Utah Jazz made the playoffs again last season. After four years of missing the playoffs at the start of the last decade, they’ve now been in the thick of it for several years now. The point, however, is to seriously fight for a title. The core of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert is listed for the next five years, while the additions to that core in Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson are there for the next three. Additional tracks from Bojan Bogdanovic and Rudy Gay, to name a few, are also present, so this is the team that Jazz plans to challenge with.
However, it’s clear that for a serious title challenge, they’ll need more. Here are two trades that can potentially help them.
Davis Bertans at Jazz; Joe Ingles to Wizards
One thing every team knows in the league is that it takes a ton of shots to win in the modern NBA. For the Jazz to get even more shots and even more consistent shots, Bertans is the way to go. The Latvian shooter has been lethal in the past, while Ingles is in the last year of his contract, and despite being a skilled shooter Bertans is just plain better.
It is true that Bertans had a slack year compared to the contract year he had in 2019-2020. However, he still turned the lights off with 39.5% shots for three in 7.5 attempts, which is just the elite. Bertans exploded in the aforementioned 19-20 season, dropping from 8.0 points to 15.4 while keeping his shooting percentage at a good level. He brings a ton of filming, like it’s been said before, and not much else, but there’s not much else that Jazz really needs.
On the other hand, Ingles is slowly fading as he enters the wrong end of the 30. He will be 34 at the start of the season, while Bertans is entering his prime at 28. The Wizards can always turn his contract over. ‘a year for a certain value, or use this move for more flexibility. With the Latvian occupying $ 16million a year for the next four years, Ingles would be immediately ruled out and the Wizards could consider using him in a trade or signing players next summer.
Obviously that would benefit the Jazz more, as having two snipers like Bogdanovic and Bertans on the wings would be deadly. Defenses should be worried about Conley and Mitchell’s practices, Gobert on the offensive glass and the two shooters on the wings. If the Jazz can pull off that compromise, it would be a great addition, although it wouldn’t allow them to sign bigger players in the foreseeable future in free agency.
Marvin Bagley on jazz; Eric Paschall and Royce O’Neale at the Kings
Kings are known to make these types of moves, so in this world this trade makes perfect sense. Clearly, the second overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft hasn’t been incredible for the Kings and he’s in the final year of his contract. Betting on Paschall and O’Neale, who have both shown they can contribute to their teams in the past, would be good value for an ongoing draft.
Marvin Bagley would be a big risk to take for the Utah Jazz which would not cost much. He has one year on his contract, as has been said before, and if this business doesn’t work, they can still let him go into free agency. However, if he did, it would be a good deal for the Jazz. Bagley was the second choice for a reason and it’s clear Sacramento’s dysfunction didn’t work for his development. The Jazz are a stable franchise with a clear plan for the future, and if he manages to secure similar status to Bobby Portis in Milwaukee, he could jumpstart his career.
The Kings, on the other hand, don’t know what to do with their pickaxes, or at least it seems so. They wasted too many careers of good young players who had superstar potential and it looks like Bagley is one more in that mold. That way, they would get at least some value for an expiring contract that they clearly don’t consider re-signing. Paschall had a great rookie year for the Warriors a few years ago, while O’Neale will be a consistent and solid contributor on the bench.
It is clear that Jazz needs help and these two professions present it, at least to some extent. While Bagley would be a risk, Bertans certainly isn’t, and the Utah front office would need to be on the phone right now with the Wizards for this deal to come to fruition.