The Jazz have continued to search for a “dynamic” third piece to add to their star duo of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic, who hears from sources that Utah has expressed interest in both Mike Conley of the Grizzlies and Otto Porter of the Wizards. Shams Charania of The Athletic wrote on Wednesday about the Jazz’s interest in Porter.
As Jones explains, Utah’s interest doesn’t mean the club will necessarily make an offer for either player. Conley’s and Porter’s contracts will also complicate matters, as both players are owed massive salaries through the 2020/21 season. Still, both players intrigue the Jazz, who may throw their hat into the ring if “circumstances align” and if they feel comfortable with forfeiting future cap room to lock in a productive veteran like Conley or Porter.
Here’s more from Jones on the Jazz:
- While Conley or Porter would be expensive, their contracts are set to end around the same time Gobert’s deal expires and Mitchell’s second contract will begin, Jones observes. That timeline matches up well with what the Jazz would be looking for — there’s a sense that if they’re going to be aggressive trying to land a pricey impact player, it should happen while Mitchell is still on his rookie contract, says Jones.
- Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey will continue to monitor the trade market over the next couple weeks in search of opportunities, according to Jones, who points to last year’s acquisition of Jae Crowder and this season’s trade for Kyle Korver as the sort of smaller-scale deals that have really helped the club.
- Utah’s front office has “dreams” of being active and aggressive on the 2019 free agent market, sources tell Jones. So if they don’t make any major moves that cut into their future cap room before the trade deadline, the Jazz figure to be a team to watch this summer.
- The Jazz weren’t caught off guard by Mitchell’s shooting struggles during the first couple months of the season, sources tell Jones. The team knew that a toe injury prevented the second-year guard from working out in the offseason and figured he might be a little slow to get going in his sophomore season. Mitchell has been an efficient scorer so far in 2019, shooting 48.1% from the floor in his last 11 games, including 44.3% on three-pointers, after shooting 40.7% (29.1% on threes) in his first 34.