ESPN analyst floats Jazz trading for controversial former No. 6 pick

ESPN's Bobby Marks floated a trade that would send the Jazz Oklahoma City guard Josh Giddey. Should the Jazz really chase that?
Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz
Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz could always use more young talent knowing the place that they are in. However, it goes without saying that they need the right young talent to vault themselves back into title contention. That's why if someone like Josh Giddey became a target, one would have to think long and hard about if the Jazz should pull the trigger.

ESPN's Bobby Marks proposed the following trade that, as he put it, "we would like to see" for the Jazz.

"The No. 10 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft and 2025 Minnesota first (top-14 protected) to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Josh Giddey."

Marks did not explain further why the Jazz or the Thunder would agree to such a trade. The irony in all of this is that the only team that has more young assets than the Jazz is, in fact, the Thunder, per RealGM. While the Jazz could stand to utilize some of them, trading those assets to the Thunder, who are in a similar place

And if that's not enough, the Thunder owe the Jazz their first-round pick in 2024 thanks to the Kelly Olynyk trade.

Is Josh Giddey worth taking a flyer on?

Let's rip the band-aid off now. Giddey got himself in hot water late last year when it was exposed that he had allegedly been dating a 16-year-old girl some time ago. The NBA ultimately did not punish Giddey, though many are skeptical if that's because the allegations weren't true or because the girl in question refused to cooperate.

There is a lot of he-said, she-said in this situation, of which no one will ever know the full details of what happened. Either way, Giddey may never escape his reputation for allegedly liking underage girls, which hurts his appeal as a trade target.

Now, excluding the controversy, Giddey is a young basketball talent who, on paper, would be worth trying out. Playing for the Jazz would relieve the pressure on him to thrive, like the pressure he currently has on the Thunder.

Giddey provides a unique package. At 6-foot-8, he's proven himself to be a good rebounder, solid passer, and a capable handle. He's also proven himself to have some scoring finesse to his game. He may not necessarily be a leading man, but he would provide another complementary piece to a team trying to build the right way.

In other words, he's not much of a ceiling raiser, but he can raise the Jazz' floor.

The one conundrum is his spacing. Giddey is coming off a playoff series where he hit three three-pointers out of 16 attempts in six games. Part of the Mavericks' gameplan on defense was daring Giddey to beat them with his three-point shooting, and he proved them right on that gamble.

The 21-year-old former lottery pick has largely never improved his three-point shooting abilities since starting his NBA career. There is still plenty of time for him to improve that area, but there is a largh enough sample size that at this point, people should be skeptical.

If you remove Giddey's previous issues, this would be something worth considering. Especially if the Jazz truly are considering trading Lauri Marrkkanen. But his presence on the team will always put an elephant in the room that they can't avoid.

The Jazz already have enough controversy celebrating Karl Malone, one of the best NBA players of all time, who also has a very shady past—especially since it's not alleged in Malone's case. Do they really want to open themselves up to more of precisely that by acquiring someone who has been accused of having similar demons?

If they do, all the power to them, and they'll clearly think it's worth it. Factoring in some of the negatives that come both on and off the basketball court, it might not be.