9 trade ideas for a point guard

This is a continuation of my post from a week ago (Trading for a wing). Like I said in that post this last year we were strong in the front court but need to upgrade in the back court if we want to move out of an 8th place playoff sweep. This week I wanted to talk about options for upgrading our point guard position.

When I started working on this post I came up with a list of 9 potential trades that the Jazz could make to improve the point guard position, but the more I look at it I am convinced that one is better than the rest. I will tell you why I think so and then give you other trade options we could do.

The Trade:

Utah trades Al Jefferson to Utah for Devin Harris.

OK I am kidding this isn’t a trade but I think that our best trade for a point guard is to trade Al Jefferson to another team for a wing (will call this guy “new wing” for the rest of the post) and keep Devin Harris. Here are the reasons why I like it.

1 – It balances our talent across the team better. Our lineup would be:

PG – Harris, Burks
Wing – Hayward, Burks, “new wing”, Millsap
Big – Millsap, Favors, Kanter
Other players: Watson/Tinsley, Carroll, Evans, Bell, 2nd Round Pick

2 – I think we need more time to see if Harris will work for us. We need a normal season. We haven’t had Harris in a training camp yet, or a full season. I think he could still be a good player and his contract is great.

3 - The offense changes to a team flow that fits most of our players better. I think that Harris has the potential to be much better if he is allowed to run a motion offense where the ball isn’t passed to Al Jefferson as soon as we hit half court. I also think players like Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap and Derek Favors will play better in a system where they can touch the ball more.

4- It gives us 6 months to 1 full year (summer league, training camp and a full season) to see who we really have and what holes we need to fill. We should have 7 guys (Harris, Hayward, Burks, Millsap, Favors, Kanter, “new wing”) who could be the core of a really good team. It also gives us a year to see if Millsap and Favors can be the duo I think they can be. This is important because it allows us to use our assets next year in the best way to replace the 1-2 guys who aren’t as good as we think they can be. What if we got a great point guard at a high price this year only to find out that Burks and Favors should be our max players and one walks away. Or worse we got a great PG this year only to find out that Hayward will only ever be mediocre. I think it would be better to see what we have and then go after something.

5- It maintains flexibility next year. We have great assets for next year. After we have evaluated our 7 guys, we can decide who to pursue as soon as December. Next year we will have a $10M TPE (good until the end of December), Cap space (only 5 contracts on the books after a trade), and one or two 1st round picks (see side note #1). We will also have the 1-2 guys who we decide don’t fit our system that we can trade. All of our players should also be on tradable contracts.

6 - It maintains long term flexibility. It allows us to plan long term salaries for our rookie contract players.

7 – There are some great free agent point guards next year if Harris doesn’t work out. Chris Paul is an unrestricted free agent and Jrue Holliday, Stephen Curry, Ty Lawson, and Brandon Jennings are all restricted. Utah will be very appealing to anybody interested more in winning than being in the spot light (is Chris Paul that kind of player?). Utah should also have cap space to make a front loaded “toxic contract” for one of the restricted free agents.

8 – There are some great free agent wings next year if Harris works out but Hayward, Burkes or our traded wing doesn’t work out. Monta Ellis, Andre Iguodala both have ETOs and Tyreke Evans and James Harden are restricted.

9 – It puts Utah in the best possible spot if something becomes available. If for example Boston wasn’t able to rebuild on the fly this offseason and they wanted to unload Rondo. Utah would have a TPE, young players and draft picks to offer. There always seems to be one trade like that each year.

Side Note #1 – I don’t think Golden State will be a playoff team next year. There are lots of good teams that they have to jump in order to be in the top 8. Plus Denver and Houston should be better. So the question becomes, do they do tank again on purpose, or is their pick in play. I don’t know.

Anyway those are my reasons for why I think we should keep Harris as our point guard. If you don’t like them here are 8 other trade ideas to consider:

The 1st three are trades, for a current Point Guard, the next four are trades for a draft pick that we can use on a PG (Lillard/Marshall), the last one is just a dream.

Option #1 (as proposed by Peter J Novak)

Trade Al Jefferson and Alec Burks to Milwaukee for Drew Gooden, Mike Dunleavy and Brandon Jennings

Point Guard: Jennings, Harris

Wings: Gordon Hayward, Dunleavy

Bigs: Gooden, Millsap, Favors, Kanter

Other players: Watson/Tinsley, Carroll, Evans, Bell, 2nd Round Pick

[I like Brandon Jennings but this trade doesn’t seem to help balance our team. It gives us a great point spot with Jennings and Harris but weakens our wings and unless we could use our TPE to sign a wing to fill that spot I wouldn’t do this trade. I also don’t like losing Burks]

Option #2 (as proposed by several on this blog)

Trade Al Jefferson & GSW Pick to Houston for Kyle Lowry, Dalembert

Point Guard: Lowry, Harris

Wings: Hayward, Burks

Bigs: Millsap, Favors, Kanter

Other players: Watson/Tinsley, Carroll, Evans, Bell, Dalembert, 2nd Round Pick

[The problem is that we wouldn’t be able to do this trade until after Houston determined they had Dragic locked up after the free agency period. Again, I think it strengthens our Point Guard spot enough but leaves us weak at the wing spot, we would have to seek a free agent wing to strengthen that spot.]

Option #3 (as proposed by Peter J Novak)

Trade Devin Harris to OKC for Eric Maynor & Kendrick Perkins

Point Guard: Maynor

Wings: Hayward, Burks

Bigs: Jefferson, Millsap, Favors, Kanter, Perkins

Other players: Watson/Tinsley, Carroll, Evans, Bell, 2nd Round Pick

[I think this deal only works if we are also able to trade Jefferson or Millsap otherwise it would dramatically increase our front court minutes problem. If we did get a deal done for Jefferson or Millsap though this would give us Perkins to give Kanter more time to develop. I also think this deal is more likely to happen if the Thunder do well because they will have to do everything they can to get money freed up for Harden so we don’t take him.]

Option #4 (Peter J Novak)

Trade Millsap, Harris, Bell to Detroit for Rodney Stuckey, Charlie Villenueva, Austin Daye, 9th Pick in the draft

Point Guard: Stuckey, Lillard/Marshall?

Wings: Hayward, Burks,

Bigs: Villenueva, Jefferson, Favors, Kanter

Other players: Watson/Tinsley, Carroll, Evans, Daye, 2nd Round Pick

[Again it leaves us with weak wings and a crowded front court.]

Option #5 (Me, so take it with a grain of Salt)

Trade Harris, Miles (sign and trade), and a future 1st round conditional pick to Portland for Wes Matthews and the #11 pick

Point Guard: ?, Lillard/Marshall?

Wings: Hayward, Burks, Matthews

Bigs: Millsap, Jefferson, Favors, Kanter

Other players: Watson/Tinsley, Carroll, Evans, 2nd Round Pick

[This gives us strong wings and our Point Guard of the future but doesn’t give us anybody for this year. We would lose a lot while we broke in a point guard. It also leaves us with the crowded front court problem. I think we would have to sign somebody short term (hopefully very short) using our MLE, or try and get a PG from a trade for Millsap/Jefferson.]

Option #6 (Peter J Novak)

Trade Jefferson to New Orleans for 1st Round #10 and Emeka Okafor

Point Guard: Harris, Lillard/Marshall?

Wings: Hayward, Burks,

Bigs: Millsap, Okafor, Favors, Kanter

Other players: Watson/Tinsley, Carroll, Evans, 2nd Round Pick

[I think this is a good option, however it doesn’t strengthen our wing position and it gives us too many bigs. Okafor would only be with us a year though and we could go after a wing with next year’s draft pick or with our cap space.]

Option #7 (As proposed by Clint Johnson)

Philadelphia 76ers receive: Paul Millsap, Linas Kleiza, Raja Bell, and Earl Watson.

Toronto Raptors receive: Andre Iguodala, Devin Harris, 2012 #15 pick, and UT 2014 1st round pick.

Utah Jazz receive: 2012 #8 pick, Raptors 2013 1st round pick, Jose Calderon, and Elton Brand.

Point Guard: Calderon, Lillard/Marshall?

Wings: Hayward, Burks, Brand

Bigs: Jefferson, Favors, Kanter

Other players: Tinsley, Carroll, Evans, 2nd Round Pick

[This trade guards our cap space, and gives us good balance. It also gives us the potential of 3 1st round picks next year (maybe 1 or 2 in the lottery). We can’t use 3 1st round draft picks next year though so if we can package them for one pick I don’t know that it helps. Also we would lose Millsap.]

Option #8 (as dreamed about by me, I don’t think this is happening)

Boston -> Brandon Bass (Sign & Trade), Rajon Rondo

Lakers -> Pau Gasol, Meta World Peace

Utah -> Devin Harris, Paul Milsap, 6.7 TPE

Boston <- Pau Gasol

[Why Boston: Get Pau Gasol to team up with Paul Pierce and enough cap space to sign top point guard (Williams or Nash), and could possibly get Garnett and Allen to return on the cheap to chase one more ring. Their starting lineup could be: Williams, Allen, Pierce, Gasol, Garnett and they would be one of the top teams in the East again.

Lakers <-Devin Harris, Paul Millsap, Brandon Bass, 6.7M cap relief

The Lakers do this because they get huge cap flexibility. They trade 2 three year contracts of 24M+ for 2 1 year contracts and a smaller multiple year contract. They get a huge upgrade at the point guard position. They get a borderline all-star power forward.

Utah <- Rajon Rando, Meta World Peace

This trade would also work without Meta World Peace, with us getting Brandon Bass. I think it would be more interesting to LA though if they could unload MWP (Most Worst Player/ Meta World Peace).

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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