Owners of the No. 3 pick and the No. 12 pick, the Utah Jazz figure to be one of the major movers and shakers in next Thursday's NBA Draft.
Indeed, ESPN.com reports that the Jazz aren't simply looking to deal picks. They could also be open to moving major roster pieces.
Jazz looking for deals. Would be open to discussing Paul Millsap or Devin Harris.Trading Millsap, Harris or both would be textbook rebuilding trade(s). If the Jazz ship either player out it shouldn't come as a surprise.
In Millsap's case, the Jazz must decide whether forward Derrick Favors, acquired from the New Jersey Nets in a deal involving Deron Williams, is ready to be their franchise forward. Given his talent level and sheer size, he should be sooner rather than later. Once the Jazz determine Favors is ready to be the guy, Millsap, an undersized power forward set to make $8.1 million next year, is a poor fit next to him. They'll either compete with each other for minutes or be forced to play alongside each other in an unconventional frontline. Either way, it's not ideal. It could work for next season, maybe, but eventually the training wheels are going to come off of Favors and someone's going to get their minutes and/or touches crunched.
Harris -- who is on the books for $9.3 million in 2011-2012 -- has been one of the most rumored trade pieces for years now. Perhaps that is because he is a "grass is greener on the other side" point guard for teams unhappy with their own starting one. He has good size, solid athleticism and a good but not great overall skill level. Unfortunately, he always seems to play on losing teams and doesn't have the talent to right a ship by himself. One other major factor weighing on whether the Jazz keep Harris: they are in position to draft a potential franchise point guard at No. 3, with Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker as two possibilities. Another option: selecting Jimmer Fredette at No. 12. Either way, eventually Harris, and his salary number, is going to stand in the way of a youth movement.
Building from the ground up requires a hard look at all of the current pieces. Outside of Favors, Gordon Hayward and whoever they draft at No. 3, everyone on the Jazz roster should be expendable. If you're heading towards a youth movement, it's best to go all the way with it. Plus, both Millsap and Harris carry some trade trade value. Shopping them makes all the sense in the world.