The Utah Jazz could be interested in Zach LaVine coming to the team.
The Utah Jazz need help, that’s not really a debate. They have poor perimeter defense, half of their core guard can’t seem to score regularly, and the team needs some help stretching the court. So, in theory, someone like Zach LaVine really could come in handy. Especially if the Jazz were able to get him for a few picks and matching salary. But that doesn’t mean LaVine is the perfect player for the Jazz.
We’ve written a lot about him coming in, but that doesn’t mean he’s the best option in the NBA. He’s simply the best option for everyone we know who is available at the moment. LaVine’s got his own share if negatives to a nice list of positives. But when you boil it all down and you get rid of the endless bullet points; he’s a more athletic version of Jordan Clarkson.
At least, what Clarkson should be. If Clarkson hadn’t had a horrid start to the season, we wouldn’t be talking about LaVine. Yes, Clarkson has looked good the last three games, but is that him coming back to into his own or is it a misdirection? How is Clarkson going to play for the rest of the season is an unknown question, and so the idea of trading him in part to get LaVine makes sense, as LaVine, who is also struggling, has a higher upside than Clarkson. It’s not a tremendously higher upside, but it exists.
That said, not everyone is on board with LaVine coming to the Jazz. Jared Koch of Sports Illustrated’s Utah Jazz site isn’t on board with the idea of LaVine coming to Utah. Rightfully so, he points to the team’s biggest need being defense, and we don’t disagree. That’s partly why the Jazz should consider a trade, as any trade needs to include Alex Caruso.
What seems to be lost in translation between our two sites is that Koch is viewing a trade of LaVine as redundant, as the Jazz would then have LaVine, Clarkson, and Collin Sexton; three similar players. None of them are great defensively.
Yet, LaVine is a more consistent scorer than Clarkson, by just a bit, and he shoots far more threes than Sexton does. So, while not much of one, LaVine still is an upgrade over those two men. If the Jazz doesn’t make the trade, it won’t be the end of the world, as both Sexton and Clarkson can score, but we’d be hard-pressed to not admit that landing LaVine would improve the team.
If only just barely.