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Jazz Guard Malik Beasley Linked to New Trade Rumor by Insider

Some tough decisions at Utah Jazz HQ.

The NBA season is entering its second quarter, and teams are starting to get a clearer picture of who will be the buyers and sellers heading into the February trade deadline.

With the Utah Jazz trending to not tank the year, what does this mean for potential trades down the road?

NBA insider Michael Scotto of USA Today's Hoops Hype dished his take on the matter and believes shooting guard Malik Beasley could still be traded this year despite Utah’s fast start.

“Amid Utah’s surprising start to the season, Malik Beasley has led the NBA’s top-scoring bench unit in scoring (14.1 points) while shooting a career-best 43 percent from beyond the arc and 61.4 percent true shooting percentage. With a $15.56 million salary this season and a team option for $16.52 next season, Beasley’s contract makes him a potential trade chip for Utah.”

This is a bad take. Beasley’s team-friendly contract, paired with Utah’s fast start, are reasons the Jazz should be offering an extension in the near future. Beasley owns a skill set that's hard to replicate, and to replace his production via the draft is far from a guarantee. 

Also, since Utah controls the option year, it should be able to lock Beasley up at a reasonable price if the extension is done prior to the 2023-24 season. Beasley is at an age (25) that fits within Utah's timeline of making a run at a title, and I’d be floored if he wasn't in a Jazz uniform next year.

Scotto then pivoted to the future of Jordan Clarkson in Utah.

“Jazz owner Ryan Smith is said to be a fan of Jordan Clarkson, HoopsHype has learned. There’s a palpable buzz around the league that Utah will look to sign Clarkson to an extension rather than trade him.”

This situation isn't that black and white because Clarkson controls the option year. Certainly, Utah will want to offer the former Sixth Man of the Year an extension, but will Clarkson want to test the free agent market in search of a bigger payday? 

The Jazz would have to pony up on money and years if they wanted to deter Clarkson from taking that path. If the situation isn't trending to an agreement prior to the trade deadline, then Clarkson would be the most likely player moved.

Also, does offering a three or four-year contract make sense to Utah with Clarkson turning 31 next year? That's a question the Jazz brain trust will be asking behind closed doors, but Clarkson has the leverage because he can opt out in a year with a weak 2023 free-agent class and an 8.4% raise in the salary cap. 

In other words, Clarkson is getting paid a lot of money one way or the other.

Stay tuned.

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