As Thursday’s NBA trade deadline approached, it appeared the Utah Jazz were in position to make a deal, with Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson seeming to be logical players to move given the fact that both are on expiring contracts and unlikely to return to the team next season.
Just a few hours before the 1 p.m. MST deadline, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Hood and Johnson will be traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings, respectively, as part of a three-team trade. Wojnarowski reported that the Jazz will receive Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose from the Cavaliers, with former Jazzman George Hill going from Sacramento to Cleveland, and Iman Shumpert going from Cleveland to Sacramento.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported that the Cavaliers sent the Kings $2.1M in cash, Utah sent Sacramento $1.1M cash and Cleveland agreed to second-round draft pick swap rights with Utah in 2024. The Cavaliers also got the rights to Arturas Gudaitis from the Kings and traded rights to Dimitrios Agravanis. Both of those players were second-round picks but have never played in the NBA.
In moving Hood, Utah traded a player who has been good but inconsistent in both health and production since being selected by the Jazz with the 23rd overall pick in the 2014 draft. Despite his inconsistency, Hood likely would have received a significant contract offer from another team this summer in free agency. Given that he will be a restricted free agent, Utah would have been able to match the deal, but would they let him leave without getting any compensation?
On Cleveland’s roster, Hood can serve as an effective scoring option who won’t be responsible for the load he was asked to carry for the Jazz before Donovan Mitchell’s emergence.
As for Johnson, given his veteran status, it was likely that he would have been bought out by the Jazz if not traded, allowing him to choose a new destination (surely a playoff contender) for the remainder of the season. That being said, his $10.5 million salary number was useful in helping facilitate the Kings moving Hill, who will earn $20 million this season. Johnson will almost surely be bought out by Sacramento.
In terms of what Utah received in the deal, the 6-foot-6, 235-pound Crowder is a combo forward in his seventh year in the NBA out of Marquette. Before spending the first part of this season with the Cavaliers, Crowder was with the Boston Celtics, where he became a very versatile player who showed the ability to do a variety of things, from rebounding to making 3-pointers.
After getting traded last summer as part of the Kyrie Irving deal, however, Crowder has struggled so far this season, as he’s averaging 8.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and is shooting under 33 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Still, his contract is very good value, particularly if he can return to the form he had over the last two seasons before this one, as he’ll earn $7 million this season, $7.3 million next season and $7.8 million the year after that, according to Basketball Insiders. He’s also a player it appears the Jazz have long liked, as there were reportedly talks last summer that Utah tried to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Celtics centered on Crowder after Gordon Hayward went to Beantown.
Crowder's father Corey played 51 games for the Jazz during the 1991-1992 season when Jae was a baby.
On a one-year deal, Rose, the 2011 NBA MVP whose career has been derailed by injury, will be waived by the Jazz so he can sign with a playoff contender for the remainder of the season, Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania reported Thursday. Minnesota is a possible landing spot for him, multiple reporters said.
In essence, then, Utah is receiving Crowder in exchange for Hood and Johnson. Assuming they waive Rose, the Jazz will have a roster spot open.
As far as the rest of the deal is concerned, Hill will greatly bolster Cleveland’s backcourt provided he can stay healthy. After his free agent market dried up last summer, he took a two-year deal with the Kings but they are now only selectively playing their veterans in an attempt to essentially tank the rest of the season.
Shumpert’s contract is not good value with his production at $10.4 million this season with a player option for $11 million next season that he will almost surely exercise given his play.