the rumor mill regarding those two stars continues to churn full force.
And although the Utah Jazz almost certainly aren’t in the actual sweepstakes to ultimately land one of those players (despite former Irving-to-Utah rumblings) there’s still the chance that if occasion required or the opportunity seemed befitting, the Jazz could participate as a third team to help facilitate a deal and perhaps make a swap to add some additional talent to their ranks.
This would of course include giving up something up in return, which wouldn’t necessarily be the most favorable course of action in the eyes of certain Jazz fans depending on who the team had to trade away, but without a doubt Dennis Lindsey and the rest of Jazz brass are going to look to take advantage of any opportunity that they feel will make them better.
However, except when a team finds itself with a legitimate and often small championship window, typically a move to get better includes thinking above all with a long-term plan in mind. And given that the Jazz will certainly undergo a bit of a transition year as they look to rebound from the loss of Gordon Hayward, it could very well be in their best interest to not jump to make a hasty move, even if it improves them momentarily but could hurt them in the long haul.
In other words, even if by some off chance the Jazz were in serious trade discussions for an elite player such as Kyrie Irving – a player that they were recently reported to have expressed interest in for several years – they would need to be careful to not give up too much to the point that it would handicap them in the future, especially if it ended up resulting that Irving opted not to stay put once his contract expired, which would seem to be the likely outcome.
That, of course, is operating under the highly unlikely scenario that the Jazz would be involved in trade talks specifically for Irving and in reality it’s much more likely that any discussions they may be participating in would be for lesser players to help facilitate a deal. However, if that is the case, then I have a hard time believing that the Jazz would be in line to add any players that would particularly push the needle and thus the concern about making moves to improve now while risking success in the future comes into play once again.
And quite frankly, I think the Jazz ought to view 2017-18 as a year in which to evaluate for the future to see which players will fit into the long term plans and which ones may need to be reevaluated. So many of them, such as Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood and Dante Exum, have a severe need to re-solidify their worth this season and given that Utah’s championship hopes are bleak at best right now, they would do well to be patient rather than prematurely trade away any of those guys in a move that could come back to haunt them down the road.
At the conclusion of what should be a very telling 2017-18 season or perhaps at this season’s trade deadline, then I would be more than fine with the Jazz looking to shake things up and make changes to improve once they have a better understanding of what they have on their roster. Who can stay healthy, who can step up, who’s ready to take a leap this year – all of those are valid considerations that the Jazz need to bear in mind.
But for now, the Jazz ought to stand pat. They have a group of very likable guys who all seem bought in with the team and could end up having a surprisingly impressive chemistry while turning into a formidable defensive force. Several of their players have a lot to prove and in most cases they’ll have ample opportunity to do so.
Even though there very well could be some tempting offers on the table as teams look to add guys like Anthony and Irving to their ranks, I would still be surprised if the Jazz pull the trigger on anything. They already made a handful of savvy moves such as the trade for Ricky Rubio and the free agent signings of Thabo Sefolosha, Jonas Jerebko and Ekpe Udoh, and my guess is that from here the Jazz decide to ride that new roster into the 2017-18 season.
And barring an unforeseen trade proposal that the Jazz simply can’t refuse – the like of which I don’t foresee coming about – that’s exactly what I hope they do. Even if a trade for Kyrie Irving were a legitimate possibility, it would likely require too big of a haul and any side deal made to facilitate such a transaction for another team, would probably end up being little more than a lateral move for the Jazz.
They’d be much better served waiting to see just what this new team is going to be made out of then making big trade decisions from there.