Rudy Gay

Jazz Continue To Engage In Trade Discussions

The Jazz have traded three starters from last year’s roster so far this offseason, but even after moving Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Royce O’Neale for a boatload of draft picks, the team isn’t necessarily done with its offseason work.

According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, the Jazz continue to engage in trade conversations about a number of their remaining veterans, including Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson.

In the latest episode of his Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report confirms that Bogdanovic, Conley, and Clarkson are “definitely on the trade block.” Fischer says he has also gotten the impression that the Jazz would “love to move off” Rudy Gay and has heard Leandro Bolmaro‘s name come up in some trade rumors.

Even beyond those five players, Utah would likely be willing to listen to inquiries on many others members of their roster, including Malik Beasley, according to Fischer. Jarred Vanderbilt is another player the club could theoretically move, though Fischer says a team might have to “knock Utah’s socks off” to acquire the young forward.

Based on the deals they’ve made so far this summer, it’s safe to assume the Jazz would be prioritizing draft assets as they continue to gauge the trade market.

Among Utah’s veterans, Bogdanovic might be the one with the most trade value. He’s on a reasonable $19.55MM expiring contract and is a talented frontcourt scorer, having averaged 18.4 PPG over the last three seasons (204 games) with the Jazz. The 33-year-old forward is also a major threat from beyond the arc — he has made at least 38.7% of his three-point tries in each of the last five seasons.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 reported on Thursday that the Suns had inquired on Bogdanovic, but Phoenix is hardly the only team with interest. Gambadoro tweeted late last night that several teams, including the Lakers, are eyeing Bogdanovic.

Any trade sending Bogdanovic to the Lakers would have to involve Russell Westbrook for salary-matching purposes, and would require at least one or two other players to go to Los Angeles — the Jazz would likely try to pry away the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in that scenario, though L.A. has been reluctant to attach more than one first-rounder to Westbrook.

Bogdanovic’s cap hit of nearly $20MM will make it tricky for certain teams to seriously pursue him. For instance, while he might be a good fit in Boston following Danilo Gallinari‘s injury, the Celtics probably can’t make a viable offer for him that doesn’t include at least one key rotation player whose value matches or exceeds Bogdanovic’s.

Pacific Notes: Beverley, Westbrook, Saric, Kings

Since the Lakers traded for veteran point guard Patrick Beverley, the future of 2021/22 starter Russell Westbrook has seemed murky. Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register wonders if the duo can actually share the floor together, or at the very least both stick around on the team this season.

Swanson reads tea leaves in recent public statements from head coach Darvin Ham and team owner Jeanie Buss that seem to suggest they appreciate Westbrook and his contributions to the club last year. Swanson writes that, because Beverley can function so well off the ball as a catch-and-shoot long range sniper, and can defend at least both guard positions, he could theoretically play alongside Westbrook, who tends to be significantly more ball-dominant.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • With Donovan Mitchell headed to the Cavaliers, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times opines that the Lakers could look to move Westbrook (and draft compensation) to the Jazz, who have already offloaded four of their best veteran players in separate deals this summer, including both their All-Stars. Woike writes that combo forward Bojan Bogdanovic should be L.A.’s top priority, and also floats the possibility of adding some combination of Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson, Malik Beasley and Rudy Gay into such a deal.
  • Suns reserve big man Dario Saric missed all of the 2021/22 season while he recovered from a ruptured ACL in his right knee suffered in the first game of the 2021 Finals. The 6’10” big man played well during the Croatian national team’s FIBA EuroBasket 2025 pre-qualifiers in August, writes Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic.
  • Three reserve point guards will be duking it out during the Kings‘ training camp later this month. James Ham of Kings Beat assesses each player in terms of their relative strengths and weaknesses on the current Sacramento roster. As a former lottery pick, defensive-oriented second-year guard Davion Mitchell seems guaranteed to get some run behind pricey starter De’Aaron Fox. Ham predicts that Quinn Cook could have an edge over Matthew Dellavedova as the team’s third point guard option.

Jazz Notes: Sexton, Mitchell Trade Grades, Rebuild, Veterans

After landing combo guard Collin Sexton in a sign-and-trade deal with the Cavaliers as part of the package for All-Star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz intend to keep Sexton in Utah, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said in an emergency edition of his podcast The Hoop Collective.

Sexton had been a restricted free agent this offseason, and negotiations between the 6’1″ guard out of Alabama and Cavaliers brass reportedly remained far apart in recent weeks. The team had offered him a deal in the range of a three-year, $40MM contract, which he had turned down. He’ll be inking a four-year, $72MM contract in the sign-and-trade that is sending him to the Jazz.

Sexton, still just 23, was unavailable for all but 11 games last season for Cleveland after tearing his meniscus. When healthy, he averaged 16.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.1 APG and 0.9 SPG, on .450/.244/.744 shooting splits. Through his four NBA seasons, he boasts career averages of 20.0 PPG, 3.3 APG, 3 RPG, and 0.8 SPG, with a .458/.378/.827 shooting line.

There’s more out of Utah:

  • Zach Harper of The Athletic doles out trade grades to both the Cavaliers and the Jazz following the team’s exchange earlier today. Harper is higher on the addition of Mitchell for Cleveland than he is on the return acquired by Utah, noting that he sees the Cavaliers as a potential Eastern Conference contender.
  • The Jazz now appear to be going all-in on a full-bore rebuild, writes Sarah Todd of the Deseret News. Todd takes stock of the team’s new assets thanks to its four offseason trades to date. The Jazz now have bolstered their roster with six players aged 25 or younger, plus two young players from the first round of this year’s draft, eight future first-round draft selections, and three upcoming draft pick swaps. Todd notes that this rebuild could be an extended process.
  • Following these summer deals that have sent away All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Mitchell, the Jazz futures of veterans Mike ConleyBojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson and Rudy Gay appear to be up in the air. On today’s edition of his podcast The Lowe Post, ESPN’s Zach Lowe talks to colleague Bobby Marks about the potential trade destinations for these various players.

And-Ones: Jerebko, Canaan, China, Teammate Award, Future Rankings

While some former NBA players have left Russian teams following the invasion into Ukraine, Jonas Jerebko is resuming his career there. The ex-NBA big man signed with CSKA Moscow, the team tweets. That didn’t sit well with the Swedish National Team, who suspended him, according to Johnny Askounis of“Unfortunately, we are forced to state that there are no conditions for Jonas Jerebko to play for the Sweden basketball national team,” a Swedish Basketball Federation press release stated in part. Jerebko played for four NBA teams.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Another Russian team, Unics Kazan, has mutually parted ways with guard Isaiah Canaan, according to a story. Canaan is joining Turkey’s Galatasaray, EuroHoops tweets. Canaan appeared in 235 NBA games, most recently during the 2018/19 campaign.
  • Chinese TV has resumed broadcasts of NBA games, Sopan Deb of the New York Times reports. China had boycotted NBA broadcasts since 2019, when former Houston executive Daryl Morey tweeted support for pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. China Central Television, its state-run TV network, broadcasted Tuesday night’s matchup between the Clippers and Jazz, which kicked off a full return of the league to China’s airwaves.
  • The 12 finalists for the league’s Teammate of the Year award have been announced, the NBA announced (via Twitter). DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Jeff Green , Udonis Haslem, Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, Jaren Jackson Jr., Kevin Love, Boban Marjanovic, Chris Paul, Fred VanVleet and Grant Williams are the contenders. The annual honor recognizes the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and commitment and dedication to team.
  • The Grizzlies top the list on ESPN’s Future Power Rankings, according to Kevin Pelton, Bobby Marks, Andre’ Snellings, and Tim Bontemps (Insider link). They’re followed by the Heat and Suns. The Kings sit at the bottom of the pile.

Northwest Notes: Gay, Hart, Towns, McDaniels

Rudy Gay‘s first season with the Jazz has been disappointing, but he believes there’s still time to turn it around, writes Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. Gay signed as a free agent over the summer, but offseason heel surgery kept him out of action through the first 14 games of the season. He missed four more games because of soreness in the heel and another six in February due to illness and knee pain. Although the season is winding down, Gay feels like there’s still progress to be made before the playoffs.

“I feel pretty good going into the later part of the season,” he said. “This is good. We went through a lot early. That was good for us. The thing about it is, I’m motivated. Just trying to make a long run in these playoffs. That’s what it’s really about. The real season’s coming. This is all trying to get in a rhythm so we can be our best by then.”

Coach Quin Snyder recognizes that because he’s missed so much time, Gay is still adjusting to his role on the team. Snyder has been extending Gay’s minutes lately, even in games that are out of reach.

“I feel about Rudy the way I do about our team: as he plays more, he’ll continue to be able to give us more,” Snyder said. “… Getting him out there is important to us. Rudy’s obviously someone we feel like can really impact the game for us.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Josh Hart is adapting to his new situation with a Trail Blazers team that is currently more focused on developing young players than winning games, notes Jason Quick of The Athletic. Coach Chauncey Billups said Hart is used to being a complementary player on teams with stars, rather than a primary scorer surrounded by youngsters. “I had to have some conversations with him, because Josh is a very, very competitive dude, and sometimes we’ve been in situations where we haven’t been very competitive,” Billups said. “And that’s tough, especially for a vet. So I’m challenging him right now to just control that, and help our guys. But it’s a tough deal.”
  • Karl-Anthony Towns‘ 60-point outburst Monday was accompanied by a joy that was missing when he set the previous team record of 56 in 2018, observes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. After some difficult years with the Timberwolves, Towns is now the leader of a winning team that enjoys playing together. He could be headed for a spot an All-NBA team, which would make him eligible for a four-year super-max extension this offseason.
  • Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels suffered a high ankle sprain, tweets Chris Hine of The Star-Tribune. Josh Okogie is expected to get extra playing time while McDaniels is sidelined (Twitter link).

Injury Notes: LaVine, White, Harden, Garland, Hayward, More

Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine has been suffering through back spasms recently, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic relays. LaVine was noticeably wincing during Chicago’s 127-120 overtime defeat to Toronto on Thursday. Center Nikola Vučević says the team appreciates LaVine’s commitment to winning despite not being fully healthy.

It tells us a lot about Zach playing through back spasms,” Vučević said. “It’s not easy. It limits you a lot. You just don’t have that freedom of movement, especially in the back. It’s a big, important part of your body, especially when you play basketball. I’m sure it was bothering him a lot, especially on the offensive end trying to score and be aggressive.

But it speaks a lot about his commitment to winning and to this team trying to still be out there. Even him not being 100 percent helps us a lot, so we appreciate him being out there.”

Coach Billy Donovan told reporters, including K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter link), that the Bulls are hopeful LaVine will return Sunday after sitting out Friday on the second game of a back-to-back. However, Donovan also said that LaVine is still battling the knee soreness that sidelined him for a handful of games last month.

Here are some more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • LaVine wasn’t the only Bulls player absent from Friday’s 122-115 win at Indiana, as Coby White also missed the game due to a groin strain, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. Donovan said White has had lingering discomfort in the groin, but it was aggravated against Toronto.
  • Nets coach Steve Nash said James Harden was held out of Brooklyn’s 125-102 blowout loss at Utah on Friday for precautionary reasons, per Nick Friedell of ESPN (via Twitter). The team is giving Harden a couple extra days rest to ensure his hamstring is feeling better. Nash doesn’t think Harden will need an MRI and is hopeful he’ll return to action Sunday at Denver. Rudy Gay exited the game early for the Jazz with right knee soreness and didn’t return to the court, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets.
  • Cavaliers guard Darius Garland, recently named an All-Star for the first time, missed his third consecutive game Friday at Charlotte with lower back soreness, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Gordon Hayward returned to action for the Hornets in the team’s 102-101 loss after missing the past two weeks due to COVID-19, Boone notes.
  • Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony will likely be out Saturday vs. New York, providing extra rest before the team re-evaluates his strained right hamstring next week, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. LeBron James is also doubtful for the contest against the Knicks with knee swelling, per Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link).
  • Heat center Omer Yurtseven has cleared the health and safety protocols and is available for Saturday’s game at Charlotte, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports (via Twitter).
  • Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2021 draft, missed his second straight game for the Pistons Friday with a hip pointer, Keith Langlois of tweets. Coach Dwane Casey said the injury isn’t considered serious, but the team is being cautious with its rising star. The Pistons fell to the Celtics, 102-93.
  • Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon missed his second consecutive game Friday with hamstring tightness, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter link). The Nuggets lost to the Pelicans without Gordon, 113-105.

COVID Updates: Gobert, Gay, McDermott, Unseld Jr., Testing Procedures

The Jazz got some very good news on Friday, as center Rudy Gobert has exited the league’s health and safety protocols, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. Utah’s defense has fallen apart without Gobert patrolling the middle. The Jazz’s defensive rating has ballooned to 120.8 in the five games he’s missed and they only won one of those contests. Forward Rudy Gay has also exited the protocols, Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. Utah plays its next game on Sunday.

We have more COVID-related news:

  • According to the league’s injury report for this evening’s games, Spurs forward Doug McDermott is no longer in the protocols. McDermott has not played since New Year’s Eve.
  • Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. has entered the protocols, according to a team press release. Pat Delany will assume acting head coaching duties for Saturday’s game against Portland.
  • Hornets big man Kai Jones has cleared the protocols and was eligible to play on Friday, the team tweets.
  • Players who remain unvaccinated or who are eligible for a booster shot will remain under daily surveillance and game day testing through February 17, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Those who are currently ineligible for a booster due to having been more recently vaccinated won’t be under those restrictions, NBA Communications tweets. Those restrictions also won’t apply to league staff members, since they are all fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 Updates: Gay, Hughes, Harrell, Hachimura, Winslow, Waters, Brooks

Jazz forwards Rudy Gay and Elijah Hughes have entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the team announced on social media (Twitter link). They join Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles as players in protocols for Utah.

All four players will miss the team’s game against the Pistons on Monday. Two-way player Malik Fitts will also be sidelined due to a right wrist injury, meaning Utah will be without five players for the contest. According to our tracker, nearly 50 players are currently in the NBA’s protocols.

Here are some other COVID-related notes from around the league:

Northwest Notes: Whiteside, Finch, Edwards, Bol

With Jazz reserve center Hassan Whiteside unavailable while recovering from a concussion, Utah struggled to find much success in its small-ball lineups when All-Star center Rudy Gobert went to the bench, writes Eric Walden of the Salt Lake City Tribune. Walden notes that lineups with 6’8″ reserve forward Rudy Gay playing the five were minus-19 across 19:52 of action.

“It’s different without having a traditional big in Hassan or Rudy [Gobert] back there, because we base our defense solely on forcing everybody to our big,” All-Star point guard Mike Conley said. “Everybody’s kind of activated into more of a help-the-helper situation, as opposed to trying to make it a two-on-two situation with the big and the guard like we’re accustomed to doing.” Gay signed a two-year, $12.1MM contract with the team this summer.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch has earned rave reviews for the way he handled Minnesota’s rotations as the team was impacted by several coronavirus-related absences, writes Chris Hine of the Star Tribune. Win or lose, the Wolves have always been prepared and kept contests close. “His [after-timeout plays], his mindset, how he conducts practice, very detailed man,” point guard Patrick Beverley said. “His professionalism, I preach to these guys every day that they’re fortunate to have a coach like that, for sure.”
  • After Finch had a quick hook for Timberwolves wing Anthony Edwards due to what the head coach perceived as lackluster defense in the first quarter of an eventual 122-104 Minnesota victory over the Clippers, Edwards responded with renewed effort, writes Chris Hine of the Star Tribune. Finch inserted Jaylen Nowell in Edwards’s stead early in the first quarter. “I wasn’t a big fan of his approach defensively to start the game, which is why I went that direction early,” Finch said. “He responded to that and was a lot more dialed in.” Edwards conceded that Finch had a point: “I get mad, but he right. At the end of the day I can’t do nothing but take the constructive criticism and come back and show him that I can do it.”
  • 7’2″ Nuggets power forward Bol Bol showed promise in scoring a career-best 11 points across 20 minutes against the Rockets in a 124-111 win this weekend. He has support in high places as a prospect with upside, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post. One big name in his corner is Denver head coach Michael Malone, who sent Bol a congratulatory text after his big night.

Northwest Notes: Wolves, Gay, Lillard, Nnaji

The 11-15 Timberwolves‘ current five-game losing streak, which includes three consecutive home blowout defeats, displays Minnesota’s clear need for more frontcourt help, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Adding someone at the level of 6’11” Pacers big man Myles Turner, a solid defender and floor spacer, could be exactly the cure for what ails them.

“We’re not putting the work in,” Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns noted of the club’s recent losing streak. “It’s as simple as that. We gotta put more work in. All of us. Top to bottom.”

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • New reserve Jazz forward Rudy Gay has proven to be exactly what the doctor ordered for Utah this season, writes Mark Schindler of Basketball News. When he plays alongside All-Star starting Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Gay has been particularly effective. Lineups featuring that tandem have outscored opponents by 24.3 points per 100 possessions. Because the bulky 6’8″, 250-pound Gay can convincingly defend centers on switches, he operates as a helpful release valve for Gobert, who can struggle guarding opponents along the perimeter on switches.
  • Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard has taken umbrage with what he perceives to be the media’s depiction of him as being somewhat wishy-washy in his thinking, per Portland’s official Twitter account (video link)“You can criticize how I play or who I am as a player, that’s one thing,” Lillard said. “But who I am as a person and the things that I say, I mean them. That’s one thing that I stand on and I know people can’t challenge me on that.”
  • Second-year Nuggets forward Zeke Nnaji is doing his darnedest to improve this season, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. With long-term injuries sidelining forwards Michael Porter Jr. and P.J. Dozier, Nnaji has carved out some legitimate rotation minutes this month, Singer observes. He is averaging 6.6 PPG and 2.4 RPG, across 17.6 MPG this month. Especially notable, Nnaji is shooting 58.6% from long range this year, tops in the league for volume three-point shooting (defined as two or more triples taken a night). Denver head coach Michael Malone is already a fan. “He is self-motivated,” Malone said. “He is a guy that is not allowing his maybe not playing or Summer League failures to identify and define him, and that’s kind of who Zeke is. He’s a guy that does everything hard. You’re never gonna catch Zeke Nnaji cutting corners.”