Between failing to advance past the second round of the playoffs in any of the past six seasons, and the cloud of turmoil lingering above and around them, the Utah Jazz’s future remains very much unsettled.
Many observers have opined that substantive change is needed to the team’s roster construction in order for them to break through their glass ceiling. The best way to accomplish that? Trade(s).
By now, you’ve heard several popular ones making the rounds. But why stop there? Why limit ourselves to Donovan Mitchell to the Knicks or Rudy Gobert to the Raptors? Yes, some of those deals could make sense, but let’s get creative — and craft a Utah Jazz trade proposal for every team in the NBA. Some are mega-moves involving those foundational pieces; others are smaller transactions built around the likes of Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic or Jordan Clarkson.
The only criteria: Deals have to adhere to actual salary cap rules, and must be quasi-realistic enough that a general manager or president of basketball ops might not laugh and hang up immediately.
So, in the spirit of this not being based on any actual reporting, not being fit for aggregation, merely the product of a beat writer in the offseason who loves to play with the trade machine, let’s make some deals.
Hawks get: Rudy Gobert
Jazz get: Clint Capela, DeAndre Hunter, Jalen Johnson, No. 16 pick in 2022 draft, 2024 first-round pick
Analysis: The framework of this one is out there, which would give Utah another rim-running big, plus a couple of 6-foot-8 wings to give the team more versatility and switchability.
Celtics get: Mike Conley, 2026 first-found pick
Jazz get: Derrick White, Daniel Theis
Analysis: Boston gets an upgrade in play-making, while Utah gets younger and more defensive-minded in the backcourt, while adding an additional usable big besides.
Nets get: Rudy Gobert
Jazz get: Ben Simmons, Cam Thomas
Analysis: Anarchy! Yes, it’s a crazy gamble, but would be a true embrace of small-ball, as Simmons would give Utah a guy who (when healthy) can guard 1-5. And Thomas has the makings of a Jordan Clarkson-type.
Hornets get: Rudy Gobert, Jordan Clarkson
Jazz get: Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre, PJ Washington, Mason Plumlee, James Bouknight, Kai Jones, No. 13 pick in 2022 draft
Analysis: Charlotte needs a big, Utah doesn’t have to bring back Gordon Hayward. This is a sheer talent-for-volume deal, as the Jazz would get a combo of existing talent and swings on upside at positions of need.
Bulls get: Bojan Bogdanovic
Jazz get: Alex Caruso, Coby White
Analysis: Chicago finds a way to add some needed shooting. Utah is able to get younger, add one of the league’s underrated perimeter defenders, and also take a chance on a young PG who’s an ex-lottery pick.
Cavaliers get: Bojan Bogdanovic
Jazz get: Lauri Markkanen, Isaac Okoro
Analysis: In downgrading from Bogey to a Bogey-lite sort in Markkanen, Utah also gets to take a flier on a recent lottery pick who is thought to have defensive-stopper capability.
Mavericks get: Rudy Gobert
Jazz get: Tim Hardaway Jr., Reggie Bullock, Dwight Powell, No. 26 pick in 2022 draft, 2024 first-round pick
Analysis: Dallas opts for the rim-protecting anchor it’s been missing, while Utah gets a couple of switchable perimeter defenders, a rim-running big, and a couple of picks besides.
Nuggets get: Bojan Bogdanovic
Jazz get: Aaron Gordon, Zeke Nnaji
Analysis: Denver’s offense bogged down too frequently with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter injured, so they get a capable secondary scorer while the Jazz add a couple of lengthy, athletic forwards.
Pistons get: Bojan Bogdanovic, 2026 first-round pick
Jazz get: Jerami Grant
Analysis: Bogey really isn’t on Detroit’s timeline, but for a salary swap and an extra future first, the Pistons could be convinced to part with Grant, who’d instantly upgrade Utah’s defense without tanking the offense.
Golden State Warriors
Warriors get: Rudy Gobert, Royce O’Neale
Jazz get: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody
Analysis: The already-phenomenal Warriors sacrifice some depth for another stellar defensive piece, while the Jazz get an All-Star forward and a collection of recent lottery picks (one big, two wings) in return.
Rockets get: Donovan Mitchell
Jazz get: Jalen Green, Christian Wood, Usman Garuba, No. 3 pick in 2022 draft, Brooklyn’s 2024 first-round pick
Analysis: Houston gets to kick-start its rebuild with a bonafide star, while Utah blows it up, adding last year’s No. 2 pick, this year’s No. 3, and a couple of big men with upside besides.
Pacers get: Rudy Gobert
Jazz get: Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner, No. 6 pick
Analysis: Utah would get an instant (albeit lesser) defensive replacement to protect the rim, while also getting a sizable backcourt piece and a lottery flier.
Clippers get: Mike Conley
Jazz get: Robert Covington, Reggie Jackson
Analysis: Clippers fans have been clamoring for the team to upgrade at point guard, and Conley would do that. Utah’s admitted downgrade at the position would be offset by adding a 3-and-D forward to the mix.
Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers get: Rudy Gobert, 2026 first-round pick
Jazz get: Anthony Davis
Analysis: There are not a ton of viable options on L.A.’s roster, so let’s swap out the teams’ respective centers. Davis’ injury history makes this more plausible. Utah gets the younger and more talented all-around guy, so it also sends out a future first.
Grizzlies get: Bojan Bogdanovic
Jazz get: Dillon Brooks, DeAnthony Melton
Analysis: Memphis gets to upgrade its offensive weaponry with a consistent shooter/scorer, while Utah’s 2-for-1 haul nets the team a pair of versatile and rugged wing defenders.
Heat get: Donovan Mitchell
Jazz get: Tyler Herro, Max Strus, Duncan Robinson, P.J. Tucker, Omer Yurtseven, No. 27 pick in 2022 draft, 2024 first-round pick, 2027 first-round pick
Analysis: Miami’s been considered a low-key option for Mitchell. The return haul wouldn’t be star-studded, but would feature a high-scoring guard and some usable volume besides (though Robinson’s deal is ugly).
Bucks get: Rudy Gobert, Royce O’Neale
Jazz get: Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez
Analysis: Let’s get crazy. Milwaukee, overreacting to this year’s ouster, takes another big swing. Utah winds up with a still-good defensive center, and gets a substantial upgrade on the perimeter.
Wolves get: Bojan Bogdanovic
Jazz get: Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, No. 40 pick in 2022
Analysis: Minnesota is very short on 3-point acumen, and so would take on Bogey, while Utah gets defensive improvements on the wing and at forward.
New Orleans Pelicans
Pelicans get: Jordan Clarkson
Jazz get: Larry Nance Jr., Jose Alvarado
Analysis: In J.C., the Pellies get a player similar to Mitchell buddy Devonte’ Graham, but a more efficient version. Utah likes the do-everything switchability of Nance, while also adding a backcourt defensive pest.
New York Knicks
Knicks get: Donovan Mitchell
Jazz get: R.J. Barrett, Nerlens Noel, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, No. 11 pick in 2022 draft, Knicks’ first-round pick in 2023, Dallas’ first-round pick in 2023, first-round pick swap in 2024, first-round pick in 2025
Analysis: New York’s desperation to land the hometown kid sees them send back a recent lottery pick, plus a bunch of future firsts, too (Utah could get both NY’s ’22 and ’23 firsts by doing the deal during or post-draft).
Oklahoma City Thunder
Thunder get: Donovan Mitchell
Jazz get: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Analysis: Pure chaos trade. OKC makes the bet that Mitchell is the better player; Utah goes for a younger, talented guy on a longer contract. Plus, cousins SGA and Nickeil Alexander-Walker would be teamed up!
Magic get: Rudy Gobert
Jazz get: Jonathan Isaac, Wendell Carter Jr., RJ Hampton, 2023 first-round pick, 2025 first-round pick
Analysis: Orlando wouldn’t include this year’s No. 1, but, as the team is armed with extra picks in future years, it could include some going forward in a package built around the mercurial but talented Isaac.
Sixers get: Donovan Mitchell, Royce O’Neale
Jazz get: Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, 2024 first-round pick, 2026 first-round pick
Analysis: Philly takes a swing at a new Big 3. Utah adds some ready-made scoring at guard and forward, plus one of the league’s best young wing defenders. The future picks make Harris’ ugly deal more palatable.
Suns get: Rudy Gobert
Jazz get: DeAndre Ayton, Cam Johnson
Analysis: Phoenix solves the problem of its disgruntled big man by extending him and shipping to Utah along with the burgeoning 3-and-D forward Johnson in exchange for a defensive upgrade in the middle.
Portland Trail Blazers
Blazers get: Donovan Mitchell, Jordan Clarkson, Royce O’Neale, Rudy Gay
Jazz get: Damian Lillard, Josh Hart, Nassir Little, Keon Johnson
Analysis: The two sides swap out backcourt pieces, with Portland getting the younger star and Utah gambling that Dame’s postseason prowess and Hart’s defense can get the team to the next level.
Kings get: Rudy Gobert, Royce O’Neale
Jazz get: Harrison Barnes, Davion Mitchell, Richaun Holmes, Mo Harkless, Justin Holiday, No. 4 pick in 2022 draft
Analysis: This massive seven-player swap would see Utah land a new starting center and forward, a young defensive-minded guard, a couple of depth pieces on the wings, and maybe Jaden Ivey in this draft.
San Antonio Spurs
Spurs get: Quin Snyder
Jazz get: No. 25 pick in 2022 draft
Analysis: Should Snyder decide he’s done in Utah, and should the Spurs want him in place to succeed Pop, surrendering the last of their three first-rounders this year feels like a fair ask for a coach under contract.
Raptors get: Rudy Gobert
Jazz get: OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., Precious Achiuwa
Analysis: Utah might prefer the singular star in Pascal Siakam, but Toronto wants to pair him with Gobert. Still, adding the 6-7 Anunoby and the 6-5 Trent would go a long way to shoring up some Jazz weaknesses.
Wizards get: Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley
Jazz get: Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Daniel Gafford, Rui Hachimura, No. 10 pick in 2022 draft
Analysis: Let’s end things with a bang, as this massive swap sees the Wiz upgrade at center and PG, while Utah lands two talented big men, a solid 3-and-D guard, two tantalizing forwards, and a lottery pick this year.
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