Jazz Insider Shoots Down Trade Rumor With Inconvenient Truth

Utah Jazz fans can put the Josh Giddey rumors to bed.
Jan 18, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA;  Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) shoots the ball past Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) during the second quarter at Delta Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 18, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) shoots the ball past Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) during the second quarter at Delta Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports / Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The rumors of a roster reshuffle in Salt Lake City have been circulating their way around the social media front this offseason. One of the names that's been thrown out there on a consistent basis is former lottery pick Josh Giddey of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder have an overabundance of depth at the guard position, which could mean his days with the Thunder could be short-lived. 

However, according to Jazz beat writer Tony Jones of The Athletic, Giddey may not fit what the Utah Jazz are trying to accomplish moving forward. Jones shared his insight when he joined ESPN 700 The Drive with Spence Checketts.

"No, I don't think [Josh] Giddy is a good fit in Will Hardy's offense just because Will [Hardy] runs a five-out system, and he wants all of his guys to be able to shoot the ball. That's the reason why John Collins was your starting center this year because he was the big one on the roster, capable of shooting the ball from the five-spot."

Giddey will enter his fourth year in the league and is a 31% career shooter from long distance. That's not a number that you would want from a player who was chosen No. 6 overall in the draft, but he is only 21 years old, and there could still be room to grow.


In the mock trades involving Giddey to the Jazz, Lauri Marrkanen would be the key piece heading to the Thunder. Utah has made it clear they would like to keep Markkanen, and the Thunder would have to offer more than Giddey and draft capital in order for Utah to consider parting with their best player. It would be hard to imagine something getting done without Thunder starting forward Jalen Williams being involved, and because of that a future exchange between the two parties can be put to bed.

The Jazz will still be looking for a player who compliments current starter Keyonte George. Collin Sexton is penciled in as that player for now, but because of the defensive issues the pair displayed last season, the Jazz might be better off bringing one of them off of the bench.

Also, if spreading the floor with five shooters is what Utah is trying to accomplish offensively, then one has to wonder where Walker Kessler fits in its plans. Hardy attempted to give Kessler some open looks from the corner three spot last season but wasn't successful, to say the least. 

Kessler knocked down only four shots in 19 attempts and hasn't given any signs that he has the ability to improve. Kessler was only a 60% free throw shooter last year, and that number doesn't bode well for the future as a player who can keep a defense honest by spacing the floor.

So, if Giddey isn't a fit for what the Jazz are trying to accomplish, that same logic could mean Kessler may not be a part of the future, too. The Jazz announced that Kessler will be on this year's Summer League team despite it being his third year as a pro. That's not a vote of confidence for a player who's only one year removed from making the All-Rookie team.

It won't be long before Jazz fans can get a glimpse of Kessler this summer and if any improvements have been made. The games start on July 8 and run through July 10 at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City.

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Patrick Byrnes

PATRICK BYRNES

Patrick Byrnes is the Deputy Editor of The Frozen Rope — SI.com's team website covering the Utah Jazz.