Utah Is On The Clock: If you are expecting to know what Utah is going to do before they do it, you are not paying attention.
The Jazz are one of the few remaining teams in the NBA that keep trade discussions confined to a small circle of three or four people, and typically they are not engaged in anything until they are ready to move.
With ten days left to make a deal, the Jazz are clearly on the clock with pending free agents Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap.
The word is that if the Jazz are paying a free agent $10 million or more, it’s Millsap who’d they’d give the money to. There is also a sense that if Millsap wants to leave, leaving via a sign-and-trade is more likely than Jefferson.
So the smart money says Jefferson is the odd man out in Utah and that he is most likely to be traded before the deadline.
That said, the Jazz still don’t seem to be close to anything. There had been reports of a possible deal with San Antonio, and that still remains a possibility, although San Antonio doesn’t have much to offer that they would part with.
Jefferson could be an interesting addition to Toronto, but it’s unlikely that Utah takes back Andrea Bargnani; although league sources say anyone willing to take Raja Bell off their hands might get more consideration.
The line from Utah has been fairly consistent all season; making a deal involving their free agents isn’t a priority as long as they were in the playoff discussions and at 28-24 the Jazz currently hold the seventh seed in the west.
It won’t be surprising to see Utah hold firm and let offseason business take care of itself, especially if they can make a postseason push, that seems to be more important to the Jazz than anything they are being offered.
Things are constantly in flux this close to the deadline, but if what other teams are saying about Utah is true, the Jazz may not make a bad deal just to make one, they might actually just ride this team into the playoffs and see what happens from there.
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