Utah Jazz NBA Trade Deadline Strategy 2024: Trade Targets & Mock Trades

With the NBA trade deadline this Thursday, contenders and rebuilders are currently in a frenzy attempting to find the best deals possible. That includes the Utah Jazz, who have numerous veterans on the chopping block. What’s the optimal deadline strategy for this plucky Jazz squad? Which players should be moved or acquired?

Utah Jazz Deadline Strategy

They currently hold the final play-in spot and rank 10th in Net Rating over their past 25 games (via NBA.com). The Jazz are far from pushovers, but it’s highly unrealistic to expect a first round playoff win, much less a Conference Finals berth. Therefore, selling high on aging veterans remains the vastly superior long-term option even though it ruins their immediate playoff chances.

Oklahoma City owns Utah’s first rounder this season, but it’s top ten protected. Taking a slide down the standings would place them in a position to keep the pick and add a tantalizing prospect.

However, Lauri Markkanen turns 27-years-old this May, so gutting the roster solely for future draft picks essentially wastes his prime years. Danny Ainge must balance long-term additions with maintaining a legitimately competitive squad across the next three seasons.

With all of this in mind, the Jazz need to trade the following players: Jordan Clarkson, Kelly Olynyk, and John Collins. Additionally, there is an under the radar trade target below that would fit the team well and aid Markkanen in the long run.

Utah Jazz Mock Trades

The following deadline trades would greatly behoove the Jazz’s outlook.

Utah Sends Olynyk To Oklahoma City

Utah Receives:

  • Davis Bertans
  • 2024 1st via Clippers

Oklahoma City Receives:

  • Kelly Olynyk

The Thunder desperately need a backup center that aids their rebounding woes, and Olynyk obliges. He also owns nearly a 43 three-point percentage while averaging 7.6 assists per 75 possessions, so Olynyk fits their do-it-all offensive philosophy. They part with a late first rounder, but Oklahoma City doesn’t have the roster space or available minutes for this pick. Considering Olynyk boosts their championship equity, it’s worth the cost.

Meanwhile, the Jazz flip a depreciating asset into valuable draft capital. Every draft churns out productive players that fall to the late first or early second round, so it could net a quality role player. Utah has the option to throw this pick into another trade for the purposes of acquiring an impact player too. As for Davis Bertans, only $5M is guaranteed next season before he becomes a free agent.

Utah Trades Clarkson To New York

Utah Receives:

  • Evan Fournier
  • 2024 1st via Knicks

New York Receives:

  • Jordan Clarkson

Since Immanuel Quickley plays for the Raptors now, New York is searching for a backup guard that can create his own shot and facilitate in the half-court. Jordan Clarkson will never be a beacon of efficiency, but the 2021 Sixth Man of the Year can get red-hot as a microwave scorer. He’s also dishing out nearly six assists per 75 possessions too, so the passing chops are there. Finally, Clarkson is locked down for the next two seasons at an affordable $14M per year, thus making this deal worth the price.

On the other hand, the Jazz can cut Evan Fournier loose this summer and wash their hands of his contract. Therefore, Utah clears salary off of the books while opening up playing time for promising rookie Keyonte George. Plus, the Jazz are now armed with another late first round pick in the 2024 Draft. If they manage to sneak into the top ten and keep their own pick, then it would bring their total to three 2024 firsts.

Utah Snags Cameron Johnson From Brooklyn

Utah Receives:

  • Cameron Johnson

Brooklyn Receives:

  • John Collins
  • 2024 1st via Knicks
  • 2024 1st via Clippers

Brooklyn is a disaster at the moment and needs to initiate a youth movement. Cameron Johnson will net a decent haul considering every team desires 3&D wings with positional size. Raking in two first round picks and a rotation player likely represents their best offer, and the Nets would be wise to jump at the chance. If they stay the current course, then mediocrity and lost seasons await them. As a side note, trade Mikal Bridges to Houston for your future back!

John Collins provides value as a roller, paint scorer, and rebounder, but his undeveloped passing and poor defense make him a poor fit for Utah. Plus, he is owed roughly $26M next season and has a $26M player option for the following year. That’s far too much money, so the Jazz exchange him for Cam Johnson at the price of two late first rounders.

Johnson is a court-warper who has made 402 of his last 980 three-point attempts (41%) since the start of the 2022 season. His off-ball gravity pairs perfectly with Lauri Markkanen and keeps the paint clean for driving lanes and Walker Kessler’s rolls. Considering the Jazz rank 22nd in 3PT%, adding Johnson to the mix fills a huge need. The veteran can also occasionally put the ball on the floor and hit pull-up jumpers, so he is not a one-dimensional offensive player. On the other end, his above average wing defense would help a Utah squad that sits 25th in Defensive Rating.

Overall, a long-term frontcourt trio of Johnson, Markkanen, and Kessler is extremely intriguing. Factor in Sexton, George, Hendricks, Fontecchio, Dunn, Agbaji, Sensabaugh, Horton-Tucker, a boatload of future firsts, and cap space, and this new-look Utah rotation is better built for the future than the current depth chart.

2024 NBA Championship Odds

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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