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Jazz reportedly likely to trade Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap

al-jefferson-paul-millsapThe Utah Jazz are currently in position to make the NBA playoffs out of the Western Conference, but they reportedly are likely to make a trade that would change their roster significantly.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Jazz will be looking to deal either Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap at some point over the next few months.

Stein reports that it’s assumed throughout the league that either player will be traded. One of the big reasons for the trade is that both players will be free agents in July, meaning Utah would lose the players without receiving anything in return. Additionally, the Jazz have two other big men whom they would like to see develop in the front court. Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter were the No. 3 overall picks in the 2010 and 2011 NBA drafts, respectively.

Utah entered Saturday’s play 13-11. They may be reluctant to trade both big men for fear that it could knock them out of the playoff hunt, but they could opt to deal one.

Jefferson is leading the team with 17.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Millsap is right behind him with 15.3 points and 8.4 boards per game. They both rank about the same in terms of efficiency.

Favors has averaged 9.2 points and 7.3 rebounds in nearly 22 minutes per game this season, while Kanter has averaged 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game.

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Jeff Green destroys Al Jefferson on dunk (Video)

Jeff Green destroyed Al Jefferson with a monstrous, soul-crushing dunk on Wednesday night in Boston.

The Boston Celtics forward took a pass in the corner and drove to the hole where he elevated from the middle of the paint and just slammed one down on the Jazz big man. Green then stared down Jefferson for good measure, receiving a technical foul for taunting.

Not only did his teammates not seem to mind, they were actually happy about it. Kevin Garnett could be seen saying to him, “That’s what I’m talking about,” while others gave him similar praise.

Green missed last season after undergoing heart surgery, and he was struggling to fit into the team this year. A powerful, statement dunk like this is exactly the sort of play he needed to get going.

Meanwhile, Jefferson, who was once traded from Boston to Minnesota in the Kevin Garnett deal, still has not beaten his former team. The C’s won 98-93 while Green scored a season-high 16 points.

Video, Image via @Jose3030

Al Jefferson says no one will beat the Spurs before their series with the Jazz ends

Many thought they were too old, but the Spurs emerged as legitimate title contenders during the lockout-shortened season. As expected, they have handled the Jazz with relative ease through the first three games of the opening round of the playoffs. San Antonio currently has a 3-0 series lead over Utah, but the Jazz have not given up just yet. Actually, at least one of them has.

Before practice on Sunday, Al Jefferson said he expects the Spurs to win it all. Considering they have not yet closed out the Jazz, that may irritate some Utah fans and coaches.

“I just think we’re playing against a team that is at its peak,” Jefferson told reporters according to Spurs Nation. “I don’t see nobody beating them.

“Right now, they just playing well, man. I ain’t never seen nothing like this.”

That has to be pretty deflating to anyone who has a ticket to Game 4 tonight in Utah. In reality the Jazz have no shot of coming back and beating the Spurs. Any intelligent fan knows that, and the players probably do too. However, someone needs to tell Jefferson that it’s not a smart idea to basically declare his team a group of dead men walking before the season officially comes to a close.

Photo credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

T-Wolves Have Nothing to Show for Dealing Garnett

Don’t confuse this claim with one that would attempt to convince you that the Minnesota Timberwolves would be better off if they still had Kevin Garnett. What I would like to call to your attention is that after trading Al Jefferson to the Utah Jazz for two future first-round picks, the T-Wolves have now rid themselves of every piece they received from the Celtics in return for Kevin Garnett in 2007, excluding draft selections. After getting what looked like a ton in exchange for The Big Ticket at the time, this can’t be what Kevin McHale and the Minnesota front office envisioned.

When you deal the greatest player in your franchise’s history — one who, at the time, was still at the peak of his game — you intend to get something out of the players you dealt him for. If the T-Wolves had known that Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, and journeyman Theo Ratliff would all turn out to be duds and trade bait, they would have looked elsewhere to make a deal. Had they envisioned Al Jefferson becoming expendable at the age of 25, they wouldn’t have wasted their time even speaking to the Celtics’ brass. Obviously, Minnesota received something in the form of draft picks and other players when they dealt all of the former Celtics, but at this point it doesn’t appear they’ve gotten their hands on anything promising.

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