After a promising end to their regular season, the Utah Jazz had to exit the Orlando bubble after a disheartening loss to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Jazz have a promising team, but it is evident that they need a veteran presence in the backcourt alongside rising star Donovan Mitchell. According to NBA trade rumors, the franchise will be quite active during the off-season.
NBA Trade Rumors: Chris Paul on the Utah Jazz's radar this off-season
Chris Paul had a great NBA season, as he made the All-Star team and led an OKC Thunder team which took the Houston Rockets to 7 games in the first round of playoffs. However, NBA trade rumors suggest that Paul is unlikely to continue with the OKC Thunder, and will be looking for a new destination soon.
The Utah Jazz lack a star who can take over games in crunch time, and Paul can be that player. Chris Paul will be a dream pick-and-roll partner for Rudy Gobert, who's already a 72nd percentile pick-and-roll screener without him.
Paul's ability to run offense (career 9.5 assists against 2.4 turnovers) and make long-range looks (37.0 percent) would both make life easier for Mitchell and the supporting cast.
The veteran point guard can also hold his own on defense, especially during the postseason. The Mike Conley trade has not been kind to the Utah Jazz, as the former Memphis Grizzlies has been unable to replicate his earlier form for the Jazz this year.
Utah also have multiple injury-ridden players, so Paul's presence in the roster will help head coach Quin Snyder with that as well.
A trade with the OKC Thunder will allow the Utah Jazz to make this major tweak to the starting lineup, and it can result in a win-win situation for both the teams. The Thunder will go from owing $85.6 million to the 35-year-old Paul to being on the hook for just $34.5 million to the 32-year-old Conley.
The Thunder will also get 2 picks which might play an integral role in the rebuild. However, the first-rounder could take some time to get there, as the Jazz owe the Grizzlies a protected pick either in 2021 or later.
Published 30 Sep 2020, 03:21 IST