Grade the trade: Blockbuster proposal sends Damian Lillard to Jazz

Utah Jazz, Damian Lillard. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Utah Jazz, Damian Lillard. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports /
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Utah Jazz, Damian Lillard
Utah Jazz, Damian Lillard. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports /

Would the Utah Jazz make this trade?

The Jazz want to trade Collin Sexton, Kelly Olynyk is entering the final year of his contract, and Utah would still have eight first-round draft picks available to trade. Getting Damian Lillard for just three first-rounders after acquiring four for Donovan Mitchell and five for Rudy Gobert last summer is a no-brainer. The Jazz would still have assets to make additional moves and further improve their roster.

There would be some worry that Lillard turns 33 years old later this month. How quickly can Utah build a contender around him? Markkanen was an All-Star last season, but he is not considered a superstar. Walker Kessler is improving but is still years away from his prime.

The price just seems too good to pass up here. Acquire Lillard and figure the rest out later. Taylor Hendricks could quickly blossom into an impactful role player, and the Utah Jazz could use their remaining draft capital to get a couple of 3-and-D wings. If that happens, watch out. The Jazz are suddenly a feared team in the deep Western Conference.

Grade: A

Damian Lillard is one of the 15 best players in the NBA, and he has shown zero signs of slippage. Getting him for three first-round draft picks and salary filler is a trade that is too good to pass up. Utah would have work to do to build a contender around him, but Lillard is locked in for four years and could quickly lead the Jazz back to the playoffs. Will it happen? Stay tuned to find out.