UTAH JAZZ

Sexton, Fontecchio Become Trade Eligible For Jazz On Thursday

Dec 14, 2022, 2:25 PM | Updated: 2:29 pm
Collin-Sexton-Utah-Jazz...
Collin Sexton of the Utah Jazz (Photo: Deseret News/Ben B. Braun)
(Photo: Deseret News/Ben B. Braun)

SALT LAKE CITY – December 15 is an important date for willing NBA trade partners, including the Utah Jazz.

Thursday marks the date that players who signed new contracts during this offseason become eligible to be traded, lifting the moratorium on deals for a number of players who were free agents over the summer.

For the Jazz, that includes Collin Sexton and Simone Fontecchio who make up just two of the more than 70 players who are added to the existing pool of tradable players.

How Does December 15 Trade Date Impact The Jazz?

While Thursday lifts current restrictions for Danny Ainge and Justin Zanik to make deals, there doesn’t seem to be a pressing need, or desire, to force any moves.

Collin Sexton has had an up-and-down beginning to his career in Utah averaging 14.3 points, and 3.0 assists, the Jazz knew it would take time for the guard to adjust to his new role on the roster.

After starting but all but 10 games during his four-year career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sexton has assumed the role of second-unit playmaker and sixth man for the Jazz, all while returning from a significant knee injury last season.

The Jazz invested in a four-year, $72 million contract for Sexton over the summer and would likely prefer to give him more time to grow under head coach Will Hardy before making a decision on his future.

Fontecchio Is Also Trade Eligible

Like Sexton, Simone Fontecchio also signed a deal with the Jazz over the summer, leaving the European pro leagues for the NBA on a two-year, $6.3 million deal in Utah.

Fontecchio has played sporadically during the team’s first 30 games of the season, but is shooting 41 percent from the three-point line in his 16 appearances, and showed encouraging signs of growth prior to an ankle injury that has sidelined him for the last three games.

The Italian rookie is a low-cost rotation player with reasonable upside and could assume one of the backup forward positions depending on the future of Rudy Gay.

Fontecchio’s $3.2 million deal could be used to match salaries in a multi-player trade, but there is little reason for the Jazz to seek out a trade including the rookie otherwise.

Are There Players Jazz Could Pursue?

Though the Jazz may not hunt opportunities to trade their own players, Ainge and Zanik have positioned the team to be players on the trade market.

With a bevy of draft picks, few long-term financial commitments, and the freedom as a roster to chase the playoffs, or drop back into the lottery, the Jazz have more pathways to alter the roster than most teams in the NBA.

For example, if a team like the Chicago Bulls decided they needed to make a strong playoff push, and needed additional backcourt help to make up for the extended absence of Lonzo Ball, Sexton could be a newly available trade target.

In return, the Jazz could request future draft capital to stack on their already overflowing treasure chest.

On the flip side, if the rumors are true that the Jazz were interested in acquiring Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins to improve the talent on this year’s roster, Sexton and Fontecchio could now be included in a trade to facilitate the deal.

You can view the full list of players who become eligible to be traded in the link below.

NBA Players Eligible To Be Traded On December 15

 

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Sexton, Fontecchio Become Trade Eligible For Jazz On Thursday