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Q&A with Amar of SLC Dunk (Utah Jazz blog)

The latest rumor revolves around the Celtics interest in two guys from Utah. Since the Jazz keep things pretty close to vest, I thought I'd ask a Jazz blogger about it since he's got about as good a chance of knowing what's going on there as anyone. He even enlisted the help of one of his contributors as well.


1. Not that I'm trying to get rid of my favorite Celtic of all time, but if Danny is dangling him, is there any interest in Paul Pierce? (Keep in mind, if you want to buy him out for the lower cap savings, it would have to be completed before June 30)

Amar: No one in the org has come out to mention The Truth; but we have a lot of capspace that needs to be filled (we need to make the minimum somehow). Getting Paul would not suck at all for the Jazz because he's one of the best players of his generation, knows what it takes to win, and would be a great wing mentor for our guys -- while it wouldn't kill our flexibility. (He's not going to be in Utah for 2 years, 1 at the most) I don't know his contract details but historically the Jazz aren't against trading for guys who never actually play there. Maybe they would buy him out and get more assets along the way.

The biggest issue seems to be on the Jazz side for Sap / Big Al. Sap may not want to stay with the Jazz anymore, but would have to agree to a S&T destination, right? He may have a shortlist already and if Boston is on it, that could work. Big Al to Boston seems like a much more logical fit, and we (fans) may have a different idea of his worth than the front office does.

Contributor: Personally, I don't have any interest in Paul Pierce. I think we are hoping that the Jazz will go young and get complementary pieces to help the youth movement. Nothing against Paul Pierce, but he doesn't seem like a good fit there. The Jazz don't need to pay $15,000,000 to a mentor, and I don't think Paul Pierce wants to take on a year of rebuilding either. And as far as using his partially guaranteed contract, the Jazz just don't have the need for money savings and are usually opposed to paying guys $5 million to not play for them. If I were Boston, I would shop Pierce's Partially Guaranteed Contract for a good player, who just might be in a bad situation. RIght now, Eric Gordon seems like the best case of one of those risks, but something may come up in the next few weeks.

2. Aside from Rondo, what would you want in return for a sign and trade for either Millsap or Jefferson? Feel free to get creative as I know Ainge will.

Amar: The Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey seems to be all about using 2013-14 as a year to evaluate things. So I think he wouldn't be against bringing back younger assets and future picks + a vet or two. I don't see Rondo being on the table. It may depend on who falls to you guys in the draft.

Contributor: Let's just say, for argument sakes that Millsap and Jefferson's first year salaries of their new contract are around $10 million. The tricky thing for Boston, is that they would need to be within 125% of the trade money, due to being over the luxury tax starting in July. This may lead to some interesting scenarios where Boston would have to consider buying out Pierce themselves in order to get under the tax line and be allowed to take on an extra $5 million in a trade, because then we could get creative. I would be "interested" in Millsap or Jefferson for a handful of viable options, but for me, these would almost all have to include the inclusion of the 16th pick in the draft.

3. Any interest in the 16th pick? Courtney Lee? Swapping picks? A bag of balls?

Amar: Before going to the NBA Draft combine I felt like the Jazz were likely to trade their #14, and trading down to the #16 will still be on the table. I did get the impression that the Jazz were interested in a few guys in particular. However, I think the Jazz may be interested in trading the #21 and 2nd rounder to go back into the middle of the first round. (So Jazz w #14 and #16 . . . or Jazz trade lotto pick, and stock middle of the first round picks) Part of this could be based on the money again, we have caproom right now. The Jazz were interested in a few guys there. Their strategy will change depending on who is available at #14. If it is someone they want, they'll stay in the lotto. If no one they like is there, they could pick for another team and make one or more draft night trades. Utah has done this a few times over the last few decades in weak drafts.

Contributor: I think landing the 16th pick in the draft would be a great option for the Jazz, since it would allow them to take a flier on a risky pick like Schroeder, and also draft someone who is more a sure contributor in the league. I also think that if Brandon Bass were not in the long term plans for the Celts, that he would be preferred over Jason Terry or Courtney Lee. Taking on Courtney Lee's $16+ million would be a lot to ask, but the Jazz may value decent defenders who can shoot the 3 pointer. With all that said, here are some ideas:

Millsap/Jefferson for Brandon Bass and Fab Melo and the 16th pick makes some sense.
Millsap/Jefferson for Courtney Lee, Jared Sullinger, and the 16th pick
Millsap/Jefferson for Courtney Lee, Melo and the 16th pick

A special thanks to the folks from SLC Dunk. Thanks guys. Now it is your turn. Thoughts? Feedback? Share in the comments.

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