SALT LAKE CITY — It was long assumed that Deron Williams was one of the players the Jazz would never trade. That obviously changed in February, when Utah shipped the All-Star point guard to New Jersey in a shocking blockbuster deal.
In recent days, a few of the Jazz's top players, including Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Devin Harris, have been associated with trade rumors.
It's unknown whether any deals involving those three players will go down, but even hearing their names in trade rumors begs the question if anybody on the team is untouchable a la Karl Malone and John Stockton.
Kevin O'Connor's response to that question?
"Greg Miller," the Jazz general manager quipped.
While media members chuckled, O'Connor continued: "He owns the team, so he and Gail (Miller) are untouchable. Outside of that, I think we're all available for trades."
He wasn't about to tip his hand, but O'Connor didn't rule out the possibility of a draft-day deal.
"Because we have two more picks, we hear more talk," O'Connor admitted.
It worked out immaculately for the Jazz the last time they were involved in a high-stakes deal on the day of the draft. Utah swapped up from the sixth spot to No. 3 and landed D-Will, who had a spectacular run with the team for five-plus seasons.
But that trade was anything but a sure thing going into the day.
"The likelihood the last time when we moved from six to three, I thought, was about five percent at the beginning of the day on draft day and we wound up doing it," O'Connor said. "So, I don't want to put a quantitative number on it."
But he reiterated that the Jazz won't rule out doing some wheeling and dealing.
"What I would say is we'll look at everything to make us better," O'Connor said. "People look at our roster and people look at our draft picks, (but) we do a lot more talking than we do doing."
SEQUESTERED SUMMIT: Jazz brass begin the hard part of the process today when the who's who of the front office and coaching staff will meet in the war room for an all day strategy session.
O'Connor, Miller, coach Tyrone Corbin and crew will discuss in the ins and outs of their countless hours of scouting, evaluating and interviewing to come up with a ranking of the top 30 players in the draft.
"Now the hard part, trying to get your board together to see where you slot guys and where everybody else (is to) have a feel for where guys are going to fall," Corbin said. "(We'll) try to have a plan going into Thursday.
It's going to be a lot of fighting back and forth for where guys' opinions are, different guys, and see where your board finally ends up to be."
O'Connor said it's important for him to receive input from everybody on staff before making the ultimate decision with the third and 12th picks.
"This is a collaborative effort," O'Connor said. "Ty's got to coach them. You don't want to take somebody that doesn't fit into what we're trying to do or who he is because he's got to coach him."
Even so, Corbin has a lot of respect for O'Connor and his lead scouts, including Walt Perrin and David Fredman, so he values their input.
"We all are in the room. We all have a chance to say what we have to say," Corbin added. "Kevin, Walt and Freddie do a great job all year going out and see these guys. They have a better feel for it. They do more of the background stuff.55 comments on this story
"They go and talk to their (prospects') coaches. They may talk to some kids on campus," he added. "So they should have more of a say in it. We get a chance to see them here. We watch some film of them. They need to have more say because they're in it a little bit more than we are."
HE SAID IT: If the Jazz like a player enough, O'Connor said they won't hold it against him for not being able to come into Utah for a workout and interview.
Added the Jazz GM with a chuckle: "We would have drafted Derrick Rose even though he didn't come in."