Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
The Utah Jazz are looking to bolster their roster ahead of the Feb. 10 trade deadline, and it appears the franchise is interested in two players who could help take their game to the next level.
Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant and Sacramento Kings veteran Harrison Barnes have sparked interest from the Jazz, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor. Utah has had trade talks for both players, O’Connor adds, as he is targeting “wings that can hold their own.”
This update should come as no surprise after news that Joe Ingles suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2021-22 campaign and the 2022-23 season.
Ingles has been a key player for the Jazz over eight seasons, averaging 7.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists this season in 25 minutes per game. He’s not necessarily considered a defensive mainstay, but he’s been a pretty solid defender overall.
Plus, the Jazz could use better defensive players as they continue to falter in the playoffs, failing to make it past the second round since the 2006-07 campaign.
That said, Grant is a defensive player who makes a difference and can help the Jazz defense alongside big man Rudy Gobert. Grant is a good match for most players due to his size, athleticism, and willingness not to back down from tough matches.
The 27-year-old is also in the midst of one of his best offensive seasons, averaging 20 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 41.5% from the field and 33 .8% from depth.
However, it could be difficult for the Jazz to acquire Grant. NBA insider Marc Stein flagged Utah’s interest in the veteran late last month, but also suggested the team should beef up its trade program for him.
According to B/R’s Jake Fischer, the Pistons are asking for two first-round picks or one first-round pick plus a young, high-potential player in exchange for Grant.
As for Barnes, the Jazz have been interested in the veteran since late last month. At The NBA Athletic Show podcast on January 26, Sam Amick reported that Barnes had been “linked” to Utah.
Barnes would present head coach Quin Snyder with a better option off the bench than Rudy Gay or Eric Paschall. He’s averaging 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 45% from the floor and 40.8% from deep this season.
The 29-year-old is in the third year of his four-year, $85 million contract and is attracting interest from teams as his final season salary is just $18.35 million.
The Jazz slipped to 28-23, fourth in the Western Conference. If they want to compete with the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors, they’ll need more depth, and Grant and/or Barnes can provide that.