While the league is nearing the halfway point in the NBA season, there are still 14 teams in the Western Conference that are very much still in the playoff discussion and there are plenty of teams that can be classified as true playoff contenders. The Timberwolves may be the only team that probably does not have a real chance of making the playoffs, but everyone else still has plenty of talent on their roster and a real shot to make some noise after the All-Star break.
While there are plenty of possible playoff teams in the Western Conference, everyone is currently chasing the Utah Jazz who have emerged as a very real championship contender this year. This will make following NBA trade rumors quite intriguing as the trade deadline approaches.
Donovan Mitchell has turned himself into a superstar player, regardless of who says he is not, Rudy Gobert is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Jordan Clarkson is the front-runner for the Sixth Man of the Year Award and other high-impact guys like Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Joe Ingles have all stepped up into bigger roles this year.
This team as a whole just plays so well together and are such a fantastic two-way team. They currently reside 3rd in the league in points per game and are currently allowing the 2nd least amount of points per game. The Jazz get things done on both ends of the court, which is why they currently have the best record in the league at 26-6 and have everyone in the Western Conference looking up at them.
Other teams in the Lakers, Clippers, Suns and Trail Blazers all have championship aspirations in the West as well this year, but could need to make a significant move near the NBA trade deadline to “catch up” to the Utah Jazz.
Let’s take a look at one trade scenario for each Western Conference contender to try and compete with the Utah Jazz during the second-half of the NBA season.