Utah Jazz trade aftermath: Joe Johnson, Derrick Favors and, yes, Boris Diaw

PUTEAUX, FRANCE - DECEMBER 14: Basket Ball player Boris Diaw attends the Lamborghini Party at Garage Bellini on December 14, 2017 in Puteaux, France. (Photo by Foc Kan/WireImage)
PUTEAUX, FRANCE - DECEMBER 14: Basket Ball player Boris Diaw attends the Lamborghini Party at Garage Bellini on December 14, 2017 in Puteaux, France. (Photo by Foc Kan/WireImage) /

Although the NBA trade deadline has come and gone, there are a trio of players with connections to the Utah Jazz whose future will be intriguing to keep an eye on.

It was an exhilarating trade deadline which saw the Utah Jazz part ways with shooting guard Rodney Hood, sending him to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Joe Johnson, who was dealt to the Sacramento Kings. In return, Utah received Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose, the former of which was the focal point of the deal for the Jazz whereas the latter is set to be released.

However, although the trade deadline has now come and gone, there’s plenty of excitement still to come for the Jazz and teams across the league. The first such exciting time will occur as teams begin to scour the buyout market for players released by their current/former teams that could potentially be a beneficial late-season pickup.

Of course, even before Joe Johnson was traded, he was considered one of the top such targets. Many thought the Jazz would buy out Johnson if they weren’t able to trade him, and now, even though he was dealt to the Sacramento Kings, it’s still expected that he will have the opportunity to join a contender if he so desires.

Shortly after Iso Joe was traded, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports announced that Johnson was expected to seek and receive a buyout from the Kings. This comes as little surprise as Sacramento doesn’t have much use for the seven-time All-Star as they look to focus on the future rather than on any sort of late-season push that Johnson could provide.

What’s even more interesting about what Mannix reported, though, is that it appears that the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics are among the early favorites to add him. Either one would be an intriguing and logical fit. As formidable as the Warriors are, they’ve still had some struggles with their second unit this year and are anxious to bolster their bench.

Joe Johnson has his faults – he’s been bad defensively this year and his shooting is considerably down on the season – but he’s still an experienced veteran capable of hitting clutch shots that could work wonders for the Warriors. On a side note, imagine how ironic it would be if Johnson signed with Golden State, then the Jazz sneaked into the playoffs as the eighth seed and had to face him in the first round.

I like the idea of him going to Boston even more, simply because they are the team that drafted him. Although his time with the Celtics was extremely short-lived, having his career come full circle by ending back up where he began would be pretty cool. He could also provide some nice scoring and experience for a young Celtics team that has been exceptional defensively but has struggled to score at times.

Previous reports indicated that both the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder were also highly interested in Iso Joe. Therefore, once his buyout from the Kings is official, it looks like a lock that he will get his wish and be able to join the ranks of a contender. His fit on any of those four teams would be intriguing and it would be exciting to see how far Joe Johnson’s new squad could go in postseason action.

Derrick Favors

While it wasn’t all that surprising that Johnson or Hood were traded as both had been pretty publicly on the trade block, some Jazz fans were somewhat caught off guard when Utah opted to hold onto Derrick Favors rather than deal him. I had actually begun to think that such would be the case, and I was glad to see that the Jazz did indeed keep him on their roster.

With such being the case, though, the question becomes, what does the future hold for Favors? Originally, many fans assumed that the main reason why the Jazz were presumably going to trade him was because he had expressed that he wasn’t planning to re-sign with the Jazz in his unrestricted free agency this summer. It would be better to get something than lose him for nothing, several seemed to opine.

However, it wasn’t long before the trade deadline that Favors himself refuted such a notion, making it clear that his departure from the Jazz in free agency was far from a sure thing.

And Favors has been on a tear this season, particularly of late. During Utah’s seven-game win streak he has looked very similar to the Derrick Favors of old, the one who consistently averaged 16 points and eight rebounds per contest. He along with Rudy Gobert and Ricky Rubio have seemingly begun to solve their issues of playing together and if that trio closes out the year well by proving they can coexist, there’s likely a good chance the Jazz could aim to keep him.

Not to mention, because of the odd state of the free agent market and the limited money that teams have to spend this summer, it may be hard for Derrick to find a lucrative landing spot. Since the Jazz hold his Bird Rights, there’s a good chance that they could extend him the best possible offer. If Favors is opening to stay and the Jazz want to keep him, believe it or not, such could very well be a real possibility.

Favors has developed an excellent chemistry with both Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio, and has looked refreshed and engaged of late. Perhaps he’s rediscovered his groove once again in Utah and although many supposed that he would be long gone by the trade deadline, it may turn out that he’ll be in Utah even well beyond the 2017-18 season.

That will obviously depend on how the rest of the season goes, which will be interesting to see, but I, for one, hope that such ends up being the case.

Boris Diaw signing a possibility??

Since the Jazz parted ways with both Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson, then released Derrick Rose, one of the two players they received in return, they now currently have one open roster spot. A question that has to be lingering on the minds of every Jazz fan is, who could they look to add to fill that spot?

They could peruse the buyout market, the very one that I mentioned earlier that could be a hot commodity for teams looking for helpful players such as Johnson, or they could look at potential free agents from elsewhere, such as overseas.

And it just so happens that there’s one such player attracting interest from NBA teams that will have a very familiar ring to Utah Jazz fans – Boris Diaw.

ESPN’s Tim McMahon reported today that Diaw’s camp has touched base with several playoff teams expressing interest. Now, the Utah Jazz aren’t a playoff team yet, but they’re certainly trending that direction with their recent play. Not only that, but Diaw was an exceptional fit in Utah, beloved by the fans, his teammates and the front office alike.

Diaw may very well prefer to sign on with a more legitimate contender, especially if it’s just going to be a contract for the end of the season, and it’s also entirely possible that Utah has no interest in adding yet another big to their mix even though Diaw would be an excellent bench/locker room presence. Nevertheless, if there is any semblance of mutual interest there and neither the Jazz nor Diaw can find a better fit, it would be incredible to see the two parties reunited.

Diaw developed great chemistry with Rudy Gobert and although he never really found his shot with the Jazz, he contributed in several other ways. It’s far from a guarantee that he and the Jazz would seek a reunion, but his status is still something to keep an eye on.

Next: Utah Jazz: What I like and dislike about the Crowder-Hood trade

The trade deadline may have come and gone, but there’s still plenty of exciting roster moves that could take place for the Utah Jazz and other teams around the league. Not only that, but seeing how newly acquired Jae Crowder fits in with the team will now become the most highly anticipated facet of the remainder of the season.

The Jazz will look to extend their winning streak to eight games while furthering their playoff push and potentially debuting Crowder when they return home to host the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night at 7:00 PM MT.