Utah has looked around the West, looked at its roster — now without Joe Ingles for the season — and correctly surmised they need some help. A forward who can stretch the floor from 3 and play some good perimeter defense would be ideal.
Jerami Grant and Harrison Barnes are two of the players the Jazz have had trade talks for, league sources say. With one week to go until the trade deadline, Utah is targeting wings that can defend. Here's my video on Utah's need for more quality defenders around Rudy Gobert:
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) February 3, 2022
On the court, both of those players would be a good fit.
Grant would be ideal in a lot of ways the rest of this season. He is a strong defender on the perimeter who can also get buckets, 20 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game shooting 33.8% from 3.
He’s also the least likely player to come to the Jazz. First, the Pistons are asking for two quality first-round picks or one pick and a good young player (the Jazz don’t really have that guy on the roster), which is a steep price for Utah (Ingles likely would be in the trade as well for salary reasons). Second, Grant wants a max extension — four years, $112 million — after this season. Finally, Grant wants to play for a team where he would be a primary offensive option, which is not the case for Utah with Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley as the primary ball handlers.
Barnes is a little more realistic and has been linked to the Jazz in reports for a while. He is having a career season scoring 16.5 points per game, shooting 40.8% from 3, plus he is grabbing 6.1 boards a game. He’s not the defender Grant is, but he would give coach Quin Snyder options. Are Ingles’ contract and a first-round pick enough to get a deal done? Maybe not, the Pelicans — dangling Josh Hart as part of the package — and other teams are interested as well.
Barnes might be the best the Jazz can do, but they are going to have to find a way to sweeten their offer to get a deal done.