Trade season is heating up, and the Utah Jazz are one of the teams everyone is paying attention to. Considering the Jazz are playing at such a high level, Utah is being looked at differently than they were at the beginning of the year. All that said there are a lot of rumors that are swirling around the Jazz; here are a couple of those rumors.
Kelly Olynyk and Jordan Clarkson on the trade block?
Marc Stein recently dropped some new rumors on his substack on the Jazz and mentioned that there were two names that he mentions regarding trades: Kelly Olynyk and Jordan Clarkson.
The reality is that the Jazz, with Danny Ainge in charge as team CEO, are likely to listen to trade pitches on pretty much anyone on the roster, but Utah’s unforeseen surge up the standings makes its trade deadline intentions even harder to read.
It has become one of the more popular questions in league circles as the deadline draws near: How will all the recent winning impact Utah’s trade deadline business? Kelly Olynyk and Jordan Clarkson are the Jazz veterans most frequently mentioned as potential trade targets before the Feb. 8 trade deadline.
It’s a pretty interesting rumor and pretty specific. It also makes sense for the Jazz to make those moves because of what they want to do with the future in mind. Jordan Clarkson and Kelly Olynyk are playing well right now for the Jazz, but that doesn’t make sense for the Jazz if they’re thinking about continuing to build for the future, something the front office is more focused on than anything. Currently, Taylor Hendricks is playing great in the G-League and has looked good every time he’s played for the Jazz, and I’m sure the Jazz would love to get him on the floor more. On top of that, Clarkson and Olynyk on the floor are keeping the ball out of Keyonte George’s hands, and he spends a lot of possessions watching Clarkson and Olynyk dominate the offense. It’s working right now, but could it work just as well with George and Hendricks getting those minutes? Maybe even better? You won’t miss out on shooting with Hendricks, and you’ll actually see the defense get even better. The question is, how much will you miss the playmaking from Olynyk? Personally, I am ready for the Keyonte George show to begin. Giving him the reins to drive freely and run the offense will build the confidence he’ll need in the years to come.
More Olynyk trade talk, interest with the Clippers?
Tim MacMahon joined the Zach Lowe podcast, and the topic to start was the Utah Jazz. They first discuss just how good the Jazz have been and then get into some trade talk and ideas. You need to listen to the podcast because it’s great, but I tried to transcribe some of the most interesting talking points as best I could.
From Zach Lowe
Here’s the point that I’ve reached with them. The Mike Conley trade last year was a death blow to them and they knew it, they were not surprised that would be the case. I don’t know what role player would have a similar effect on their team. Maybe it’s Kelly Olynyk who’s got interest with the Clippers… and Olynyk, he’s expiring, and has value, can you trade him and it’s not crippling to your second unit…
From Tim MacMahon
Danny Ainge is not going to get sentimental about a competitive team, the big picture is still at the front of their mind. Danny Ainge has had many times that he’s been on the phone… and not made the move… Everyone wants Kelly Olynyk, that doesn’t mean they’re going to pay what it costs to get Kelly Olynyk.
Zach Lowe eventually goes on to give an idea of what he thinks it might take.
If they get offered a good first, they have to think about it…
It’s more talk about Olynyk, which makes sense because he is an expiring contract but playing at a high level. If the Clippers can give something of value to Utah, they have to think about it for the reasons we mentioned before. Having Hendricks get more minutes is going to be invaluable as the Jazz continue playing towards winning enough to convey their 2024 pick to the Thunder, and then everything else is frosting. It would also be fun to see Keyonte George pick and rolls with Walker Kessler, which could really become quite the thing for the Jazz second team.
It’s going to be an interesting trade season for the Jazz, and we should only see things heat up more and more as the season goes along.