Sixers trade targets: 5 players the Jazz could look to trade

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LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 18: Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) during game 6 of the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers on June 18, 2021, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

While Kevin Durant may have stolen the main headlines of the NBA offseason, the Utah Jazz were not far behind. The organization concluded that the duo of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert had reached their ceiling together and elected to ship off both all-stars in trades this past offseason.

Utah has assembled a collection of 13 unprotected or lightly protected draft picks by trading Mitchell and Gobert and sent themselves firmly heading for a rebuild. Most recently they agreed to trade Donovan Mitchell to the Cavaliers in exchange for Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, three first-round picks, and two pick swaps.

Utah’s biggest focus to initiate the rebuild was certainly sending out Mitchell and Gobert. However, their work is not over. There are a number of win-now veterans still on the Jazz roster who do not have a place on a rebuilding team. Here are a few names to keep an eye on that the Sixers should at least check the price on before the roster fire-sale continues.

Jordan Clarkson

A microwave scorer who has drawn some intrigue on Sixers’ Twitter, Jordan Clarkson would be an immediate impact player on the bench for Philly. The 2020-21 Sixth man of the year is coming off a season in which he averaged 16.0 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game. He is a career 33.8% three-pointers shooter and shot 31.8% from beyond the arc last season. Clarkson is heading into the final year of his contract and has a player option for the 2023-24 season. He carries a cap hit of $13.3 million for next season.

While it is tough to deny Jordan Clarkson would be the best offensive weapon to come off the Sixers bench since Lou Williams, he is not as clean of a fit as some have made it. His overreliance on deep mid-range shots and overall suspect shot selection is a cause of frustration. Clarkson would remind Philly fans of their time with Nick “Swaggy P” Young a great deal.

It also has been reported that the Sixers do not look at his type of fit as a priority at the moment. The staggering of Tyrese Maxey and James Harden’s minutes is set to provide the shot creation at guard the Sixers are looking for. De’Anthony Melton is also sure to play a major role. While it is worth checking the price on Clarkson, it likely would take nearly all the Sixers remaining assets (Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz, Jaden Springer, and a first) to make a deal work and he likely isn’t the missing piece in the way this type of deal would indicate.

Mike Conley

While James Harden and Tyrese Maxey are also sure to carry the majority of the playmaking responsibilities, Mike Conley would be an interesting trade target. The 34-year-old has become more comfortable playing off the ball at this stage in his career and is a high IQ veteran. However, he is heading into the last guaranteed year of his contract and carries a cap hit of $22.6 million.

Conley is just one year removed from making the all-star team and averaged 13.7 points, 5.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game last season. He is a player that positively contributes to winning and carries a nice veteran presence. Unfortunately, the cap numbers make it a difficult task to add Conley. Any deal to make it possible would likely have to involve Tobias Harris. The Jazz certainly are prioritizing future picks and young players which makes this difficult. Given the growth in backcourt talent on the Sixers in recent years, adding another guard has fallen down the list of priorities as well.

Malik Beasley

Perhaps the cleanest fit for the Sixers’ needs, Malik Beasley was traded to Jazz as a part of the package for Rudy Gobert earlier this offseason. The 25-year-old saw his role decrease with Minnesota last season, but still averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. In the previous season and a half with the Timberwolves, he averaged 19.6 points and 20.7 points per game.

Beasley is in the final year of his contract with $15.5 million on the table and also has a $16.5 million team option for next season. He is an athletic wing and is also a career 38.6% three-point shooter. In a lot of ways, Beasley would be the missing piece in the Sixers rotation, but the route to get him is unclear. While a package of Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz, and George Niang technically works from a financial standpoint, it would also hard cap the Sixers. This would completely handcuff the Sixers from any move going forward. It also is important to note that draft picks are still the most appealing asset to the Jazz and Philly cannot offer a first-rounder until 2029.

Bojan Bogdanovic

The 33-year-old holds career averaged of 15.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and is also a career 39.2% three-point shooter. Bojan Bogdanovic was the second-leading scorer on the Jazz last season with his 18.1 points per game and played a valuable role on the team. He is not a stellar defender but stands 6’7″ and would be a solid fit on the wing.

The Croatian standout is a terrific win-now piece, but it also would almost certainly require Tobias Harris to be involved in the deal. Bogdanovic is entering the final year of his contract with $19.3 million remaining on the deal. While he has been required to be the best wing defender at times on the Jazz, this is far from Bojan’s strong suit. He would be a nice addition to the Sixers, but maybe not worth the hoops it would take to jump through to land him.

Jarred Vanderbilt

Perhaps the most underrated player seemingly available for trade on the Jazz roster is Jarred Vanderbilt. The 23-year-old is never going to be a player who lights up the score sheet but is content in his role. He started 67 of the 74 games he was active last season with the Timberwolves and averaged 6.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. 

Vanderbilt plays with a high motor and would be very helpful in improving the Sixers’ team rebounding. He has two years remaining and carries a $4.3 million cap hit for next season. Standing 6’9″, he is a bit of a mix between a wing and a big man but lacks perimeter shooting at this point in his career. If Utah views him as disposable, this would be an excellent low-risk high-reward move for the Sixers. It is tough to view him as the missing piece on the Philly roster, but based on the limited assets the Sixers have it could be a worthwhile addition.

These seem to be the five most likely candidates to be traded from the Jazz, but there are a few other names to keep an eye on as well. Rudy Gay ($6.1 million) would also certainly seem to be available and is an attainable contract to add. Expect contenders around the NBA to pay close attention to the Jazz as they look to cement their respective rosters. The lack of draft picks and trade pieces the Sixers have made it difficult. However, checking the prices and potentially finding a third team to make it work would be extremely beneficial if Daryl Morey can find a way to make it happen. The Jazz will almost certainly be shipping off a number of these players prior to the season’s start, but whether the Sixers can capitalize is to be determined.