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Injuries and slightly larger sample sizes have sparked some trade chatter around the NBA, as the league calendar approaches the December 15 date for when free agents from this season will become trade-eligible. We’ll start in Utah, where the Jazz’s elite rivals are wondering which front office direction Danny Ainge will choose after an astonishing 12-7 start that translated to first place in the Western Conference.

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The time Mike Conley misses after a knee injury over the weekend may affect Utah’s decision-making if there is any subsequent decline in the Jazz’s competitiveness. So far Utah State has signaled its intent to keep the breakout star around Laurie Markkanen In addition to the preferred franchise Jordan Clarksonand set a high asking price Jared VanderbiltYahoo Sports, sources said, leaving Owner Paisley And the Kelly Olynyk, along with Conley, as the obvious veterans, the Jazz could move ahead of the February 9 trade deadline. Oleynik is known to be Ainge’s favourite.

But what if Utah is no longer content to join the race for coveted Victor Wimpanyama? Jazz interest in the Hawks forward John Collins It’s real, league sources said, and seems to indicate that Utah is considering how to add to this winning unit rather than subtract from it. At the moment, the prospect of Collins landing Salt Lake City appears low. Sources said Atlanta reached out to Jazz about replacing Collins with Markkanen, which did not generate any traction.

An influential player for Utah, Conley’s salary will be a direct match for Collins, should Atlanta feel it is worth adding another point guard behind them. Tra Young And the Dijonte Murray. $22 million, though, with $14.3 million guaranteed for next season, a lot for the tax-conscious Falcons to pay for an aging reserve with a recent injury history. Paisley appears to be the best return of any theoretical deal that brought Collins to the Jazz, but that would also require adding an additional Utah contract to the tune of at least $18.5 million for an outgoing package to take away the $23 million Collins is owed this season. Sources said Jazz was looking to relocate Rudy Jaywho will almost certainly get his $6.5 million player option for 2023-24.

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Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz celebrates with Jordan Clarkson after scoring in an NBA game against the Phoenix Suns, Friday, November 18, 2022, in Salt Lake City.  (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson helped the Jazz get off to a surprising start this season. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Finding any home for Collins becomes a difficult task when you consider that the Hawks have dangled the talented 25-year-old for several cycles of transactions. There was real momentum in a deal with Sacramento during this summer’s draft window, sources said, but the Kings moved away with Kevin Herter and seem very happy to light the beam with this current iteration of the Golden 1 center. Sources said The Wizards showed a legitimate interest in Collins before the trade deadline last year, but they have since been paired Bradley Bell With Kristaps Porcingis, who helped root for Washington’s top 10 defense.

While Atlanta remains one of the teams in the mix for Phoenix swingman Jay CrowderLeague sources said suns He showed no desire to afford the remaining four seasons of the five-year, $125 million deal Collins signed after running the Hawks to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals. That seems to be the consensus among rival executives. A good player in a huge long-term contract only carries so much commercial interest when viewed as above market value. Elsewhere in Atlanta, keep an eye out Justin Holiday This trade off season, as rookie forward AJ Griffin continues to make stride in Nate McMillan’s rotation, despite Holiday’s close association with the head coach from their shared days at Indiana.

Sources told Yahoo Sports that another major suitor for Crowder is Milwaukee. Last week, word got around the league that a three-team structure with dollars Eventually, Crowder’s relegation was gaining momentum, though apparently no deal came to fruition. The sources said competing front offices were approached as part of different three-team frameworks that would send Crowder overseas. Atlanta did not find a direct deal with Phoenix after months of calling. Milwaukee has tried to use it Grayson Allen That direct deal has yet to develop over the months since Crowder’s opposition began, sources said. Sources said the Suns’ interest in KJ Martin likened Houston to several three-team concepts.

In Detroit, it was intense Kid CunninghamShe has a shin injury pistonslynchpin is considering season-ending surgery, leaving opposing front offices on the assumption that veteran sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic will actually become available before the bell in February.

Another Pistons player’s league staff is watching the third year forward be honest with you. The Villanova producer was recently demoted from the starting lineup before bouncing back into Dwane Casey’s opening unit. Bey will become eligible for an extension this summer and has seen a significant drop in production. Detroit has received early calls from Bey’s inquiry teams, sources said, a change in behavior from recent trading windows. But the Pistons seem intent on further evaluating Bey before truly entertaining his commercial market.

The last week of November will be integral to the Lakers’ decision-making process ahead of this off-season trade. Los Angeles had a three-game winning streak until Tuesday night’s loss to Phoenix, but Anthony Davis scored his fourth straight 30-point game. LeBron James He is close to returning from his kidnapper’s bloodline. The Lakers now have two games against San Antonio and then a home contest against Indiana before closing out the month against Portland. That’s three games against preseason teams chasing lottery balls rather than winning, as well as a good test against the fiery Blazers. If the Lakers don’t show up enough during that roster, it will be hard to see the Los Angeles Coppers consider their 2027 and 2029 first-round deals truly warranted.

In restricted free agent for miles bridges. Despite this, the Hornets would have the right to match any Michigan State product offer sheet, and teams are unable to facilitate signing and trading during the regular season. There is also an expectation that Bridges will face a major suspension upon his return to the NBA next Stemming from an incident that occurred in Los Angeles over the summer.

across the square, clippers Head coach Ty Lue and the front office get along on the hunt for front court depth next Ivica Zupaksources said. The two main market centers for this year’s commercial are Myles Turner and Jacob Boeltelthough it seems more likely that the Clippers will target a convertible center as an option for Lue to replace Zubac against zippier formations, rather than a complete small ball unit.

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