The Western Conference is turning into a gauntlet and the NBA Trade Deadline could dictate many teams’ futures for the rest of the season.
Because there are only three games separating the 4th-place team from the 13th, every move made at this year’s trade deadline could send seismic waves throughout the conference.
While most of the teams in that three-game gap are going to be buyers at this year’s trade deadline, Marc Stein is reporting that the Utah Jazz might be looking to sell.
According to Stein, only potential All-Star Lauri Markkanen, and rookies Walker Kessler and Ochai Agbaji are off limits. The rest of the roster could be dealt by the Feb. 9 trade deadline.
That doesn’t mean the Jazz are for sure going to make trades, but the team will definitely listen. After trading both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert in the offseason, the Jazz was not expected to be fighting for a playoff spot at the end of January. Yet, here we are with Utah sitting in 10th place, the final spot in the play-in tournament and 0.5 game ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Jazz might be able to tempt a desperate Western Conference team to bite and make a move to ensure it will make the playoffs this season, and it could shake things up to affect every potential team with eyes on the postseason.