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Report: Jazz will deal Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap before trade deadline

Dec 15, 2012, 8:30 PM EDT

Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson AP

The Utah Jazz will have some interesting decisions to make this summer. And they involve whether or not to keep the team’s two best players.

Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are both legitimate starting frontcourt players, each with a unique skill set that would have tremendous value for a multitude of NBA teams. There are questions about fit within a given system, as well as a fit within a team’s current salary cap situation. But both of these guys can play, and would by highly valued on the free agent market.

This, in a nutshell, is the issue facing the Jazz.

Both Jefferson and Millsap will be unrestricted free agents after this season. With the Jazz having young big men on the roster it believes can develop into legitimate assets of their own, it’s unlikely that they would be willing to spend to keep both players in Utah beyond this season.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

It’s a working assumption in front offices all over the league that the Jazz will trade Jefferson or Millsap for a front-line point guard at some point in the next 10 weeks. For two reasons.

1. Jefferson and Millsap will be free agents in July, meaning Utah risks losing both without compensation if they’re still on the roster beyond Feb. 21.

2. Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter are the undeniable power players of the future in Utah, even though Jefferson is one of only five players this season averaging 17 and 10 — along with Dwight HowardDavid Lee, Kevin Love and Zach Randolph – and despite Millsap’s status as the most productive forward from the 2006 draft not named LaMarcus Aldridge.

There will be plenty of teams lined up to talk trade for both of these players.

Whether or not Utah finds a deal it likes, however, will depend on its internal definition of “front-line point guard,” of which there simply aren’t very many in the league at all, let alone ones teams are willing to part with.

Jefferson is at the end of a deal paying him $15 million this season, while Millsap will earn roughly half that in the final year of his contract. Dollars won’t be the only factor in deciding which player to keep, though, as the offers that will come in will likely be tied to a specific player, rather than being an either/or proposition.

If the Jazz are dead set on moving one of these two before they both hit free agency, they’ll likely be open to dealing either one equally — the player that’s valued the most by other teams will be the one sent out of town, if in fact that’s what the long-term plan in Utah dictates.

  1. jssgriffi - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    There u go sixers!! Bynum was a mirage.

    • tfoz5150 - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:12 PM

      Sho nuff! How bout a deal that includes both Spencer Hawes and Malik Wayns for either of em.

      • tubal22 - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:31 PM

        Why would Utah want to do that?

        They’ve got plenty of big men, and plenty of below average guards.

      • tfoz5150 - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:42 PM

        Wayns has some skills.

      • tfoz5150 - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:58 AM

        Look, they have to move one or both of them before they lose them in free agency. Maybe throw in Royal Ivey.

  2. rj2323 - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Paul millsap to lakers

    • saint1997 - Dec 16, 2012 at 4:13 AM

      they would still stink up the joint

  3. magicbucs - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Why would Utah want to help the lakers. Plus they have nothing to give in return.

    • fm31970 - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM

      Yeah, for which “front-line point guard” on the Lakers? Steve Blake?? Please, rj.

      Utah won’t get full value, especially trading for a good point guard.

  4. nygsbchamps4 - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Minnesota should do JJ Barrea for Al Jefferson. I’m sure that would make Kevin Love very happy.

    • iritian - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:37 PM

      Theres way that could happen, Al is way too expensive for Minnesota to take, they could trade Millsap in a package though. You can swap Barea or Ridnour and the trade could still work.
      http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=cmb9plv

    • albertmn - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      Um, no.

  5. jmclarkent - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    I would trade them both – neither will be worth to the Jazz what they will command on the open market.

    I think the key is to take back picks and youth (as well as the inevitable expiring contract or two to make the money match). If they really want to impress, they’ll add Raja Bell in with one of them.

  6. jimmygrahamchrisivory - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    It’s a shame if they do because it looks like Utah finally has a contending team on a nightly basis thanks to those two, especially at home. Both are legit All-Stars, but then again with Kanter and Favors waiting in the wings moving either one would be huge if they could get a great scorer at SF or SG in return or a lottery pick.

    I think moving them will depend on what the team’s record looks like by time the trade deadline comes.

    • ron05342 - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:35 AM

      Contending for what? They are 13-12.

      • jimmygrahamchrisivory - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:38 AM

        They’re currently a 7th seed, probably could be a lot higher if they weren’t losing so many games on the road.. 4-10 on the road, 9-2 at home

  7. qpoiu1 - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    If the Thunder’s GM gets a little nasty and decides that RW jacks up too many shots that should taken by Durant , this trade would make sense for both teams:

    Russell Westbrook and Perry Jones III Al Jefferson and Raja Bell

    • jimmygrahamchrisivory - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:08 AM

      Add another decent piece from Utah like Mo Williams and maybe a draft pick and that’s a decent trade

      • qpoiu1 - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:12 AM

        http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=cf9z6cr that’s the only way i see it happenning, specially because that the jazz could amnesty perkins by the end of the season…

  8. qpoiu1 - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    If the Thunder’s GM gets a little nasty and decides that RW jacks up too many shots that should taken by Durant , this trade would make sense for both teams:

    Russell Westbrook and Perry Jones III for Al Jefferson and Raja Bell

  9. badintent - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Is Baron Davis still at home ?Is Starbury coming home ?Which Kentucky PG is a freshman ? You know Coach will tell him to go NBA draft.

  10. torontofalcon - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    Raps need to jump on this! Send bargs and jose for one or add amir johnson for both.

  11. zacmonte - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=c6ddv6z

    While Westbrook, would be nice, I find this much more likely.
    The Monta Ellis experiment isn’t going to well over in Milaukee, so the Jazz recieve him, Epke Udoh (needs a change of scenery, and could provide decent minutes at the 4 or 5) and maybe someone like Doron Lamb while the Bucks get a true inside presence in Jefferson and take on Raja Bell. Utah will probably get much less from either Millsap or Jefferson than we will expect, though. They are both unrestricted free agents this year and there is no true reason that they should sign an extension now, so they will likely be able to test the market. Also, Utah will probably take less because of not wanting to lose him for nothing, though. Yet again, what they did with Deron Williams was pure gold, so I guess we will just have to wait and see.

  12. zacmonte - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    Or something like this

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=csqn2v9

    A deal where the clipps bring in Al Jefferson and send out The rising Eric Bledsoe and maybe Deandre Jordan. They can’t get Bledsoe the minutes with Chris Paul, Billups, and Crawford in the rotation and Al Jefferson makes them an even bigger contender right now. Bledsoe is never going to start with Chris Paul there, so eventually he should be traded. The Jazz are going young and bring in Bledsoe and Harkless.

    • 00maltliquor - Dec 16, 2012 at 4:02 AM

      Harkless? When did ORL get in the mix?? I like where your going with the Bledsoe for Al Jeff. I’m sure Utah would do it.

    • tomasekradek - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      i like Bledsoe, and wish him team where he starts cause one day this kid gonna be great and probably sooner than later. But BG and Al? not a good idea. you must have some big who can actually defen

  13. tmatic74 - Dec 16, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    Evan Turner and a filler for Al Jefferson.

  14. danielcp0303 - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    What in the hell are any of you talking about? Westbrook for one of these two??? Stick to fantasy basketball

  15. jimsjam33 - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsole for Jefferson ? That would cut out the heart of the Clippers moral , BUT it would probably make them better . Blake wouldn’t be happy though . Bledsole may not want to leave the Clippers . He’s playing 18 to 20 minutes a game in a second team role and loving it . He might just be a top 8 Point Guard in the NBA right now .

  16. mjski81 - Dec 17, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    The Suns will send Kendall Marshall and Michael Beasley for Al Jefferson. The Jazz get a young and promising true PG and a young SF, and the Suns get their go-to guy for a season.

  17. wowwowbad - Dec 18, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    Big Al to San Antonio for Tony Parker. The Jazz get a so called “front-line point guard,” and the Spurs get Duncan a long-waiting frontcourt help.

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