With Trade Deadline Approaching, Who Should the Jazz Target?

There’s a lot of buzz going around in Jazz Nation right now.

Nikola Mirotic of the Chicago Bulls has mentioned the Jazz as a team he would like to play for. Since he has a no trade clause that allows him to veto any trades, this gives the Jazz an advantage over other teams while trying to acquire him.

I personally think Mirotic could help turn this team around. He and Gobert playing together would be a nice balance of defense and offense.

In 17 games he’s averaging 17 ppg and 7 rpg while shooting 46% from 3.

Now, these numbers are a little skewed because he’s only played in 17 games this year due to injury. But he’s only 26, and has made huge improvements to his game.

His ability to knock down threes and get to the free throw line allows the Jazz to have a scoring big man who can help create space for Donovan Mitchell, and take some pressure off of the rookie.

Chicago is currently seeking an expiring contract and a first round pick for Mirotic, and the Jazz have been in serious talks with them over the past few days.

I believe the Jazz can offer Derrick Favors and a protected 1st round pick, and that should do the trick.

In addition to Mirotic there are a few other players that I think would be nice fits for the Jazz.

Orlando Magic v Miami Heat

Evan Fournier is a player I have always thought would be a nice fit in Coach Snyder’s scheme. He’s blossomed into a consistent scorer over the last two seasons in Orlando.

I think a package of Rodney Hood, and a pick makes sense. But that’s also dependent on whether or not the Mirotic trade actually happens.

Reports have shown that the Magic are open to trading anyone on their roster, and the Jazz need another scorer to play alongside Mitchell. Fournier is averaging 17.6 ppg while shooting 46% fg, and 39% from 3 this year.

Evan Fournier is set to make $17 million over the next 3 years of his 4 year contract. But considering Hood will be looking for around the same range as Fournier, Fournier might be a better bargain.

Now, this is where this blog gets interesting. Along with possible trades for the Jazz, I would like to throw in one hail mary trade possibility. And it includes “Cardiac” Kemba Walker.

I recently read that the Charlotte Hornets have made him available on the trade block.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Kemba. He’s explosive, a very talented playmaker, and would give the Jazz a HUGE upgrade at the PG position.

Let’s be honest. Ricky Rubio has been a giant let down (at least for me he has). Not saying I don’t think he can turn it around, but if the Jazz had any chance at getting Kemba (which I don’t really think they do) then I would have no problem with moving on from Rubio.

Kemba is on a bargain contract of $12 million per year until 2018-2019.

A trade for Kemba would most likely have to include Rodney Hood, with an expiring contract like Joe Johnson, plus a 1st round pick. Just guessing here.

Kemba missed shot

Realistically, the Jazz might not end up making any of these trades. But I do think that the trade for Mirotic is the most likely, and makes the most sense.

If the Jazz can get Gobert back in the next week or so, and acquire Mirotic to help open the floor, I believe it will greatly impact the chances of the Jazz making the playoffs.

I know a lot of fans are calling for the Jazz to tank, but that’s just not going to happen. And I’m ok with that.

To me it makes sense to try to make a push for the playoffs this year, maintain as much momentum as possible to take into next season, and hope the Jazz can grow and acquire some new talent to help push the Jazz over the hump in the next year or two.

– Jesse Thayne

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