If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Danny Ainge since he’s joined the Utah Jazz front office, he doesn’t sit on his hands. It looks like he, and the Jazz front office, have been busy this season looking for additional trades.
In Jake Fischer’s latest article, the Jazz were confirmed to have interest in John Collins and a trade was proposed from the Hawks that the Jazz turned down.
The Jazz’s interest in Hawks forward John Collins is real, league sources said, and would seem to indicate Utah is considering how to add to this winning unit rather than subtract from it. Right now, the likelihood of Collins landing in Salt Lake City, though, seems low. Atlanta approached the Jazz about swapping Collins for Markkanen, sources said, which did not generate any traction.
Of Utah’s impact players, Conley’s salary would be a direct match for Collins, if Atlanta felt it beneficial to add another point guard behind Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Although $22 million, with $14.3 million guaranteed for next season, is a lot for the tax-conscious Hawks to pay for an aging reserve with a recent injury history. Beasley would seem to be the best return for any theoretical deal that brought Collins to the Jazz, but that would also require adding an additional Utah contract to reach at least $18.5 million for an outgoing package to take on Collins’ $23 million owed this season.
John Collins would fit the timeline of players like Markkanen and Beasley who are just entering their prime and could be a nice addition alongside them. The issue is that if the Hawks are asking for Markkanen, like Fischer is reporting, there’s not a lot of point as the Jazz would just be treading wheels.
Fischer mentions who is likely on the table for the Jazz, and who is not.
How much time Mike Conley misses following a knee injury over the weekend could impact Utah’s decision-making if there’s any subsequent drop in the Jazz’s competitiveness. Utah has so far signaled an intent to keep breakout star forward Lauri Markkanen plus franchise favorite Jordan Clarkson, and have established a high asking price for Jarred Vanderbilt, sources told Yahoo Sports, leaving Malik Beasley and Kelly Olynyk, along with Conley, as the obvious veterans the Jazz could move before the Feb. 9 trade deadline. Olynyk is known to be a favorite of Ainge.
I’m not sure who the source could be on this but it certainly seems helpful to the Jazz. Why? Because this is basically letting all the other front offices out there know what the availability of players is, and the asking price.
We’ve heard multiple reports of the Jazz wanting to keep Jordan Clarkson and that’s confirmed here. It’s also not surprising that the Jazz intend to keep Lauri Markkanen, who has had a breakout season. Everyone else seems gettable though, even Jarred Vanderbilt, who is mentioned as having a high asking price. But if there’s one thing we know, if a team is willing to meet the asking price that Ainge has set, he’s willing to make that trade.
The other interesting not in this one was that the Jazz are looking to move Rudy Gay.
Sources said the Jazz have been searching to move Rudy Gay, who will almost assuredly pick up his $6.5 million player option for 2023-24.
This season has been a surprising one for the Jazz and they can go in multiple directions. Whichever direction they choose, it will be interesting!