5 Trades to clear the Utah Jazz’s big man logjam

Utah Jazz, Damian Lillard, Kelly Olynyk. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Utah Jazz, Damian Lillard, Kelly Olynyk. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Utah Jazz have been quiet this offseason. They made a surprising trade to acquire John Collins, drafted three talented prospects in the first round, and brought back Jordan Clarkson. There have been no flashy moves from Danny Ainge and company. They could be coming, but the offseason is winding down as the free-agent market dries up.

The Jazz have an open roster spot and about $12 million in cap space. They could use it in a plethora of ways, including getting in on a larger deal. Expect Ainge to get creative, and he should be looking to solve a logjam in the process.

After acquiring Collins, the Jazz have more big men than minutes to hand out. Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler figure to be the starters in the frontcourt. The Jazz need to find minutes for ninth overall pick Taylor Hendricks, and Kelly Olynyk figures to be part of the rotation. Someone will get less playing time than they want unless the Jazz make another deal.

Trades that clear the big man logjam for the Utah Jazz

5. Jazz sent Olynyk to Spurs to get 1st rounder

The San Antonio Spurs are still searching for a big man (subscription required) to pair with number one overall pick Victor Wembanyama. That could create the perfect opportunity for the Jazz to acquire some additional draft capital.

Utah fans know that Danny Ainge will hold out for a first-round draft pick. He is never in a rush to make a deal and the veteran knows how to maximize his return. The Jazz will have to take on some unwanted salary, but the trade could look like this.

The Spurs get a capable starting big man that can grind in the paint against bigger players and space the floor. Utah takes on the two years and $24.7 million left on Graham’s contract to pick up a first-round draft pick. Ainge targets the Celtics’ top selection in 2028 as a bet against his former team.

This is a way that Danny Ainge and the Utah Jazz can be opportunistic in clearing their logjam, but they may have to settle for less.