The Utah Jazz aren’t exactly making waves in the NBA, but they’re holding their own so far this season, improving to a 4-4 record with a triple overtime win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday. In the meantime, trade rumors are brewing.
Right now, most analysts expect trade before the end of the year for the Jazz, who have a crowded front court. Productive veterans Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson are battling for playing time with budding stars Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Most pundits expect either Millsap or Jefferson, the pricier options, to be dealt before the trade deadline in February.
“The Jazz have a superstar in the making,” writes Hoops World’s Stephen Brotherston of Favors, “if only Corbin and the Jazz management can figure out how to get him on the court.”
There are other incentives to trade veterans, too, aside from rising stars. In a stacked Western Conference where the Los Angeles Lakers, Log Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder are seen as the serious contenders, there is widespread speculation that the Jazz will have no choice but to begin retooling for the future, despite qualifying for the playoffs last season and being favored to do so again.
The folks at SLCdunk.com disagree and say that the Jazz are better than the mediocre showing they’ve given fans so far:
“NBA records right now this season are a bit misleading. After all, the team we are today is not the team we’re going to be in a few months. And the record we have today is not a true indication of how good we are going to be.”
In other Jazz News, NBA Commissioner David Stern’s retirement may bring some controversy to debate about the Utah Jazz remaining, well … the Jazz. The owernship group in New Orleans has petitioned for a return of its nickname from Stern, but he has been adamant that the Jazz team keep its current name.
“One has to wonder if the New Orleans ownership — if it’s that bent on getting the ‘Jazz’ moniker back — will lay low and broach the subject again once (successor Adam) Silver takes over,” speculates K.L. Martinez of examiner.com.