The Utah Jazz may need to make a major change. Unfortunately, they only have so many avenues towards doing so. This team is not flush with promising young players. The ones they do roster haven’t been afforded the opportunity to demonstrate their value. Jared Butler has looked like a potentially productive player, but in 5.7 minutes per game, he can only show so much. The same can roughly be said for either of Elijah Hughes or Udoka Azubuike.
Nonetheless, any one of those players could be attractive to a rebuilding team. Organizations in that stage of development can be willing to take risks on young players, especially if it allows them to flip expensive veterans.
Therein lies potential complications for the Utah Jazz. None of their younger players earn a contract that makes them a candidate to help the team acquire an impactful veteran. In other words, the Jazz may have to trade one of their rotation mainstays.
It won’t be Donovan Mitchell. Rumblings about his desire to play in a larger market may be starting, but until he gives the organization the word, they should pay those rumblings no mind.
Rudy Gobert is possibly an even less likely candidate. There is no reason to believe he’d like a change of scenery, and you don’t trade a 3x Defensive Player of the Year unless you’re either forced to, or receiving an MVP candidate.
Mike Conley doesn’t seem like the guy either. He’s not untouchable, but it’s hard to envision him netting anything that’s more valuable to the Jazz than the combination of three-point shooting and IQ he already provides.
It would seem that Joe Ingles, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson are the best candidates to depart from Salt Lake City via trade. These rankings aren’t based on the return each player could net. They’re ranked on how apprehensive the Jazz should be to trade them based on their value to the team.
We’re operating under the assumption that one of these guys would be attached with either one of the previously mentioned youngsters, or a draft pick, to acquire a good player on a bad team. The team trading for them will actually be trading, in spirit, for the attached young player. These guys are simply contract fodder.
Here’s our ranking of them in order of their expendability to the Utah Jazz.