The longest trade drought in NBA since the 1960s – lasting five-and-a-half months — has ended because the Utah Jazz need some scoring off the bench.
For the Jazz this is about depth — Utah is second-worst in the league in bench scoring per game (27.1 points per game, only Houston is worse). Clarkson is a quality rotational player averaging 14.6 points per game, shooting 37.1 percent from three, and the Cavaliers have been +5.6 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the court this season. Clarkson can step right in and get Utah some buckets.
Utah gave Exum every chance to be their future point guard, but injuries slowed his development and he just never caught on like the front office believed he would. Exum is owed $9.6 million next season, and the second-round picks sent to Cleveland are to cover that expense. This trade eats into some of the money Cleveland can spend on a free agent next summer, but the rebuilding team should not be targeting big-money free agents right now anyway.
This is a good, low-risk move by the Jazz to try and boost a squad that is 18-11, but sixth in the West and not striking fear into anyone’s heart right now.
This is also the third straight season the Jazz and Cavaliers have made a trade.
There is history between Utah and Cleveland making trades. Last November, Alec Burks was sent to Cleveland in exchange for Kyle Korver. Cleveland received 2 seconds from the Jazz in that deal also. NBA is all about relationships.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) December 24, 2019
The last NBA trade before this one was the Russell Westbrook/Chris Paul trade back in the summer. That long a break in trades was almost unprecedented, it was the longest non-lockout related break in trades since 1968. All the player movement over the summer led to the trade drought this fall and winter.