The Utah Jazz could have altered the entire NBA landscape had 2 offseason plans worked out

The Jazz lost out on two major targets that have factored heavily in how the 2023-24 season has unfolded as a whole.
Los Angeles Lakers v Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Lakers v Utah Jazz / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

After the 2022-23 season went better than expected, the Utah Jazz had their sights set on two major targets: Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday. As we all know, things did not go to plan for them.

Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer reported on June 3rd that if Porzingis had opted out of his deal with the Washington Wizards, the Jazz would have given him a nice payday.

"There were strong enough signals, according to league sources, that Porziņģis was positioned to receive an even richer payday from the Utah Jazz should he have reached the open market."

Instead, Porzingis was traded to the Celtics before the Jazz got the chance. This wasn't the only time the Celtics beat the Jazz to a target. The Jazz were linked to Holiday after he was traded to Portland. The Salt Lake Tribune's Andy Larsen gave the full details of what went wrong.

"In the preseason, the team was interested in trading for 33-year-old Jrue Holiday — before Holiday’s feedback that he wouldn’t be interested in extending his contract with the Jazz scuttled talks. That move would have given the team a lift in the short term while also helping the Jazz’s young guards develop. It was a move the Jazz were willing and excited to make if it had come at the right price."

So Holiday was a no-go either. The shame of it is, the Jazz could have easily out-bid the Celtics in terms of draft assets going back, but those assets would have gone to waste if it had turned out to be a rental.

Acquiring the two of them played a huge role in how the Celtics are two wins away from an NBA championship. The Celtics were in the title conversation before they acquired them, but they proved themselves as necessary reinforcements.

So, of course, take them away from the Celtics and one can't help but wonder if the Celtics would be where they are. However, this isn't about the Celtics. This is about the Jazz.

How would things have gone if the Utah Jazz had acquired Kristaps Porzingis & Jrue Holiday?

First things first, getting Porzingis via free agency means no John Collins trade, so there's one benefit. It's also safe to say that the Jazz's league-worst defensive rating, per, also would have gained a lot from the two of them.

When healthy, Porzingis is one of the league's very best rim protectors, which also makes him one of the NBA's most unique players knowing what else he can do.

Porzingis' mobility despite his tall frame makes him a tough obstacle to overcome when he's on the floor. His presence also could have paved the way for a three-big lineup with him, Lauri Markkanen, and Walker Kessler, which would have opened up so many lineup possibilities.

Pairing two stretch bigs who can create their own shot in Porzingis and Markkanen on paper would have made the Jazz a tough team to beat knowing how rare a pairing those two would be. Also, their games aren't exactly the same, but Utah would have had plenty of matchups to exploit.

Holiday would have given Utah one of the NBA's best perimeter defenders on top of complementary playmaking. Since the Jazz also had Kris Dunn as one of the few sturdy defenders in their arsenal, it's safe to say the two of them could have thrived together on that end of the floor.

Adding a two-way guard would have been a very useful asset in their arsenal for a team that needed perimeter defense. Since they woukd have had Markkanen, Porzingis, and maybe Collin Sexton, they also wouldn't have needed Holiday to produce offensively for them much like how the Celtics don't as much from him in that regard.

Would Porzingis and Holiday have made the Jazz a contender? Knowing the rest of the league, probably not, but it would have been another step in the right direction for the Jazz. Seeing how well they've done in Boston, it's hard not to think Utah would have seen their ceiling increase a bit.

For the record, this isn't about trying to rub it in anyone's face about where the Jazz would be had their offseason worked out for them. It's more about that the Jazz had their sights set on guys who could vault them up, and said guys proved them right. If they have similar goals this offseason, the Jazz could have a much clearer direction going forward.