Over the weekend, I read that the Sacramento Kings are currently exploring trades for Nemanja Bjelica--and also, that the Kings had tried to trade Bjelica in the off season.
I have long thought that Bjelica would be a great fit with the Jazz and its current system, and would give the Jazz some much needed size at the PF position, without sacrificing shooting ability. However, at a salary of $7,150,000--under NBA trade rules--the Jazz would be required to trade players to the Kings having salaries totaling at least $5,640,000. In the off season, that could have been easily accomplished with the salaries of former Jazz players who were traded (without taking any salary back) or waived in the off season, namely, Ed Davis, Tony Bradley, Rayjon Tucker and Nigel Williams-Goss. However, at this point in time, it becomes problematic for the Jazz.
In order to match salaries in a trade for Bjelica, the Jazz would have to do one of the following: (1) trade Ingles or O'Neale; (2) sign a free agent (which could be Tucker or Brantley, converted to an NBA contract) for the bi-annual exception amount ($3,623,000), and trade that player and Azubuike; (3) sign a free agent (which could be Tucker or Brantley, converted to an NBA contract) for the bi-annual exception amount and trade that player and two other players with salaries less than the salary of Azubuike; or (4) trade four Jazz players with salaries less than that of Mitchell's salary, choosing from Azubuike ($1,977,000), Niang ($1,783,557), Harrison ($1,620,564), Oni ($1,517,981), Morgan ($1,517,981), Hughes ($898,310)--or Brantley ($1,445,697 vet minimum contract, or any portion of the bi-annual exception amount) or Tucker ($898,310 vet minimum contract, or any portion of the bi-annual exception amount), converted to an NBA contract from a 2-way contract.
Plus, the Kings would probably want at least one future 2nd round draft pick, in addition to the players traded, as part of the trade.
Other than O'Neale or Ingles--whom I don't think the Jazz would even consider trading--the players the Kings would most likely want to obtain in a trade would be Azubuike, Niang, Oni, Harrison and/or Hughes. I'm pretty certain the Jazz wouldn't want to part with Oni, Azubuike or Hughes, and most likely wouldn't want to part with Harrison or Niang, either. Plus, I think the Jazz would need to look at whether Bjelica would be enough of an improvement over Niang as the backup PF to justify trading several young players and a future 2nd round draft pick, and to pay Bjelica $6.3 mil. more than the team is currently paying Niang, to do the same job.
All that being considered, although I would very much like to see Bjelica on the Jazz roster this season, I think the price of a trade for Bjelica would most likely be much too high for the Jazz--especially whereas the Jazz could simply wait until next off season, and attempt to sign Bjelica as a free agent.
What do you all think?