The Utah Jazz finished the season in a disappointing manner once again. They were routed by the young Dallas Mavericks in the first round, losing in six games. This means that the Jazz ended their season in the first round of the playoffs for the third time in the last four years. Clearly, they need some changes. Due to their contract situation, getting a player in free agency is almost impossible. Thus, a major way for them to improve would be through trades. So, in that vein, let's look at two unrealistic trades the Jazz must try to make in the 2022 NBA offseason.
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Unrealistic Jazz Trades In 2022 NBA Offseason
Jazz get Kyrie Irving (sign and trade or Player Option taken); Nets get Donovan Mitchell
It is clear the Utah Jazz need to trade one of Rudy Gobert or Donovan Mitchell. Ever since the COVID-19 issue, when Gobert became the first player to contact the virus but not take it seriously, there was reported damage in that relationship. While most trades have Gobert going out of Salt Lake City, this one for Kyrie Irving is for Donovan Mitchell. Now, it might be difficult to assume Irving will take the player option to play for the Jazz, however, it makes a ton of sense for him, at least basketball-wise. Here is why it makes sense for both teams involved.
The Jazz get Kyrie Irving, and through all of his faults, he is still an amazing player. In Utah, there should be no restrictions around his vaccination status and it would be a fresh beginning for a player that, apart from Russell Westbrook, needs it most. Now, the Jazz do not do this trade unless Irving pledges to sign long-term, and if he does, it could be a core that gives them a much better chance of winning in the Western Conference. Irving is a more gifted passer and a craftier scorer than Mitchell, which is key for this trade. It would be a different team but after the aforementioned three first-round exits in four years, the Jazz really need to be a new team.
The Nets do this deal, for the simple reason of attempting to keep Kevin Durant at bay. Sending Irving to the Jazz and getting Mitchell back could be enough to keep Durant happy. (There are rumors that he will seek a trade if Irving leaves the Nets this offseason.) With a healthy Ben Simmons and Mitchell on the team, Durant can still view his time with the Nets as his best opportunity for a title even without Irving. Mitchell is a pure scorer and can play much better off the ball, which works with Simmons handling the rock and sharing that duty with Durant. He might not be friends with Durant like Irving is, but Mitchell works much better in basketball terms, which could be more important to Durant at the end of the day.
Jazz get OG Anunoby and Chris Boucher (sign and trade); Raptors get Rudy Gobert
Now for the other side of the Jazz duo that simply cannot coexist, the Raptors might look to trade for Rudy Gobert. In this scenario, the Jazz would be getting Anunoby and Boucher, but this is once again conditional upon Boucher wanting to sign with the Jazz, as he is a free agent this offseason. If Boucher is willing to go to the Jazz, this would be a great trade for both sides, and here are a few reasons why.
For the Jazz, this is simple — they will get much stronger on the wings. Anunoby is a wing that can score, defend, rebound, and do a lot of different things on the court to entice a team like the Jazz to trade for him. While Anunoby still needs to improve in some areas, like getting his efficiency up, he is just 24 years of age, so there is a lot of time for Anunoby to become even better. Additionally, he is on a shorter, less expensive deal, so he would retain some flexibility for the Jazz, financially. Boucher is there to match salaries, but he can also be used as a rotational piece in the Jazz frontcourt.
For the Raptors, it will hurt losing Anunoby and Boucher, but getting the Jazz big man is a great reward in this instance. Gobert has his flaws, but he is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, an honor where he is bested only by Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace. Additionally, he has made strides in offensive input as well, scoring around 15 points per game regularly for the last four seasons. While he will induce some coaching adjustments, specifically come playoff time, the value of Gobert is such that he is definitely worth it. With Scottie Barnes earning Rookie of the Year honors, it does not seem so bad losing Anunoby, especially for Gobert. Thus, this deal with the Jazz should be right up the Raptors' alley.