The odds of Damian Lillard coming to the Utah Jazz weren’t great

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

Damian Lillard wasn’t likely to land with the Utah Jazz anyway…

The Utah Jazz were at one point interested in landing Damian Lillard before he got dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks. That doesn’t mean the Jazz backed up the Brinks truck to the home office of the Portland Trail Blazers, but Danny Ainge is a savant at acquiring talent at a good price and he wouldn’t be who he is if he didn’t at least call and see what the price was. That hypothetical one-call qualifies the Jazz as being “interested”.

Now, how much more interested were the Jazz after that? Pretty unlikely, as the Jazz aren’t going to overpay for anyone, let alone a 33-year-old declining legend like Lillard. It’s part of the reason why they went and started looking at someone like Tyler Herro, who the Jazz are said to be very interested in.

Plus, Lillard made it clear he didn’t want to land in any city other than Miami, to play for the Miami Heat. So why would the Jazz even try, knowing full well that Lillard doesn’t want to play elsewhere? Granted, you could argue Milwaukee and Salt Lake City are pretty one-to-one.

Well, clearly, that all changed. It became known that the Heat didn’t want Lillard enough to pay the asking price that the Trail Blazers were asking for. So Portland called around and gauged the interest of other teams, like the Bucks. Since the Jazz were (allegedly) once briefly interested, they were suspected to have been on the Blazers’ radar.

According to Sports Illustrated, the Jazz were given 25-1 odds to land Lillard before the trade to the Bucks went down. It was always unlikely the trade went through, but to know the teams had respectable odds at one point is a bit interesting.

Lillard would’ve made the Jazz a championship contender, barring any major departures in any hypothetical trade, but the team was wise to avoid trading for Lillard. There’s no reason to shrink the championship window the team is trying to fling open. The Jazz had a nearly 20-year championship window once, and the goal is to get close to that standard once again, not just be good for a couple of years.

Next. 7 Difference-makers the Utah Jazz signed past their prime. dark