One of the most surprising teams in the NBA this season is the Utah Jazz. After trading Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic and Rudy Gobert in the offseason, the Jazz were expected to be at the bottom of the standings. Instead. Utah is in the thick of a loaded West playoff picture as the trade deadline approaches.
The Jazz are unlikely to be buyers, even though they have the draft assets to chase some upgrades if they choose. They’re more likely to make changes on the fringes and potentially make some deals to net more draft picks.
The key question for Utah involves Mike Conley, who would probably like to be on a contender as he enters the late stages of his career. Jordan Clarkson, a veteran scorer, will also probably want a team that contends. Both players can deliver Utah some decent draft capital, while also opening up playing time for Collin Sexton and Ochai Agbaji.
Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley, two players acquired in the Gobert trade, are likely to be dealt. Both have value as bench pieces and there will be a bidding war among contenders. Look for the Suns, Lakers, Clippers and Heat to be involved for all these players as they hope to bolster their rosters.
Prediction: Jazz trade Vanderbilt, Conley and Clarkson
There’s always a market for veteran point guards and secondary big men, which means Utah shouldn’t have issues dealing either guy. Beasley fits well with the core the Jazz are trying to grow, and will retain his trade value next season if the team accepts the option to retain him. Clarkson is a potential free agent and will surely look to make money on the open market, which means Utah is better off dealing him now to get some value since they’re unlikely to match the massive offer he’ll receive.