Feb 6, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) controls the ball while defended by Milwaukee Bucks center Samuel Dalembert (21) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena. The Jazz won 100-86. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Toronto Raptors trade Andrea Bargnani & Landry Fields to Utah Jazz for Al Jefferson?


Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld has compiled a list of players  who in his view have been retained too long by their current teams. A number of our previously analyzed trade candidates are named, including Paul Millsap, Ben Gordon and Pau Gasol. Andrea Bargnani (quel surprise!) makes the list, as does Al Jefferson of the Utah Jazz, a team which has more than its fair share of committed fans. Readers of ours who commented on my post about trading for Millsap have suggested that Big Al is the most likely member to be moved out of the embarrassment of riches which is the Jazz’s front court.

Jefferson’s contract, which pays him $15M, expires this season. He can be acquired by the Raps if they send Bargnani and Landry Fields to Salt Lake City. Fine, but does this deal make sense for both teams?

Nov 7, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks shooting guard O.J. Mayo (32) dribbles the ball past Toronto Raptors small forward Landry Fields (2) and center Andrea Bargnani (7) during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Raptors. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This season is Al’s 9th  in the NBA, and he appears to be a cyborg. His stats are eerily similar from year to year, so I’ll only take note of his Per-Game career numbers: 16.3 Points, 9.0 Rebounds, 1.4 Blocks in 30.5 Minutes. Why he has been traded from Boston to Minnesota to Utah is difficult to fathom, as I get no sense that he’s a headcase. He was suspended by the T’Wolves during the 2010 playoffs for a DWI arrest, but that is the only blot I could find on his record. Perhaps we should consider the glass half-full, and view his tour of various teams as part of a maturation process. Does he want to settle down and help a team in, say, Toronto, build for a championship run?

Al’s presence would immediately provide the scoring balance which has been so sorely lacking since our inside game departed with Ed Davis. Al starts tonight at power forward or centre. The bigger issue is his contract status. Ideally Al’s arrival in Toronto would be highlighted by a splashy press conference in which a multi-year contract extension would be announced, at a hefty raise. However, a proven scorer/rebounder big man like Jefferson can write his own ticket this off-season, and odds are he’s not signing anything until he’s been romanced by a number of teams.

Here’s the question, Raps fans – do we want to rent Al Jefferson for 3 months, make the playoffs, and hope he’ll re-sign once he’s decided the team and the city is where he wants to be? If we take that risk, and get spurned, we’ve lost Bargnani and Fields forever. It’s true their departure wipes $16M off our salary cap for the next two seasons, and perhaps we don’t want them here under any circumstances. But as of this writing they are our most valuable trade assets, and could be swapped for players with non-expiring contracts.

Feb 13, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) looks to pass in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The Jazz defeated the Wolves 97-93. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

I’m going to hop off the fence – if I’m Bryan Colangelo, I’m making the pitch to Utah. I think this is a sound deal for both teams. Neither of our guys will clog up the paint or poach minutes from Utah’s youthful big men. The Raps get a reliable scorer in the low post like we haven’t had since Chris Bosh’s departure – and perhaps Al will stay.

What do you think, Rapture Nation? Am I dreaming in Technicolour? Please drop a Comment.

Brian Boake is a co-editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.

Tags: Al Jefferson Andrea Bargnani Bryan Colangelo Landry Fields Toronto Raptors Trade Rumors Utah Jazz

  • help me i’m on welfare

    I am sure you know how feel about this trade … it’s a very good one for us. I think this propels us into the playoffs and that it is actually doable. Utah gets their Okur-type player (I know less rebounding and help defence), plus Feilds seems loke a Utah-type player. We get all the a fore mentioned qualities that Jefferson provides and hopefully a playoff berth. If you ask me this is one of the best trades out there.

    • http://www.facebook.com/luke.dobrzanski Luke Dobrzanski

      Amazing trade for us, but a down right fleecing of Utah. They would be mad to do this trade.

      There’s a remote chance they consider this deal if Terrence Ross is included.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi: Yes, I suspected you would be on board; it’s good you confirmed it. Let’s cross our fingers & toes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/luke.dobrzanski Luke Dobrzanski

    This is a totally unrealistic trade scenario. Why would Utah trade us one of its most valuable trade assets in exchange for two of our most overpaid and underperforming players. With the emergence of Darrick favors, Andrea would be immediately relegated to the bench and would be one of Utahs highest paid players if not the highest.

    I’m sure Utah has far more come compelling offers than this one.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Luke: I think your final sentence is the key to the mystery – do the Jazz have more compelling offers? If so, I think you’re right; they will say No, in a hurry. But what if they don’t, and believe that Al will walk after this season? Then they might well be motivated to get some value for him. AB & Fields aren’t bums, but they have had disappointing seasons. Maybe a new home would help them both.
      On your second comment – I wouldn’t trade Ross to cement this deal. He’s too valuable. If that’s who they insist on, it’s BC’s turn to say No.
      Please stop by again.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

        LOL AB and Fields are bums. I bet Utah has way more attractive offers than this piece of shit offer. I would jump for joy if Utah was this stupid to do this trade. Seriously, why would they want to eat more salary and gain marginal talent back with no draft picks.

        • Newmarket_Brian

          Hi John: Maybe they do have “more attractive offers”; in which case this deal never gets off the runway. But who knows? It takes a phone call to find out; that’s pretty cheap. And I don’t think AB & Landry are “marginal talents”. They have been hurt practically all season, but are NBA-grade players when healthy, and they are both still young.
          Thanks for commeting.

      • noodlekaboodle

        It would be more compelling for the Jazz to let Jefferson walk and get 15 million off the books than get Bargnani and Fields who make twice as much money as they are worth for the next couple seasons. The Jazz have let players walk before(Boozer) and they usually look like the smarter team in the long run.

        • Newmarket_Brian

          Hi: Did the Commenting system eat my earlier response to you? It appears so. Anyway, you may well be right. Sometime the best action is none at all.
          Thanks for commenting.

      • http://twitter.com/RAnzastiga Ricardo anzastiga

        More compelling offers are you kidding me ? Jazz have plenty offers tis raptors offer is TRASH !

  • Arham Naqi

    Do keep in mind that this would remove the Primo Pasta and PS Vita commercials …

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Arham: Oh Dear – how will we ever survive?
      LOL.
      Thanks for commenting. Humour is always welcome.

      • Arham Naqi

        I’ve been a huge fan of Andrea since his rookie season despite all the negativity he’s been receiving as of late. Without a doubt, I’d love to see him perform well to if and wherever he’s traded.

        In regards to the Al Jefferson trade, I’d be hesitant to do so because you never know if the player on Toronto’s receiving end is willing to allocate their assets to the organization for a long term situation. Whereas if we were to wait until summer, hoping Bargnani can excel in the remainder of the season, we may be able to get on the better of the receiving end if he’s able to possess more value.

        It’s a gamble with the trade for Jefferson now, as we won’t be sure if he’ll be willing to do a sign and trade if he is interested to play for another team. And as you stated, we’d lose our most valuable trade asset, Andrea Bargnani.

        In conclusion, I feel as if we should wait until we’re able to land a reliable and long-term player. That’s just my opinion though, others may differ.

        • help me i’m on welfare

          Winning will change players attitude toward Toronto. Charles Barkley said this past weekend that Toronto is his FAVORITE NBA city to visit. Players won’t mind all the international issues if they see ownership is committed to winning (which I believe they are now). Better to take a chance on a player than do nothing at all. Oh and by the way, Feilds and Bargnani are not bums (mabye overpaid), but the new way of the raptors is young, long and athletic and they just don’t fit this team anymore.

          • Arham Naqi

            Totally agree with you with what you’re saying. Btw I never stated Fields and Bargnani are bums, I can prove that incorrect easily. You’re right about players wanting to stay if the team is winning. Charles Barkley on the other hand, he’s always got a mixed bag of opinions on Toronto. He always says Toronto is his favourite destination, but probably doesn’t hate any more team than the Toronto Raptors. He’s a weird character …

          • help me i’m on welfare

            The bum comment wasn’t for you, but in response to another comment. As for Barkley, he is one of the most “American” basketball personalities around, so for him to say that at all is a good sign for The Big Smoke.

          • Newmarket_Brian

            Hear, hear.

          • Greg Hall

            To your statement of “Winning will change players attitude toward Toronto” I submit an argument from Jalen Rose, although I cannot be nearly as funny and smooth as he was (I nearly peed myself laughing when I heard it the first time. From the words of Jalen, players don’t like paying Uncle Sam, they don’t want to pay the Queen too, basically most players from the US only pay taxes once, Raptors players who aren’t Canadian pay both US taxes from being a resident and Canadian taxes for making a living in Canada, it sucks…

          • help me i’m on welfare

            ….see Toronto Blue Jays

          • Newmarket_Brian

            Hi guys: That’s U.S. tax law at its worst. I believe they are the only nation which charges its citizens income tax regardless of where they actually earn their living.

        • Newmarket_Brian

          Hi again: I will be wrapping up this trade series shortly, and I will take your conclusion into account. Please watch for that post, probably Thursday (unless there’s a trade before, in which case all bets are off)

  • [email protected]

    Im not sure how you think the raptors can still make the playoffs. We have to go something like 21-10 =.666% and hope other teams play below .500. Looking at our scheduele that’s going to be awfully tough. A few of the early season meltdowns really hurt us.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi: Here’s the link to the playoff-chances article I posted recently.

      http://raptorsrapture.com/2013/02/11/nba-playoffs-are-toronto-raptors-contenders-or-impossible-dreamers/

      SPOILER ALERT!: My math and yours are very close. Please have a read, and drop by again with your thoughts.

    • help me i’m on welfare

      Raptors won and Bucks lost tonight. Their schedule is tough this second half. We got enough games against teams ahead of us in the schedule. Might not be probable, but it’s definitely possible. And with Jefferson I would like our chances.

  • Paul

    Why would the Jazz scuttle their cap flexibility to take on our two worst contracts?
    So they can pay their backup PF 10M/yr?
    Do you you even follow the NBA Brian Boake?

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Paul: I’ve been following the NBA since the days of Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, and Hal Greer; then Dr. J, Kareem, Magic and Bird. I attended Buffalo Braves and ABA games when they came to Maple Leaf Gardens. I’ve participated in small-audience seminars led by people like Butch Carter, Brian James, & Rob Babcock. I’ve been a Raps season-seat holder since Day 1. As a player, I was a high school all-star until I was injured in a game.
      That’s all I’ve got – what about you?

      • Paul

        Hahah. Well your credentials certainly exceed my own. Although I did play high school basketball with varying degrees of success.
        Sorry for calling you out, but this trade is just asinine from Utah’s perspective.
        Fields and Bargnani will make approximately 17-19M per season combined for the next two seasons after this one.
        As a GM, would you want those two taking a third of your cap space?
        Add to this the fact that Utah is already stocked with legitimate talent at PF and C, and this trade proposal is a laugher.

        • Newmarket_Brian

          Hi Paul: OK, let’s talk like reasonable people. If you go to this post

          http://raptorsrapture.com/2013/02/14/nba-trade-rumors-toronto-raptors-move-andrea-bargnani-to-utah-jazz-for-paul-millsap/

          and read the comments, you will note that several Jazz fans weighed in with the opinion that they would rather see Al go than Millsap. This astonished me, but also got me wondering if such a deal was even plausible. It is, which is why I posted. I try to avoid writing crap.
          Thanks for commenting.

          • Paul

            Oh man. Where do I start?
            First, you were astonished that some Jazz fans prefer Milsap over Jefferson?
            Milsap can play three positions and is a capable defender. Jefferson can only play center, and even at that position, he is so slow footed that he is arguably the worst pick and roll defender in the league. Yes, Jefferson puts up some nice numbers, but Milsap’s versatility and defense make him the superior player.

            Second, based on the premise that some Jazz fans prefer Milsap over Jefferson, you conclude that this trade is plausible?
            Perhaps I’ve missed something, because your logic escapes me.
            I do understand the notion of wanting to get value in return for a player, rather than allowing them to leave for nothing as a free agent (as Raptors fans, I’m sure we’re all too aware of this), but the key word here is VALUE. Fields has negative trade value. In other words, a team would not take his contract even if they had to give nothing in return. He reduces the value of the trade from Utah’s perspective. As for Bargnani, it is debatable whether he has any trade value. All the trade rumors I’m hearing, have other bad contracts coming to Toronto for Barg’s. This seems to suggest that his trade value is also in the negative (ie you could not trade him into another team’s cap space even if you asked for nothing in return). In the NBA, cap space is precious. You can’t just unload all your bad contracts for expiring contracts. No GM in his right mind would do this.
            I’m not a regular reader of your column, so maybe you were just having an off day, but please, for the sake of your credibility, stop defending this ridiculous trade proposal.

      • Cody Shepard

        Not sure you should be using your attendance of Rob Babcock’s seminars as an indication that your knowledgeable about basketball because clearly he wasn’t.

        • Newmarket_Brian

          Hi Cody: “Those who cannot do, teach.” Rob is a bright man who knows a ton about basketball. Wayne Embry was also in attendance, and the room went quiet whenever he spoke.
          Rob failed as a GM, there’s no doubt about that, but not due to lack of knowledge.
          Thanks for commenting.

    • help me i’m on welfare

      The Jazz won’t find talent cheap. They will have to overpay for an all star caliber free agent like most small market teams.Which free agent are you gonna spend that cap flexibility on this summer. Getting a former #1 pick who can average 16 and 5 easy and an 8 and 8 Fields for the money, doesn’t sound too bad to me.

  • http://twitter.com/RAnzastiga Ricardo anzastiga

    Idk how people can be so ignoraignt to even post this “RUMORS” , me personally as a Jazz fan think this is bogus , first of al Big Al who should have been an allstar this year would never play for Toronto , especially if your gonna trade for 2 players that for me are TRASH to say the least bargnani is overrated and fields would not see playing time wit the jazz , we have gordon , burks , marvin , foye, carroll ? please tell me where do you see minutes for him ? Idk how people can take there time to post bs like this not to mention you dont even mention who you got your info from ? which says that its all made up … Obviously ! A real trade is Paul millsap for Eric bledsoe now thats a trade ..

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi again: OK, let’s take this slowly and carefully, as you seem to be a volatile character. Bargnani’s career scoring average is 15.4, Fields is 8.7, which totals 24.1, or higher than Al. How the minutes are doled out is not my issue, but the coach’s. And who’s to say your clever GM doesn’t have another trade partner in mind, to whom he might flip one or both of our (former) guys? Other Utah fans weighed in when I posted a potential Millsap trade, saying that the team’s greatest need is a point guard. Maybe you could flip one or both of our guys for that.
      I have no intention of saying where my information comes from, for obvious reasons.
      My task as a Raptors-oriented blogger is to figure out what might be attractive deals for our team. Clearly I need to make them interesting to the trade partner as well, but you need to face facts: Al may walk. Some assets are better than none.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • http://twitter.com/RAnzastiga Ricardo anzastiga

    You raptor fans are lucky you acquired Rudy , the jazz should have got him , too bad next time.

  • http://twitter.com/RAnzastiga Ricardo anzastiga

    Why you delete my comment ? hurts?

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Ricardo: I didn’t delete any comments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.bailey.18400700 Matt Bailey

    I believe even getting Al Jefferson as a rental would be a huge win for the Raptors. At this point in Bargnanis career its obvious his stay in Toronto is not welcome. Landry Field has been dealing with issues all year, he is a good player but is also overpaid. Getting Jefferson would push us into that 8th seed.
    Having him as a rental just to get us into the playoffs is a huge bonus for the raptors organizaion. National TV time against the Heat. The raptors will be able to benefit from this. The biggest issue we have is attracting legit talent. I think the raps playing against Miami will be a good way to showcase we are FINALLY building something right in TO. NBA players will notice this….

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Matt: I’m with you. I’d do the deal, and if Al walks, so be it. At least we tried to hit a home run.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • IDJazzman

    This trade does not work in practical terms for Utah. It does nothning for the Jazz in alleviating the log jam on the front line and now creates a log jam at the SF and SG positions for Utah, without increasing talent levels. It also increases the commited salary levels for Utah not only this year, but next year. It looks good on paper for Toronto, but not for Utah. Zero percent chance this trade happens as proposed.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi: If Al is going to walk anyway, getting 2 players who are eminently re-tradeable is not so bad.
      Thanks for commenting.

      • IDJazzman

        You are welcome for the comment. Now, who says Al will walk anyway? I think there is a very good chance that the Jazz resign Al. They will be the front runners for resigning him. If they trade him, that chance will most likely be lost. We will soon see!

        • Newmarket_Brian

          Hi: You’re quite right. Unless Al has told management that he’s leaving for sure, you guys should hang on to him.

  • Greg Hall

    I think you are dreaming in Technicolour but if the Jazz say yes I’m on board with this in a heartbeat, even if Jefferson only stays til the end of the season that’s still some valuable mentoring time with Jonas and a lot of money free in the summer to pursue a power forward or centre for some more depth and inside scoring.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Greg: They didn’t say Yes – too bad. There’s still time for both of our guys to rebuild their reputations before season’s end.

  • Pete Brown

    If you don’t understand why Jefferson has been traded around the league, then I’m not entirely convinced you’re fit to write about basketball.

    Yes, his offensive numbers are consistent year-to-year, and he’ll even block a shot or two. He has pretty good length. The problem? He’s defensively subpar, whether he is deployed at center or power forward.

    At the center, he has decent length and can thus get by, but he’s by no means a prototype in terms of measurements for an NBA center (think DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, Vucevic, Bynum – all four are considerably taller and longer).

    As a power forward, his foot speed is less than ideal, and he struggles to hedge and recover on the pick and roll. In short, he’s defensively bad to mediocre at either big man spot.

    I won’t bore you, but there’s a little primer as to why he’s been moved around. It has nothing to do with his proficiency on offense. Keep in mind, scoring ability constitutes one-half of the game of basketball.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Pete: You aren’t boring me with useful observations on Al’s defensive deficiencies, and why he’s been traded. Any commentator who claims to be an authority on every NBA player is either a liar or delusional. Hopefully I’m neither.
      The Raps are grooming Jonas Valanciunas to be our Centre for the next decade. Where we need help is in the half-court set, on offense, from a prototypical power forward. If Al can sort-of hold his own on D (while learning to feed his man into Jonas?), grab some boards, and score like he’s always done, he will help the Raps enormously. Amir Johnson is solid defensively, and can spell both Al & Jonas in the paint.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • jackthemundane

    ” If we take that risk, and get spurned, we’ve lost Bargnani and Fields forever.”
    HA. You say this likes its a bad thing. :)

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Jack: You can’t be mundane – you have a sense of humour, which people like that don’t.
      I’m viewing AB & Landry as assets/contracts at this point, not ball players. Their seasons have been disasters. Can they bounce back? I sure as hell hope so, because I don’t think they’re going anywhere.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • http://twitter.com/countrybama24 Will Jensen

    “He can be acquired by the Raps if they send Bargnani and Landry Fields to Salt Lake City”

    Hahahahahaha. No he can’t. Those are your worst contracts. The Jazz would prefer the cap space than those two losers.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Will: Both Bargnani & Fields have struggled through injury-plagued seasons. If they get healthy, they can contribute.
      Thanks for commenting.