I'm not much for rumor mongering, especially since I've always felt like the Utah Jazz were determined not to make any trades this season. However, this is trade season, the trade deadline is in 8 days, and the rest of the crazy, crazy world seems to love this time of the year. Being a Jazz fan, I know that while other teams may talk to us, and the media may talk about us -- the chances are we're not actually going to do anything.
ESPN's Chad Ford released an In$ider article talking about 10 impact players on the block. Of course, the list is 11 players long. So that's the Worldwide leader hard at work. (They're falling apart with John Hollinger gone!) Among the players listed are, surprise surprise, Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. They are both guys on expiring contracts, and each week, the capabilities of their backups continue to grow. That said, we're in the middle of a playoff push here, and the 6th seed is in reach. There's ZERO way that we trade one of them.
Of course, there are good reasons why someone would suggest doing it. The tandem of Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter look to be a much more competent defensive force than the front court that starts for our team. They also do need minutes. And furthermore, moving one or two of those guys means you will be bringing back something of worth that will help our team. Of course, most national writers, bloggers, and fans seem to look at how one or two of our bigs can help another team. And rarely do they actively put us in position to get something worthwhile back.
The common sense is that the Jazz will probably move Paul Millsap. I don't know how it's common sense to move the hardest working player in the league, though. Baily Deeter of Hoops Habit suggests that Al Jefferson would look great on the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, or San Antonio Spurs. And that Paul Millsap would greatly help the Atlanta Hawks or New Orleans Hornets. Of course, I really don't see any of those teams being able to get us stuff we'd like in return. But it's hard to argue -- yeah, Millsap totally COULD help those teams, and Big Al would be super awesome being the 2nd or 3rd best player on a contender. Duh.
If it was up to me I wouldn't make any trade. If I was forced to make one, I would move Big Al. He's going to ultimately be the more pricey of the two; and he seems to be less capable of being a two way player. He's a way better scorer, and hard to replace with our current offense. Yet -- we seem to always win when he's not in uniform. (And we've beaten good teams when he was injured or excused) Millsap appears to be a more complimentary player down the line with our youth -- and he would continue to start (a condition he has earned) if Jefferson was moved.
Still -- no trade is happening. And if I'm wrong, I'll own up to it.