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The Downbeat: Is Utah positioned to make a significant trade?

The Utah Jazz signed three new players in last 48 hours.

NBA: Preseason-Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

We’re still in the exciting part of the offseason. The Jazz went on a spending spree over the last couple of days, signing three free agents while also letting one member of the team go. A lot of stuff is going down and more could be on the way so make sure your seatbelts are fastened.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said in a podcast (in the 54th minute or so) that Utah may not be done wheeling and dealing. It was a brief statement, but he was eager to share it.

“I think Utah is primed to make a deal here relatively soon that may change the composition of their roster,” Windhorst said. That’s strong language from a generally informed person, he said so himself one sentence later.

“That may have been an informed comment I just made.”

Jared Woodcox over at Purple and Blues took this comment and talked about some possible trade options that would fall under “changing the composition of the Jazz’s roster.”

“One player who has been mentioned as potentially on the trade block for the Jazz for seemingly quite some time is Derrick Favors, and some have speculated that if Windhorst, who follows LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers extremely closely, is providing insight on the Jazz, then it could in some way entail a Derrick Favors for Cavs forward Kevin Love transaction.”

The only way I see Utah landing Kevin Love is if they involved themselves in a 3+ team deal with the Cavaliers and Knicks. Many feel confident that Carmelo Anthony will be on his way to the Rockets in the near future. Anthony himself apparently feels that way. But Cleveland has been mentioned prominently as a suitor for the 10-time All-Star with Kevin Love being their contribution to the trade.

If the Knicks want to go full rebuild and don’t want to take on a star in his 30s they may want a third team to provide picks/young players. The Utah Jazz could theoretically be that team. In the spirit of curiosity, I fiddle around with ESPN’s trade machine to see what might work and this is one potential swap of players

Cleveland gets: Carmelo Anthony

New York gets: Derrick Favors, Alec Burks

Utah gets: Kevin Love

There would likely be some picks thrown in their somewhere to sweeten the pot, but that would probably be the general idea.

At this point, a trade for Kevin Love would be extreme, nor does it fall into Dennis Lindsey’s strategy of building the deadliest defensive team the NBA has ever seen. It is an intriguing idea though, and Windhorst seemed very keen to share his supposed insider knowledge.

Enough rambling about trades that may or may not happen. Here’s something that DID happen. Yesterday, the Jazz signed former #6 overall pick Ekpe Udoh. Udoh has most recently been in Turkey playing for Fenerbahce, helping them become the first Turkish team to win the EuroLeague championship in 2016.

Mike Schmitz of DraftExpress wrote an article about how Udoh’s style of play is much more suited to the NBA than when he was drafted in 2010.

“The former Michigan big turned Baylor transfer certainly could have done more to maximize his opportunities at the NBA level, but the league had yet to evolve into what it is today. At 6-10, Udoh was 'undersized' for a center, and didn't quite have the skill set to fit as a four man.

“But since his underwhelming seasons with the Warriors (2010-12), Bucks (2012-14) and Clippers (2014-15), the NBA has trended back in Udoh's direction. He's without question a five in today's NBA, and his perimeter defense and shot blocking instincts are as valuable as ever.”

Udoh’s defensive versatility and “switchability,” as Schmitz called it, is yet another arrow in the quiver of Quin Snyder. It’ll be very interesting how Snyder uses Jerebko and Udoh as backup bigs in certain situations.

The Jazz have always seemed to have a propensity for signing foreign players. Now, the majority of their team is made up of players who hail from outside the United States (Joe Ingles, Dante Exum, Rudy Gobert, Jonas Jerebko, Ekpe Udoh, Raul Neto, Thabo Sefolosha and Ricky Rubio).

Fourteen players, seven languages, one Utah Jazz team.

Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake Tribune wrote a piece about the way the Jazz have embraced the world-wide NBA concept the league office is trying to spread.

“The Jazz quite literally have taken a wide view of the modern game. They've proved again and again, as recently as the last 24 hours, that they are a land, a team, of opportunity for people from anywhere. Looking at their roster is like jumping aboard a boat in Disney's It's a Small World.”

The countries where current Jazz players come from

And people think no one wants to live in Utah. Must be our lack of family friendliness.

One man from a foreign land who will not be on the Jazz this next season is Boris Diaw. After being unable to find a fitting trade partner, the Utah Jazz will reportedly waive Boris Diaw before his contract become guaranteed on Saturday.

Before the decision was made, Tony Jones reported that the Toronto Raptors were interested in bringing in Diaw.

There was no mention of who or what else might have been involved in such a trade, but it likely wouldn’t have been any more significant than what the Jazz did with the rest of their past two days.

Though Diaw was not a particularly special part of the Jazz, he is a very likable guy and an interesting personality (in a good way). He will be missed.

And finally, a belated birthday wish to the now 22-year old Dante Exum.