The trade deadline can be an exciting time for an NBA fan. Whether you want your team to add that final piece for contention, or you’re hoping for a fire sell to gather assets, nearly everyone is hoping their team makes a move. The Utah Jazz have made some big time moves at the deadline in the past. Let’s review the 5 most memorable ones.
5. Ronnie Brewer dumped to save some cash
Ronnie Brewer was the 14th overall pick for the Jazz in the 2006 draft. Over the next 4 seasons he would play over 7,000 minutes, averaging 10.5 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. The reason he makes the list is because he was the starting shooting guard during the DWill, Memo, AK, Boozer days. The Utah Jazz were over the cap in 2010, so Brewer was moved at the deadline to save some cash. I feel like this may have been the start of the end for Deron Williams, seeing the Jazz make a money saving move. The first round draft pick they got in return was later used to trade for Al Jefferson.
4. Jazz get incredible draft pick 99 years in the future
Back in 2003, the Suns were hoping to rid themselves of Tom Gugliata’s contract. The Jazz were happy to oblige, sending Keon Clark and Ben Handlogten to get a couple first round draft picks in return. One of those draft picks became rather valuable, as it was owned by the putrid Knicks. It had heavy protections for many years, but in 2010 those protections fell off completely. The Jazz were able to use that pick 7 years later to draft Gordon Hayward.
3. Enes Kanter’s addition by subtraction
Enes Kanter may have said he only missed the mountains, but Utah probably didn’t miss anything about Kanter. After an unexpected trade request as the all star break started, the Jazz moved Kanter to the OKC Thunder for Steve Novak, Tibor Pleiss, Grant Jerrett, and Kendrick Perkins. Obviously none of those players really amounted to anything for the Jazz. The key here was opening up the starting center position for Rudy Gobert, which I think we can agree has worked out quite well. The Jazz later used the protected 1st round draft pick to bring in Ricky Rubio. For those wondering, that draft pick was the #20 in last year’s draft, which Minnesota used on Josh Okogie.
2. Jeff Hornaceck becomes third piece for Stockton and Malone
For the long version of this historically great trade, look at an in depth breakdown here. The short version is that the Jazz took way too long putting more talent around John Stockton and Karl Malone. During the 1993-1994 season, they finally made a move by bringing in Jeff Hornaceck in exchange for Jeff Malone and a first round draft pick. The rest is history, as this iconic trio was on the brink of an NBA title throughout the remainder of the 90’s.
1. Deron Williams traded to the Brooklyn Nets
I still remember where I was when I found out this trade had gone down. I was sitting in the ESLC on campus at Logan, Utah waiting for class to begin. I don’t think I listened to a single second of that lecture. After Jerry Sloan called it a career, the notoriously surly Deron Williams had apparently worn out his welcome. Michael wrote about some details from that night here. In a shocking move, the Jazz sent their all star point guard to the Nets in exchange for Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, and 2 first round draft picks. Utah used one of those picks on Enes Kanter and the other could have landed them Damian Lillard (taken 6th) except the Warriors intentionally blew some games to keep that top 7 protected pick (they selected Harrison Barnes 7th). Utah got the 21st pick in the following draft, which they packaged to move up and draft Trey Burke.
The deadline this year is on February 7th. As of right now, all things are quiet on the western front. However, now that certain contracts are trade eligible since January 15th, I think it’s safe to expect things to heat up. Will GM Dennis Lindsey be active on the deadline this year? If so, will it be as memorable as prior deadline trades? Stay tuned and we’ll find out!