Utah Jazz: 3 Karl-Anthony Towns trades the team could get involved with

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert vs Karl-Anthony Towns (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert vs Karl-Anthony Towns (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Utah Jazz
Terry Rozier vs Utah Jazz (Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports) /

Utah Jazz upgrade guard rotation

Readers looking at the package the Timberwolves are receiving in this trade may be inspired to respond as Karl-Anthony Towns did to the news of Gerrson Rosas’ firing.

In total, the Timberwolves get seven (!) players under the age of 25 here. Effectively, they’re receiving the Charlotte Hornets entire 2021 NBA Draft, as well as the rights to two of their drafts in the future, plus two quality young NBA players in Bridges and Washington, and finally, some fliers from the Utah Jazz.

That is an awful lot in terms of quantity, but it’s also a solid quality return. Bridges and Washington are both multifaceted, floor-spacing wings who can open up driving lane for Anthony Edwards. That counts for a lot: in the event that the Wolves are forced to move KAT, Edwards will become the unequivocal focal point of their franchise.

Meanwhile, James Bouknight will start his NBA career in a different uniform than expected. Astute observers may point out that we just denied the Wolves a crack at Quickley on the basis of avoiding a logjam at the shooting guard position. That’s valid, but Bouknight is a significantly more highly-touted prospect.

There is a risk factor involved in this deal for the Utah Jazz: we think Rozier is better than Clarkson, but it isn’t glaringly obvious either. According to points per 36 minutes, the Jazz would be better off staying put, as Clarkson’s impressive 24.8 per game outweighs Rozier’s 21.3. However, context is significant in this case: Clarkson’s number is inflated by his role. He piloted second units where he was nearly singularly expected to generate baskets.

Rozier had no such luxury. He shared the floor frequently with one of LaMelo Ball or Devonte’ Graham. Furthermore, while Clarkson’s efficiency was ultimately a serious problem for the Utah Jazz in the 2020-21 postseason, Rozier has been significantly more consistent in that regard, as reflected in his 57.5 TS% last season (compared to Clarkson’s 53.9).

This deal nets the Minnesota Timberwolves an extensive rebuilding starter pack, the Utah Jazz an upgrade in their guard rotation, and the Charlotte Hornets a superstar center. It should work for all parties involved if KAT ends up wanting out of the only NBA home he’s ever known.