The Downbeat #1279: Mr. Smith Goes To Utah

Could these two be on their way to Utah? - Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Is a Josh Smith trade possible?

Since the trade deadline is only two days away, it's time for some obligatory ridiculous trade proposals. This one is pretty crazy and unreasonable. Let's read it. Shall we?

NBA Trade Rumors: Josh Smith, Rodney Stuckey Could Play With Trey Burke In Utah - Detroit Jock City - A Detroit Sports blog

However after extensive brainstorming using ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine and a little common sense, the Utah Jazz look to be a possible landing spot for Smith and the expiring contract of Rodney Stuckey. The Jazz are carefully rebuilding through the draft but acquiring Josh Smith could help them speed up that process. The Jazz will be looking for a free agent forward in the upcoming offseason considering their entire front court are on expiring deals. The Jazz will be looking for a free agent forward in the upcoming offseason considering their entire front court are on expiring deals. And that is where Rodney Stuckey comes in. Smith will definitely eat up some of the valuable cap space for the Jazz but Rodney Stuckey’s expiring deal will help them preserve that space for next season. In exchange for the services of Josh Smith and Rodney Stuckey the Pistons will acquire Utah SF Richard Jefferson and C Andris Biedrins. The pair have expiring deals that will not disrupt the Pistons planned cap space for next season.

So basically the Jazz receive Rodney Stuckey and Josh Smith for Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins? If the Pistons were to offer that with no draft picks being offered, Dennis Lindsey would sign and drive today. Seriously. They get Rodney Stuckey whose contract expires and Josh Smith who can be an extra asset during the offseason and the draft? Yeah ... the Jazz would do that. But it's highly ridiculous and never going to happen.

There was an excellent article on SBNation about the Utah Jazz's trade deadline prospects and priorities. It mentions Gordon Hayward and his struggles.

Utah Jazz trade rumors: Gordon Hayward's future with Jazz should be top priority - SBNation.com

Defensive efficiency may be the team's worst enemy, but Hayward's drop in offensive efficiency should be second on that list. Gordon Hayward's raw offensive output is at a career high with 16.3 points per game, but his percentages are down across the board. He's performing at a career-low level -- worse than his rookie season -- while having to hoist up shots at a career-high rate. Utah needs to lean on him to produce, but he's at his best when he's moving off-ball or spotting-up. Instead, he's having to shoulder the load more often in isolation, which isn't playing to his strengths.

After much of the season, it is becoming more and more evident that Gordon Hayward is not a number one option. Gordon Hayward seems like an elite glue guy. It's as if the Jazz have built a team around a young Jeff Hornacek. Which makes Dennis Lindsey's comments to Kevin James even more interesting. Yesterday, Prodigal talked about Dennis Lindsey's strategy. Dennis Lindsey said:

It's real simple. There's, when we did what we did in the offseason, clearly, there was long term planning in place where the future maybe may be weighted equally ... just as much as the present. So you move into competitive sports. I think there is a lesson to be learned here that we all teach our kids about delayed gratification and working toward a goal systematically. Ya know, unfortunately, as you know in this business, the present screams while the future whispers, right? We all deal with that. We're dealing with that. But, the plan is pretty simple. It's a multi-faceted plan that we wanted to get the new players a new experience. New roles, new minutes to find out what we had. Because, ya know, Kevin and the staff here drafted really well without taking the pain season after season. We wanted to keep our balance sheet very flexible. As these offer sheets and as contracts come up, we wanted to be able to sign our players or match offers sheets. We know those things are coming. So again, future planning.

And then, the aggressive asset accumulation. If there was a free agent in last year's market that could have been a franchise or core player, we would have grabbed him. The Millers would have thoroughly committed to that. And then we would have built from there. That didn't come up in free agency. So the worse thing we could do is go and pay an above average money franchise money and then we are stuck. So we decided to use our room to accumulate as many assets as we can, 5 draft picks and some money that will be re-invested in the club going forward. And then the last part is the draft. No one ever said, ya know, that we are going to, ya know, as you termed it, "tank". I hate to even say that. What we're going to do is develop our young guys, add to our young guys, and let the chips fall where they may. If we get some luck, then good for us. If not, then we have multiple assets to aggregate together, in concept, and to go get a player that we want. Maybe we like most selections we're picking in the first round. Or maybe it's "hey, we have a enough young guys" - which we have a lot - and we need a veteran to compliment this. The draft picks are just an avenue to improve. And we'll add it up at the end of the season. We're very comfortable with our position and relative to our talent that we have returning, the flexible that we have to improve, the multiple assets that we have during the draft, and hopefully we can do something good with it.

The Utah Jazz with all their expiring contracts, young and promising players, and draft picks could make some noise at the trade deadline. They could also make some noise in free agency and during the draft. Either way, they are flexible enough to go after a big name if they become available and they can go after the player they want rather than have to be reliant upon luck and ping-pong balls.

Our former leader and all powerful editor who still speaks from the great beyond tried to lobby a Utah representative to have Utah Jazz license plates. He never got a response though.

This is a fantastic idea. Who wants some Jazz license plates?

Yesterday, Paul Millsap did the unthinkable. Well ... his PR firm that runs his instagram did the unthinkable. They wished Michael Jordan Happy Birthday. That isn't a sin. In fact, he's a great NBA player. Good of his PR team. But they posted the picture of Michael Jordan's push-off shot against the Utah Jazz. Of course, it faced a ton of backlash. Paul Millsap (or PR Team) posted a reply to all the mentions saying they meant no harm to Jazz fans by it, but ... c'mon. Paul Millsap drafted, developed, and raised by the Utah Jazz posted a picture of Michael Jordan ripping the heart out of every Jazz fan. Yep, don't know how that could have backfired. I was going to embed it, but it was deleted.

Are the Jazz going to target another wing in this year's draft? It may seem like it after this Lindsey comment.

What's unique about us is no matter which position we take there is going to be a young player in front of the player we take. A unique thing Kevin did and that we were able to compliment in last year's draft is we have a young 1, a young 2, we have a young 3, we have a couple of young 4s, a couple of young 5s. So whoever we select, veteran and free agency, or young player in the draft they're going to have to come in and be good.

Notice the Jazz only have two young wing players. They technically have two young 1s if Raul Neto is included. So Dante Exum, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, start checking out houses on zillow in Salt Lake City. It could be in your immediate future.

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