I'm a long time reader but first time poster here on slcdunk, and I'm ready to be ripped a new one. I say this, because I've come up with a trade proposal that may cause an uproar throughout jazz nation. However, after watching the game last night vs Charlotte, I truly feel like it's swap that would benefit both teams. So here goes nothing.
Jazz receive: SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (3 years, $16 million).
Charlotte receive: SF Gordon Hayward (1 year, $3.5 million).
This simple player for player swap works out according to ESPN's trade machine, and if you ask me, it makes sense for both parties. Here's why:
For the Jazz:
Over the course of the last couple of seasons, hype here in Utah has centered around the "core four", with our pal G-Time being one of the lead members. Now don't get me wrong, I've been one of Gordo's biggest fans since his days at Butler, but he's on course to earn himself a pretty penny this offseason, and I don't know how willing our F.O. will be to shell out that kind of cash. In addition, he's a big reason we're winning ball games, victories that I'm not so sure we want to be piling up this season. Those two reasons alone make me wonder if the time is right to move our prodigy child.
In this situation, the jazz send out the man who many have considered to be the face of the franchise, and take back a talented, defensive wing that will add even more youth to our squad. As a sophomore in the league, MKG may not possess the flashiest stat line, but his value on the defensive side of the floor is what the jazz would be targeting. In my opinion he is already an elite defender, and at only 20 years of age has room to improve. If the Jazz really want to move forward with a defensive identity, MKG could be the perfect piece to get us there.
So in essence the Jazz would be adding a defensive specialist that will be on the rookie pay scale for the next three years, a tantalizing thought for a rebuilding team. It would be hard to let go of someone we've grown so fond of here in Jazz land, but it would be even worse to watch him walk in free agency. The jazz really could benefit from a high draft pick this year, and trading away Hayward could help strengthen their tanking position. That's not to say that MKG wouldn't help our squad, but with a fractured hand, the Jazz could afford to let him rest as we add more losses to our resume. This trade earns us a high-potential young gun, and gives us a better chance at racking up those ping-pong balls.
For the Bobcats:
Earlier this month, Grantland's Zach Lowe tweeted that Charlotte could be in the trade market to bolster its rotation of perimeter players.
"If I had a wing I wanted to flip for future assets/picks," Lowe writes, "I'd be on the phone to Charlotte today."
Having invested a #2 overall pick in the small forward from Kentucky, the cats might not be willing to part ways quite yet. However at 14-18, Charlotte sits in 6th place in the Eastern Conference and has the chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Defensively, the Bobcats are clicking on all cylinders, allowing just 93.8 points per game, a line that is good enough for 3rd best in the association. Their struggles come on the offensive end, where they rank next to last, with 92.5 ppg.
Now, I can't say for certain whether or not Charlotte would listen to offers for Kidd-Gilchrist, but it would be wise of them to do so if another team offered a high caliber player such as Gordon Hayward. With Hayward, the bobcats would instantly become better offensively. For the Jazz, he's averaging a team high 16.2 points to go along with 4.9 assists and 5.4 rebounds. Many consider Hayward to be the go-to guy within the jazz system, but I believe he would be better suited as a 2nd or 3rd option. He would be given this role in Charlotte as he reunites with ex-jazzman, BIg Al, and the up and coming Kemba Walker. Having played 14 games without MKG, the bobcats have proven that they are still capable of forcing the issue on defense. Gordon would help in that aspect as well.
If the cats want to make a serious push towards the playoffs, this is a trade that they would have to look at. It would be hard to give up so early on Kidd-Gilchrist, but they would be adding a very special player in Hayward.
Love it or hate it, I believe this is a win-win trade for both teams. Both teams have an abundance of future draft picks that could be used to sweeten the deal for one side or the other. As a jazz fan, I'd be torn to see Gordon playing for another team, but I wouldn't mind watching MKG harass opposing wings for years to come. And on a final note, if we really want to be tank-tastic, trading away one of our best players couldn't hurt. Bring on Jabari.