Would Jazz Trade For Mike Conley, Otto Porter Jr.?
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA trade deadline is on February 7 at 1 p.m. and the rumors are beginning to swirl around potential deals and possible trades to be made, including the Utah Jazz.
According to Hoopshype, the Jazz are interested in Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley as well as Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. both players have been put on the trade block by their respective teams.
The reports said that the Jazz are looking for an upgrade at point guard, which is why they are showing interest in Conley. The 11-year veteran is averaging 20 points and 6 assists this season.
Porter is a 6-8 forward, who is a good two-way player in the NBA that can defend and shoot the basketball. He is in his fifth year in the NBA and is averaging 13 points and 6 rebounds per game.
Both players have pretty hefty contracts but there are a few trade scenarios that could work to get either Conley or Porter in Utah.
How Utah Can Acquire Conley
Multiple reports have said that the Memphis Grizzlies are finally going to hit the reset button and start the rebuilding process but would like to get some value in return. They made Conley and center Marc Gasol available to be traded. Obviously, the Jazz don’t have any interest in Gasol because of Rudy Gobert but Utah could benefit from the services of Conley.
Hoopshype listed Utah as one of the four destinations that Conley could be traded to. In most rebuilds, the franchise wants three things – young talent, draft picks and expiring contracts.
The Jazz have a player in Ricky Rubio who will become a free agent after this season. If Utah wants to bring in Conley, they will likely have to trade Rubio to Memphis. Back in the off-season before the 2016-17 season, Conley signed a four-year, $118 million contract that includes a $34 million player option in the fifth year. He will be on the fourth year of his contract next season.
Rubio is set to make $15 million this season, so Utah would have to include another player to make this trade possible because if the trade was straight across, it would put the Jazz over the luxury tax threshold, exceeding what’s allowed via the 125 percent plus $100,000 rule. Utah would need to shed $11 million on top of Rubio’s contract to land Conley.
Derrick Favors will make $16,900,000 this season with next year being non-guaranteed. If he was involved in the trade, Utah could land Conley in exchange for Favors and Rubio.
If this was the case, it would allow Utah to have that stretch four in the lineup more consistently. Ekpe Udoh would move to the backup center position for Rudy Gobert. Conley brings more of an offensive punch that will compliment Donovan Mitchell in the backcourt while bringing a good defensive presence.
Another trade that is highly unlikely but works financially is Rubio and Dante Exum going to Memphis in exchange for Conley. The only reason why Exum would be in the discussion is because he is 23-years old and would be a part of the rebuilding for the Grizzlies. Utah likely won’t include Exum in the trade.
Could Porter End Up In Salt Lake City?
Reports have said that the Wizards are starting to shop Otto Porter Jr. and see what they can get in return. The Jazz had interest in the Georgetown product during the off-season in 2017 when Gordon Hayward decided to leave the Jazz and sign with the Boston Celtics, Porter was on the Jazz’s radar when they were looking for Hayward’s replacement.
The main reason why Porter didn’t sign with Utah is because he was a restricted free agent, which means that the team he was playing for had the opportunity to match any offer by any other NBA franchise. Porter signed an offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets that was a four-year $106 million that was matched by the Wizards. He will make $26 million this season, $27 million next season and will have a player option for the 2020-21 season that is worth $28 million.
If Utah doesn’t acquire Conley but want to pursue Porter, they would have to include Derrick Favors and most likely two more players. Some other media outlets have said that a trade that includes Favors, Thabo Sefolosha and Grayson Allen would work financially.
Porter’s numbers have dipped after a career year this past season. He averaged 14.7 points per game last season and is posting 12.9 points per game this season. His rebounds are down this year as well as his field goal percentage and three-point shooting percentage. But he is 25-years old and could just need a different system to thrive in and Utah is a prime spot for Porter.
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