The Utah Jazz moved both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert in the same offseason, so it was expected for the Jazz to head toward the rebuilding phase. The return package they received for both stars was composed mainly of young assets and draft picks, so the expectation for them was to compete for the top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and not for a Western Conference playoff spot.
Currently at seventh in the West with a 24-24 record, the Jazz must decide who from their players must be part of the future of this squad, while some of these guys will be a sell-high opportunity before the February 9th trade deadline. Guys like Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler have exceeded expectations immensely, so they are likely to be untouchables, so the opposing teams must focus on the veterans who could fill in their weaknesses immediately.
Another veteran who has been spectacular this season is Jordan Clarkson, and Utah must not move him, so they have a go-to scorer in the clutch. Thus, here are the three individuals that must be moved before the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline.
Mike Conley Jr.
The player with the highest salary in the Jazz’s payroll is Mike Conley Jr. He is getting paid $22 million this year, and $24 million next season, which is a tradable contract, especially for organizations in dire need of a floor general. His scoring numbers and offensive production has dipped from his prime years with the Memphis Grizzlies, but his tremendous basketball IQ is still vital in this era of NBA basketball.
Even if Conley Jr. is aging already, the teams do not need to invest a ton of their future assets to acquire him because his contract will run only for over 1 1/2 seasons. His timeline is far different from the ones in the nucleus of this Utah roster, so there seems to be no incentive to keep him until next season. The interest could pique before the trade deadline because Conley Jr. could be the missing piece in a championship-contending squad.
A high-volume outside shooter who is the perfect microwave off the bench, Malik Beasley will garner a ton of interest in the offseason. Floor spacing is at a premium in this generation of basketball, so teams like the Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers, and New Orleans Pelicans are some of the top teams that would be interested in him.
The concern with Beasley is for him to continuously chuck up shots even if it is a low percentage attempt, but that could be taught by veterans alongside him. This is a sell-high opportunity for the Jazz because his outside shooting has been fantastic this season.
The Bojan Bogdanovic for Kelly Olynyk trade between Utah and the Detroit Pistons was a win-win scenario for both sides as both players have been thriving in their new homes. Olynyk has been hindered by some injuries this year, but he still proves he can still be effective in certain roles.
With the Jazz likely building around Walker Kessler and Jarred Vanderbilt as their starting frontcourt, this is the best time to trade Kelly Olynyk because the Jazz is performing at an adequate level, and he has exceeded expectations during his short tenure in Salt Lake. There are organizations like the Brooklyn Nets and the Golden State Warriors who both help in their big-man rotation.
These three individuals are very talented, but they do not match what the Jazz franchise is trying to build to be competitive in the next several years.