The Utah Jazz have turned around their season, sitting pretty at 24-23, and just two and a half games out of the sixth seed as of press time, the Jazz are peaking at the right time. Having turned around a season that looked like it was going nowhere in December, the once 7-16 Jazz have gone 17-7 since then and are rolling.
Some roster tinkering helped, as did a few key guys returning from injury, but mostly it's been the chemistry that the team has built that has gotten them to this point. The offense is one of the best in the NBA, climbing to 11th in the NBA this season with 117.9 points per game. A lot of that comes from the fact that Lauri Markkanen pairs so well with new starting guard Collin Sexton, who took over the spot from Jordan Clarkson when Clarkson got hurt.
And while the Jazz don't have the same depth as other teams, as most of their roster is still young and developing, that chemistry they're building with its core player group can and should carry them to the playoffs. That is unless the rumors catch up with a few of the guys.
Since the start of the season, Jordan Clarkson, Kelly Olynyk, Collin Sexton, and Talen Horton-Tucker have been involved in trade chatter. Even to an extent the face of the team, Lauri Markkanen. The thought of being traded can be hard to deal with, as it's a blow that most people in existence can't truly understand, as Olynyk told KSL recently, saying;
"It's something a lot of people outside of the sports world can't relate to; they don't really understand it...But, yeah, speculation is fun sometimes, but it's also like this is hitting too close to home"
And that's kind of a thing that we don't think about. This impacts a player's life, his family, their schooling, and their friends. Kids have to change schools, new housing needs to be arranged, new personalities will meet in the locker room and that's not always a good thing. We expect players to just deal with it because that's "what a professional would do" but at the end of the day people are going to have emotions and sometimes those emotions affect a person.
That's life, that's normal. That's also something we don't factor in. The constant trade chatter has got to affect players, but hopefully, the chatter isn't so loud that it curtails the entire team going forward.