Not every team has to make a move at the trade deadline. The opposite, of course, is that logic dictates that some teams just HAVE to make a move at the deadline. And of course, the majority of the teams in the NBA exist upon these two continuums. The Jazz are in a win now mode, which makes no sense (why try to win 4 extra games this year instead of develop guys who can make sure you win 10 extra games the next 4 years?). But that said, making the playoffs is a huge goal.
As a result, we need to look at the moves that were just made and see if they help our case. (We made no moves so we're trying to rely on the kindness of strangers here)
Right now in the Western Conference the Jazz sit at 11th place. To make the playoffs the Jazz need to finish the season in 8th place. That means we'd have to leap frog a few teams. The teams in front of us are the Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, and then 8th place Denver Nuggets. But before we look at that let's look at the entire conference. I do not anticipate the Oklahoma City Thunder dropping out, or the San Antonio Spurs or Los Angeles Lakers. Memphis is also only going to get better. I think that Top 4 in the west will remain pretty static. The next back are the LA Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets. Dallas did not make any moves at the deadline. The Clippers moved Brian Cook and got Nick Young in return. Nick Young is a legit shooting guard (something their team of just PFs and PGs needed). He's also kind of unreliable. He's like the "Bad CJ", but much worse. I think the Clippers still make the playoffs. Houston made many more changes. They got rid of Jonny Flynn, Hasheem Thabeet, and Jordan Hill. They in return got Marcus Camby (a very legit defensive big), and Derek Fisher, whom I think they bought out. Thabeet and Hill are much worse than Camby, so that's a plus for them. I can see Houston making a small surge here. So that's 7 teams that I think will stay. It's only the last piece that matters -- Denver.
Denver moved Nene away for JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf. I believe Turiaf is going to be waived so they can make room for Wilson Chandler, whom I think they are going to sign shortly.
Denver made a sideways move, but Chandler makes them very good. Do the Jazz have the horses to break through the guys we need to overtake (Phoenix who are on a hot streak right now, and Minnesota?), and also jump over the Denver Nuggets? Probably not. The teams under the Jazz (New Orleans, Sacramento, Golden State -- and Portland who just blew it all up) aren't going to get better. Minny made fade, Phoenix isn't tanking (they have vets on their team too!). So at the best I think we can move up from 11th to 10th.
No playoff team above us messed their grove up with the moves at the trade deadline. And no team above us did anything to make it easier to jump past them.