Covington, Grant Linked To Utah Jazz As Potential Trade Targets

Utah Jazz, Jerami Grant, Robert Covington, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Utah Jazz has hit a rough patch recently. After rolling through the first half of the regular season as one of the best teams in the NBA, they have begun sliding back in the standings.

A big reason for the team’s recent lack of success has been injuries. All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert have been sidelined with injuries, which has exacerbated the issues that Utah was already having this season.

While the Jazz had one of the best offenses in the NBA, their defense was leaving something to be desired. While their net rating was among the best in the league, they were unable to get stops when they needed them most.

Gobert had made comments recently about the team’s defense. He said they were a tier below the teams they were chasing in the standings in the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. He specifically referenced Suns star Devin Booker when discussing his own team’s shortcomings.

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As we head toward the NBA trade deadline, that is something that the Utah Jazz are looking to improve. They are in the market for a defensive-minded player to add to their starting lineup, specifically on the wing.

Luckily for Utah, there are a few players that would fit that bill that is potentially available ahead of the deadline. According to Marc Stein on his Substack, which requires a paid prescription, two players to keep an eye on when it comes to the Jazz are Robert Covington of the Portland Trail Blazers and Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons.

Portland’s Robert Covington, league sources say, is a trade target who interests the Jazz given their well-known desire to upgrade defensively on the wing. Detroit’s Jerami Grant is said to be Utah’s most preferred target in that quest, but it’s believed that the Pistons have no interest in a trade package headlined by Ingles’ expiring $13 million contract packaged with a future first-round pick.

Robert Covington is playing on an expiring deal of his own, like Joe Ingles, so that is certainly a plausible route given what the Utah Jazz have to offer. As a team semi-rebuilding their roster with Damian Lillard being sidelined for the foreseeable future, they would likely take a first-round pick to swap expiring deals.

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While Jerami Grant is the preferred choice, it will be much more challenging to acquire him, as Stein points out. Not only would the Utah Jazz have to bolster their trade package, but they would have to be willing to pay Grant a sizable extension as well.

Grant is looking for $112 million on his next contract, which could be negotiated beginning this offseason. It is a similar situation to what the Denver Nuggets had when they acquired Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic at last year’s deadline.

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There is also the prospect of Grant wanting to be the go-to option offensively and remain in Detroit. As long as Mitchell is in Utah, whoever joins the team is likely to be the No. 2 option, at best. However, would landing with a contender in Utah change his outlook?