NBA Trade Rumors: Utah's Al Jefferson to the San Antonio Spurs?

Michael LingbergCorrespondent IIIFebruary 6, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 31: Elton Brand #42 of Dallas Mavericks defends Al Jefferson #25 of the Utah Jazz during the first half of an NBA game October 31, 2012 at EnergySolution Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
George Frey/Getty Images

While most teams in the NBA always have an eye open for an effective big man, the Utah Jazz are thinking of ways to rid themselves of one. 

Al Jefferson's name has surfaced up in the trade rumor swamp.

Chris Sheridan, take it away (via

Here is the latest they are telling me: The San Antonio Spurs are the front-runners to land Al Jefferson in a trade with the Utah Jazz – and they are front-runners like Secretariat was in the 1973 Belmont Stakes.

This is a move that would make sense for both sides. The Jazz have an embarrassment of riches in the frontcourt, and the same goes for the Spurs at the point guard position. This would not be the same kind of exchange executed by the Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies and Detroit Pistons last week because of one simple fact:

The Spurs and Jazz are trading for need and not to avoid salary cap penalties next season. Knowing teams will still trade with each other based on need is a refreshing thought. 

So how would Jefferson fit with San Antonio, and who (or what) would Utah get in return?

First of all, picture Jefferson's style of play. He's neither extremely athletic nor flashy. But he still manages to average 17 points per game and over nine rebounds. And you never hear about any off-the-court troubles.

So what does all of this make him?

He's a true San Antonio Spur. 

A frontcourt with Jefferson, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard would be formidable. Or if the Spurs want to go giant, take Leonard off and throw 6'11" Tiago Splitter in the game. 

This is a good way for the organization to show its doing everything it can do to help Duncan get a fifth championship ring. 

Trading Jefferson to the Spurs would get Utah some fresh, young blood infused into the point guard position. The exchange would also give Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter more opportunities to shine. While the Jazz aren't short on point guard depth—as Mo Williams, Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson all man the position—there isn't much promising youth on the roster. 

Utah does have a rookie point guard in Kevin Murphy on the roster, but he just can't see the floor. So far this year, he's played in only eight games and averages just less than four  four minutes per game.

Enter Nando De Colo and Patty Mills. 

One or both of those guys would be serviceable and could be a potential starting point guard for the Jazz down the road. We saw their potential when they nearly knocked off the Miami Heat on the road without Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili or Danny Green. In that match-up, De Colo scored 15 points and also had six rebounds and five assists.

In addition, maybe the Spurs send DeJuan Blair or Splitter to Utah as well? If there's one thing for sure, the Jazz should be getting a promising young guard in return for Jefferson. 

Then again, this is the Utah Jazz we're talking about.

They're so silent when it comes to putting players on the trading block, they make North Korea's nuclear program stand out like a marching band.

We won't know about anything until it actually happens.

Tell me what you think about this possibility on Twitter @Lingberg2000.