Utah Jazz trade rumors: Teams inquiring about Raul Neto


In a recent podcast, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune mentioned that Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto is drawing significant interest from teams around the league.

Good news, Utah Jazz fans! We are officially less than two weeks away from the NBA trade deadline! An otherwise disappointing season so far for the Jazz could receive an injection of excitement as a few much-needed shakeups could very well change the dynamic and outlook of the team moving forward.

We’ve already reported on a number of trade rumors surrounding the Utah Jazz including the likes of Rodney Hood, Derrick Favors, Joe Johnson, Alec Burks and Ricky Rubio. But while those five may be the most likely to be dealt leading up to the trade deadline, it’s been made pretty clear that everyone on the team not named Rudy Gobert or Donovan Mitchell is at least available if the right opportunity presents itself.

And according to a recent Salt Lake Tribune Weekly Run Podcast with Tony Jones and Aaron Falk, a particular Jazzman that might surprise some folks has been drawing interest around the league as well: Raul Neto. Here’s what Tony Jones specifically had to say regarding Neto:

"“There’s actually a lot of interest for Raul Neto. I don’t know if the Jazz want to trade Neto, but there have been teams inquiring about his availability. There are teams that really like him.”"

Neto has been a solid backup for the Jazz, especially when Rubio has struggled, but he hasn’t exactly been earth-shattering for the team, so it’s quite intriguing to learn that other teams have sought him out specifically.

Don’t get me wrong, Neto has some really nice aspects about his game. First and foremost, he always gives 100 percent every time he hits the floor. Neto’s relentless effort is one of the things that I like most about him. And that effort isn’t just a nice touch to his game, but rather it carries over to the stats he puts up as well.

Neto is averaging 48.4 percent shooting from the field and an identical 48.4 percent from three-point land this season. Not only that, but he leads the team in plus/minus (4.8) and has excellent per-36 numbers of 14.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and a steal. Those are some nice figures evidencing that Neto could definitely be a contributing piece to a winning team.

Still, with some of the other pieces the Jazz are dangling such as Hood and Favors, it’s somewhat surprising that Neto would draw such interest. Nevertheless, if he can be included to sweeten a deal, facilitate the reception of a more fitting piece or help Utah unload an unfavorable contract, then he could in reality make a nice departing asset for the Jazz while giving an opposing team a helpful role player in exchange.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Neto and would be sad to see him go under most circumstances. However, even with that being said, I realize that he’s far from a crucial piece for the Jazz moving forward, so if he can be included in a deal that makes Utah better immediately or over the long-term, I’d be perfectly fine with it.

The Jazz clearly need to make changes to help put them back on a winning trajectory and to do so, they may very well need to part with players that are either valuable on the court, loved by fans or both. If Neto ends up being one of those pieces, it may be a tough pill to swallow initially, but it will likely be worth it in the long run.

The lesson to learn from this recent tidbit from the Salt Lake Tribune podcast is that the Jazz are certainly fielding offers and looking to make changes, whether it’s with major impact players such as Favors and Hood or lesser used role players such as Neto. Tony Jones also brought up in the podcast how crucial it is for the Jazz to make the most out of the years that Rudy Gobert is under contract, so with that being the case, look for Dennis Lindsey to maximize this trade deadline and get the best return he possibly can to get the Jazz back on track.

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As I mentioned earlier, the deadline is now just under two weeks away, which could result in a very different looking Jazz team in the not so distant future with several players, including Raul Neto, potentially on the move.