Although Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson are unrestricted free agents this summer, the Jazz will be looking for sign and trade opportunities with teams that don’t want to have to be in a bidding war for the two. A few years back the Jazz did this with Carlos Boozer to the Bulls for a trade exemption which the Jazz then flipped for Al Jefferson. The same will be available to the Jazz if Paul or Al allows them to. The benefit for a guy in their situation is simple: more years and more money. The Jazz are the only team that can give them a 5 year contract and they also are the only team that can offer them the most money. The Jazz would sign, for example, Al to a 5 year $87 million dollar deal (the max). Where another team can only offer him a 4 year $68 million dollar deal.
With all that being said here are three players the Jazz should consider trading for:
1. Eric Gordon
Now before you turn this one down, here me out. Eric Gordon is a great player in this league… when he is healthy. The Hornets the past 2 years with Gordon in the line-up are 23-28, without him they are 25-72. He’s won almost as many games for the Hornets in 51 games as it took the team 97 games to do! This past year he averaged less minutes and shot worse than the previous few years but I believe that had to do with his dissatisfaction with the team. He has 3 years left on his deal at $14-15 million a year. If the Jazz think he can be healthy than I think he is worth the risk by far.
2. Danny Granger
Granger only played in 5 games this past season due to injury and currently has on year left on his contract at $14 million. I know the Pacers are really close to competing with Heat and would like to add another player to their already very complete team. Whether that be Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson I’m not sure, what I do know is the Pacers are better without Granger. He doesn’t fit well for whatever reason. I’m not sure I’d even take Granger on the Jazz but for a one year experiment he could fill a need of a guy to go to when the game is on the line.
3. Eric Bledsoe/DeAndre Jordan
My staff writer Luke McDermott touched on this the other day that it makes sense for both teams to do this. Read it here: http://purpleandblues.com/2013/05/06/could-the-utah-jazz-help-the-los-angeles-clippers/
Just a couple more thoughts why it would be plausible to try for the Jazz is first DeAndre gets $10.9 million this year which won’t affect the Jazz and then $11.4 the following year which is a little bit bigger of an issue but if I’m reading Dennis Lindsey right then it shouldn’t be a problem next year either. I think Jordan would fit well with Favors or Kanter but the main prize for Jazz fans would be Bledsoe who many are very high on. In 20 minutes per game Bledsoe averaged 8.2 points and 3 apg, 3 rpg and 1.4 spg. Not great but not bad either and who knows what his potential is since he hasn’t been given the reigns yet to run a team.
All three guys would be interesting to see if they’d fit with the Jazz but I’m more interested what you the fan thinks? Post your comments below