Jazz stand pat as NBA trade deadline passes
The 14 players on the Jazz's roster Thursday morning? They're the same ones listed after the NBA trade deadline expired at 1 p.m.
Despite having multiple options to make a deal in the hope of improving its playoff chances, Utah (20-22) decided not to pull the trigger. As a result, the Jazz will continue to balance their immediate future with a long-term vision based around four lottery picks from the 2010 and 2011 drafts.
Four of the Jazz's starting five Devin Harris, Raja Bell, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson are under contracts that expire at the end of the 2012-13 season.
Millsap and Jefferson never surfaced in trade rumors.
Utah had been open to moving Harris and reserve small forward C.J. Miles three weeks ago, Bell was on the market, and everyone from Josh Howard to Jamaal Tinsley recently factored into national trade rumors.
Many of the reported proposals lacked weight, though, and Utah spent much of its time during the buildup toward the deadline simply listening to pitches from other teams.
By holding on to Millsap and Jefferson, young Jazz big men Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter likely will continue to play reserve roles through at least the remainder of the season.
A Jazz team that fell 120-111 to Phoenix on the road Wednesday approached the trade deadline believing they're still competing for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs. As a result, the organization refused to make a deadline deal just for short-term gain.
Utah thinks its main moveable assets will be just as tradeable during the build-up to the 2012 draft or before the 2013 deadline, and the organization wanted to maintain its depth and continuity as it fights for a postseason spot this year.
While the Jazz weren't expected to make a blockbuster trade similar to the deal last year that sent All-Star guard Deron Williams to New Jersey, they were open to making minor changes. Nothing came to fruition, though, and the Jazz will move ahead with the same roster that's produced an up-and-down season thus far.
Utah started 12-7 and initially was one of the surprise teams in the league. But the Jazz have struggled since, going 8-15 and failing to build consistent momentum.
A team that has lost three of four plays host to Minnesota at 7 p.m. Thursday at EnergySolutions Arena.
The Jazz are tied with the Suns for 10th place in the Northwest Division and are only one game ahead of 13th-place Golden State, which visits ESA on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Orlando center Dwight Howard decided Thursday to stay with the Magic through the 2012-13 season by agreeing to waive his early-termination option.
Trades reported Thursday by Yahoo! Sports and CBS Sports, among others:
• New Jersey acquired forward Gerald Wallace from Portland in exchange for ex-Jazz center Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams and a 2012 first-round pick.
• The Lakers also traded Derek Fisher to Houston for Jordan Hill and a first-round pick.
• The Blazers traded center Marcus Camby to the Rockets in exchange for Jonny Flynn, Hasheem Thabeet and a second-round pick.
• Golden State obtained forward Richard Jefferson by sending Stephen Jackson to San Antonio.
• Indiana acquired guard Leandro Barbosa from Toronto in exchange for a future second-round pick.
• Philadelphia picked up forward Sam Young from Memphis for a second-round pick.
• Denver sent center Nene and Brian Cook to Washington, the Wizards shipped guard Nick Young to the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Nuggets added JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf.
Tuesday, the Warriors acquired ex-Ute center Andrew Bogut and Jackson traded Thursday to the Spurs by sending Monta Ellis, Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh to Milwaukee.