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Utah Jazz: Limited player market and new CBA could deter Jazz from making a trade before deadline

Published: Thursday, Aug. 27 2015 6:18 p.m. MDT

Utah's Al Jefferson grabs a defensive rebound and looks up court as the Jazz and the Bulls play Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 at Energy Solutions arena. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Utah's Al Jefferson grabs a defensive rebound and looks up court as the Jazz and the Bulls play Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 at Energy Solutions arena. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

So far there has been very limited action around the NBA during this season's trade window. In Utah, there's been plenty of talk about the Jazz making a move, but so far nothing has materialized with the deadline looming at 1 p.m. MST today.

The new collective bargaining agreement that was drafted during last year's lockout will impose new heavy-handed penalties for teams that exceed the salary cap, which has teams thinking twice about making moves, reports say.

"The total number of players traded in the week leading up to the deadline was 45 in 2010 and 49 in 2011, according to STATS LLC. Last year, that number dipped to 27. As of Wednesday night, just two deals made by the Rockets involving six players filled out the total for this year," Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press reported.

"If you are just trying to make a move just to say, 'Hey we got something for them.' I'm not with that," said ESPN's Chris Broussard in an interview with ESPN 700 in Salt Lake City.

When asked about potential trades for Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson, Broussard said the Jazz may be better off not making a trade.

"What I would look at is what is actually out there for me to get," Broussard said. "I'm not totally against letting a guy walk if he is a free agent."

Because of the strict new CBA rules that will go into effect next year, many teams are anxious to get under the salary cap to avoid penalties.

Krawczynski explained how the new rules would affect a team's ability re-sign players to make sign-and-trade deals.

"Under the previous agreement, if a team exceeded the luxury tax level by $4 million, it paid an additional $4 million in tax penalties. If it went over by $14 million, it paid $14 million in penalties," Krawczynski wrote.

"Next season, because of various increases in penalties, that $4 million will cost a team $6 million. And the team that goes over by $14 million will be hit with a $26.25 million bill.

"To make matters worse, any team that exceeds the cap "apron" — which is $4 million over the existing luxury tax level — is not allowed to bring in a player in a sign-and-trade deal. That team also will only be able to offer a three-year mid-level exception deal to a free agent rather than the four-year exception that teams under the apron can offer, putting them at a bargaining disadvantage on the open market."

Broussard said that available "cap space can be very valuable," and might be more important than temporarily taking on players that the Jazz don't see as long-term solutions. So, will the Jazz pull off a last-minute trade today?

"I'm going to say 65 percent yes and 35 percent no," Broussard said.

Ryan Carreon is a web editor for DeseretNews.com. E-mail him at rcarreon@desnews.com

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