UTAH JAZZ

Utah Jazz Mailbag: Can Jazz Raid Disappointing Playoff Teams?

Apr 30, 2024, 3:58 PM | Updated: May 1, 2024, 9:20 am

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket against Brandon Ingram #14 of...

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket against Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Welcome to the Utah Jazz mailbag where every week our NBA insiders answer your questions on social media about your favorite team.

Each week we will send out a prompt on KSL Sports ThreadsInstagramX, and Facebook pages asking for the questions you have about the Jazz.

Then, we’ll respond to as many as we can in that week’s mailbag.

Jazz Mailbag: Can Jazz Raid Playoff Failures?

Question: Judging by the few teams being eliminated in the playoffs so far, who will be making changes to the roster and who do you think could be potential trade partners?

Answer: As I wrote in my Fan Playoff Rooting Guide, the best thing for the Jazz in the postseason would be chaos, and so far there have been good results on that front.

The Milwaukee Bucks are on the brink of elimination from an underwhelming Indiana Pacers team, the Los Angeles Clippers appear to have the momentum in a tight series with the Dallas Mavericks, while the Cleveland Cavaliers are stuck in a tossup with the Orlando Magic.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, and New Orleans Pelicans have all been eliminated, with the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat also nearing disappointing first-round exits.

That opens the door for several disgruntled owners, general managers, and players to seek a change to the status quo this offseason.

But, even with this volatile NBA landscape, I don’t know how many true superstars are going to be made available this summer, even with so many poor performances in the first round.

Phoenix should be the team most willing to blow up their roster, but I’d be willing to bet owner Mat Ishbia makes a few minor moves in the margins, including a coaching change, hoping that that’s enough to satisfy Devin Booker while validating his terrible trades for Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal.

Dallas may lose to the Clippers, but I don’t sense that a first-round exit would be reason enough for Luka Doncic to demand a trade this summer.

The 76ers will likely lose to the injury-riddled Knicks, but have plenty of cap space to rebuild around Joel Embiid at least one more time this offseason.

That leaves the Lakers, the Pelicans, the Bucks, the Cavaliers, the Magic, and the Heat as teams who could suffer first-round exits, needing to make tough decisions on whether to makeover their rosters this summer or to run it back next year.

The Bucks are the team Jazz fans will immediately be drawn to and rightfully so.

Milwaukee has had a disastrous 12 months beginning with their shocking upset in the opening round of last year’s playoffs, the dismissal of two head coaches, and the failed trade for Damian Lillard.

At 29 years old, Giannis Antetokounmpo demanding a trade would be a dream scenario for the Jazz, and they would do everything in their power to see the superstar forward land in Utah.

Outside of Antetokounmpo, would the Jazz have an interest in Lillard if he hit the market once again?

Last summer, Sam Amick reported that the Jazz were one of the teams who showed interest in landing the Weber State product, would they rekindle that interest if they could land the guard at a lower asking price than the one the Portland Trail Blazers set 12 months ago?

The Pelicans are highly likely to shop Brandon Ingram this summer, could the Jazz better utilize the former number two overall pick by lowering the expectations that he faced in Los Angeles and New Orleans?

The 26-year-old has been miscast as a superstar, but is an excellent shot creator inside the arc, and a better-than-advertised playmaker. Health issues aside, Ingram fits the Jazz’s timeline, and could come at a discount after a disappointing playoff performance.

The Lakers desperately need to shake up their roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis with Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura both popular names in trade talks.

I first heard the Jazz had interest in Hachimura in the summer of 2022, and the Japanese forward is quietly coming off the best season of his career.

At just 26 years old, Hachimura both fits the Jazz’s timeline, and would be under team control for two more seasons.

The Cavaliers may make the league’s biggest trade this summer if they shop Donovan Mitchell, but the Jazz wouldn’t be primary suitors in those discussions for obvious reasons.

The Magic may look for offensive upgrades this summer, but likely aren’t making Franz Wagner available. Wendell Carter has had a disastrous playoff debut and could provide the Jazz with better depth in the frontcourt, but likely isn’t the splashy name that would excite fans in a trade.

Finally, the Heat are a team that could feel forced to trade Jimmy Butler before next summer when he could opt out of the final year of his deal, and sign elsewhere in hopes of finally winning a championship.

While the Jazz likely wouldn’t have interest in Butler, they could kick the tires on the availability of Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson if Miami chooses to strip the roster down to the studs to rebuild around Bam Adebayo.

Apologies for the long answer, but I’d expect the Jazz to have several options to improve the roster this summer due to the shortcomings of several playoff teams.

Q: Any updates on the rebrand and if it is, in fact, happening this summer?

A: I can confirm that the rebrand is in fact happening, but what all that entails I am not completely sure.

As I reported in March, there will be new uniforms next season, and I’ve heard that mountains will be a prominent feature in the team’s design, though my guess would be the Jazz Note logo also remains.

I have also heard that the jerseys are more geared towards what Jazz fans have traditionally preferred, and a step back from the outside-the-box approach they took with the ultra-simplistic black, white, and yellow uniform scheme.

My belief is the Jazz would like to have some of the elements of the rebrand completed before the June 26-27 draft, but I haven’t heard a release date.

If you submitted a question for this week’s mailbag on social media, listen to this week’s Jazz Notes Podcast where we addressed more of your replies.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Utah Jazz Mailbag: Can Jazz Raid Disappointing Playoff Teams?