Although we've speculated Utah Jazz trades including Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson since the beginning of the season (via Marc Stein of ESPN), the organization made the decision to keep both of them for now.
So what does this mean for the team?
The Jazz are one of the quietest teams in the league, and Millsap and Jefferson are two of the most underrated players in the NBA. Both starting big men will be unrestricted free agents by the end of this season, and will probably demand a much higher price than the Jazz are willing to pay for them.
They had a chance to get back some value in return for one or both of these players, but they didn't pull the trigger on any trade, so they are stuck with them for the rest of the season.
At a first glimpse, it may seem crazy that the Jazz would risk letting Millsap and Jefferson walk in the offseason.
But at a second look, it might have been the smartest decision that the Jazz could make.
With Millsap and Jefferson leading the way, the Jazz are safely holding on to the seventh seed in the ever-competitive Western Conference. Although every Jazz fan would love to see more of Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, those two young guns haven't proved that they are ready to take over this team yet.
I also believe that the Jazz are waiting to see how far this current team could go in the playoffs, and how every player performs for the rest of the season.
Chad Ford @chadfordinsider
Can confirm that the Utah Jazz did not make a trade today …2/21/2013, 8:21:06 PM
If one of Millsap or Jefferson perform at an exceptional level in the playoffs, the Jazz might look to re-sign one of them again, while letting the other go.
However, if neither of them perform better toward the end of the season, and they end up getting swept in the first round again, the organization will have a harder time deciding to keep one or let both of them go.
One thing is for sure though, and it's that only one of them will be re-signed before the beginning of next season. Millsap has already declined a three-year extension which would pay him roughly $8 million a year, so it's clear that he wants to test his value in the open market.
With that being said, there will always be at least one team out there that would pay him more than he is probably worth. Make no mistake, Millsap is a special player with versatile, two-way abilities for a power forward, but he probably won't be worth a heavy contract, especially with Favors behind him.
I can't say that I was extremely shocked that the Jazz decided to not make a trade before this year's deadline, but I was definitely expecting them to make some sort of move involving one of the two aforementioned players.
By not making any trades, the Jazz gave themselves more time to decide and analyze their options before the offseason approaches.
Unlike the Atlanta Hawks and Josh Smith, the Jazz wouldn't take a huge hit toward their future if they lose Millsap and Jefferson for nothing. They already have a plethora of young, talented prospects who have all displayed flashes of brilliance in their short time in the league, and it's hard to see the Jazz receiving any player who would make a huge impact.
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