The NBA Trade deadline has arrived, and several deals went down for the Utah Jazz. Maybe not as expected, but the Jazz are now looking to the future for the rest of the season, having traded one starter and two key reserves.
Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Agbaji were dealt to the Toronto Raptors, in a deal that brought back point guard Kira Lewis Jr. and veteran swingman Otto Porter Jr. and a 1st round pick, which will be one of 4 possible picks from 2024 - OKC, LA Clippers, Houston (all Top 4 protected) or Utah's own (if 11-30). Whichever pick is the least favorable, will convey to the Jazz.
The other deal involved starting forward Simone Fontecchio, who was moved to the Detroit Pistons for forward Kevin Knox, a 2024 2nd round pick from the Pistons, and the draft rights to Italian player Gabriele Procida, who is currently playing overseas.
Otto Porter is likely going to be bought out by the Jazz, as he doesn't seem to fit their timeline. It's possible they keep him until the buyout deadline, to mentor Taylor Hendricks, but the Jazz may look to jump on available buyout candidates in the interim.
Kira Lewis will likely stay with the Jazz, but is not likely to make the rotation. He's 22 and a young quick guard, but it's unlikely that he will steal minutes from Collin Sexton, Keyonte George or Kris Dunn.
Ochai Agbaji, Simone Fontecchio, and Kelly Olynyk's departures leave a playing time void of 63 minutes a night combined (and only 5 missed games between them). A starting position is now up for grabs, as these players also collectively manned the 3 for most of the season.
The easy answer is to move Lauri Markkanen to the 3, start John Collins at the 4, and return Walker Kessler or Omer Yurtseven to the 5 spot. However, if the Jazz are thinking longer-term, then Taylor Hendricks could get the nod. Either way, Hendricks is likely to be with the Jazz for the rest of the season due to the lack of depth on the wing.
In the backcourt, little will change as Kris Dunn and Collin Sexton should remain the starters, with Keyonte George and Jordan Clarkson in reserve. Talen Horton-Tucker could be bought out, with Brice Sensabaugh brought up from the G-League to take his spot over the last 30 games.