Alright I’m just going to cut right to the chase today. There’s no question that the Utah Jazz just aren’t quite there yet. A four game losing streak against better competition has shown that loud and clear. The Jazz have more talent on this roster than they have in a long time, but there’s always room for improvement.
A day or two on Utah Jazz Twitter will show that the two most demanded upgrades are perimeter defense and backup center. I tend to agree with these assessments, so who might the Jazz be targeting between now and Thursday’s Trade Deadline? Unfortunately there aren’t many trade assets left, so you’re looking at lower salary players who won’t cost high draft pick compensation in return.
I tried to do some searching and identify some potential options.
Now, some of these are more traditional 5’s and some would give the Jazz a small ball option at 5. Both directions are viable in my opinion, so if you see an odd array of players here that would be why.
- Ersan Ilyasova - Milwaukee Bucks PF - $7 million
- Robin Lopez - Milwaukee Bucks C - $4.7 million
- Kyle O’Quinn - Philadelphia 76ers C - $2.0 million
- Khem Birch - Orlando Magic C - $3.0 million
- Markeiff Morris - Detroit Pistons PF - $3.2 million
- Christian Wood - Detroit Pistons PF - $1.6 million
- Moritz Wagner - Washington Wizards C - $2.6 million
- Willy Hernangomez - Charlotte Hornets C - $1.6 million
- John Henson - Cleveland Caveliers C - $9.7 million
- Jabari Parker - Atlanta Hawks PF - $6.5 million
- Alex Len - Atlanta Hawks C - $4.1 million
- Patrick Patterson - Los Angeles Clippers PF - $1.6 million
- Boban Marjanovic - Dallas Mavericks C - $3.5 million
- Nerlens Noel - OKC Thunder C - $1.6 million
- Jakob Poeltl - San Antonio Spurs C - $3.7 million
- Frank Kaminsky - Phoenix Suns C - $4.7 million
- Aron Baynes - Phoenix Suns C - $5.4 million
- Jahlil Okafor - New Orleans Pelicans C - $1.7 million
- Nemanja Bjelica Sacramento Kings PF - $6.8 million
- Stanley Johnson - Toronto Raptors SF - $3.6 million
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson - Toronto Raptors SF - $2.5 million
- James Ennis - Philadelphia 76ers SF - $1.8 million
- Wesley Iwundu - Orlando Magic SF - $1.6 million
- DeAndre’ Bembry - Atlanta Hawks SG - $2.6 million
- Thabo Sefolosha - Houston Rockets SF - $1.6 million
- Terrance Ferguson - OKC Thunder SG - $2.4 million
- DeMarre Carroll - San Antonio Spurs SF - $7.0 million
- Derrick White - San Antonio Spurs SG - $1.9 million
- Josh Okogie - Minnesota Timberwolves SG -$2.5 million
These lists weren’t meant to be completely exhaustive. So if I missed someone, feel free to add them in the comments section. As you can see, I tried to stay below a certain price point. It seem as though the only 100% available players on the Jazz roster that still have some value around the league are those with smaller salaries, ala Ed Davis, Emmanuel Mudiay, Georges Niang, etc.
Creating this list made me realize that backup bigs are much easier to come by at a cheap price than effective wings. My personal favorite backup big targets are Christian Wood and Nerlens Noel. And for perimeter defenders I just don’t see a move being realistic from that list. Either their team will value them too much, or they just wouldn’t move the needle enough.
This year’s trade deadline will be interesting to watch. The Jazz are buyers at the right price given their stance as wanting to be contenders. However, they are limited on assets, so just how aggressive can Justin Zanik get? We’ve seen he’s willing to pull the trigger, both to bring someone in and ship them out.
Who are your favorite targets at backup big and perimeter defender and why?