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Shaking Up The Jazz Roster At The Trade Deadline Would Be A Mistake

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45), Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) and Utah Jazz guard Kyle Korver (26) look on as the Jazz lead crumbled in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. The Jazz won 106-103. (Jeff Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz have won nine of 10 games, moved up to the seventh spot in the Western Conference playoff race and within striking distance of earning home court advantage, so the logical thing to do is shake up the roster and make a trade before the Feb. 7 deadline to improve the team, right?

Not so fast.

The Jazz are on an upward trend partly due to the schedule easing up quite a bit from the brutal first half of the year and also now that a variety of players are stepping up when other Jazzmen have been injured. Now, everything seems to be coming together as the team getting healthier with Ricky Rubio back in the lineup.

The Jazz also will be getting back Dante Exum who should be back in early February from an ankle injury plus Raul Neto is expected back around that same time. Adding those two players almost acts like a trade without actually making a move.

On KSL’s Unrivaled, co-host Scott Mitchell is adamant about staying put saying there is no need to go out and pursue another big name for a playoff push.

“You gotta dance with the girl that brought you,” Mitchell said regarding the desire for the Jazz to make a trade. ”Ricky Rubio has had a wake up call from return from his [hamstring] injury. He has been playing at a level of consistency and energy that is even better than last year when they were on that huge run. I have always felt he was a key component for the success of the Jazz.

“What’s happened is that other players like Donovan Mitchell have gotten the experiment of playing point guard which actually has turned into a new found dimension into the offense that was not there before.”

During this latest winning streak the Jazz have been playing so much better as a team and it really showed during the Denver Nuggets win which got chippy through and featured a great defensive effort down the stretch to get the win.

With all of the backups playing it has forced other roles onto players and that has shown to be a valuable asset and should be helpful the rest of the way.

“You have this chemistry of players who are playing well together and you can have Ricky Rubio in the game to electrify the offense,” Mitchell added. “You take him out and still have that pace with Donovan Mitchell in the game and there is no let down.”

While Mitchell wants the Jazz to stay put, co-host Alex Kirry says if a move is to be made it should be a minor move involving someone who would come off of the bench.

“The starters are great… but the question is: are you married to Thabo Sefolosha, Raul Neto, or Dante Exum who has been told for years that he is going to be great,” Kirry asked. “Even Derrick Favors is always an option to throw out there because he is worth a lot to a team. If it really comes down to it, if you could add another Jae Crowder-like player [would be worth it].”

The NBA trade deadline goes through Thursday, Feb. 7 at  1 p.m. MT.

Tune into KSL’s Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast.