The Utah Jazz are hard up for a running buddy to go with Lauri Markkanen but is Zach LaVine the right guy for the job?
The Utah Jazz could be in need of a second All-Star caliber player to join Lauri Markkanen. This was the case during the offseason but it’s certainly the case now that the Jazz are only 4-7 on the season. The slow start has amplified things in Salt Lake City with a lot of people wondering what’s going on.
Is this just a slow start or is the team not as good as advertised? Clearly, the “anyone can play point guard” approach hasn’t worked, but is that the only problem? Jordan Clarkson was another one but he’s had three good games in a row, leading some to think he’s past his early-season shooting woes.
But is he enough? Maybe, maybe not, but if the Jazz are serious about pushing for the playoffs this season and they seem to be, then they need to make a move to improve the team. Is the right move Zach LaVine? Who knows. He may be a savior, he may be an anchor. All we know is that times need to change in Utah.
But to what end? What price should the Jazz be willing to pay for LaVine? Well, one report claims that the Chicago Bulls will want two first-round draft picks, a good young player, and whatever matching salaries are needed to land LaVine.
That’s steep but not as steep as we’ve seen others pay for similarly leveled talent. And of all the teams to have draft capital to spare, that would be the Utah Jazz.
The team also has young players to spare, namely the three rookies Keyonte George, Brice Sensabaugh, and Taylor Hendricks. All three would, in theory, fill the cap of a “good young player”. Not to mention the Jazz would be able to get rid of guys like Talen Horton-Tucker to make the money work.
So that’s a bonus.
But is LaVine worth the base asking price? It depends. If Clarkson isn’t returning to form and these last few games are a blip, then no. Clarkson isn’t as good as Lavine but he’s good enough to allow the Jazz to string together some more wins while the club looks for a better option than LaVine.
If Clarkson continues to fall apart, then the price is fair for upgrading the two-guard spot.