ESPN's Marc Stein reported Saturday the Jazz are talking to Golden State about a trade that would make sure the Warriors keep their pick in the upcoming NBA draft.
Jazz fans know this story.
As part of last year's Deron Williams trade with New Jersey, the Jazz received a pick originally owned by the Nets but sent to Golden State. The pick was top-seven protected and the Warriors finished with the seventh-worst record in the league after a late-season slump.
As things stand now, Golden State retains ownership of the pick. But because of lottery's random nature, there's a 28-percent chance Golden State could slide backward in the first round. If that happened, Utah would own the pick.
To made sure they keep the pick -- regardless of what happens in the lottery -- the Warriors are apparently talking to the Jazz about a trade that would eliminate the protection.
According to Stein, a source with knowledge of the trade talks called a deal "likely."
To get the Jazz to agree, Golden State could offer a combination of future draft considerations, cash or less protection on the pick the Warriors will still owe Utah. Currently, Golden State's pick in 2013 is top-seven protected. The 2014 pick is top-six protected.
Golden State owner Joe Lacob first spoke of a deal with Utah during a radio interview two months ago. The public discussion of the talks infuriated Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor, who said at the time the Warrior owner could say anything he wanted but there would be no comment from the Jazz.
-- Steve Luhm
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