This time of the year is when all the trade rumors start to go into full force in the basketball world. With the way the NBA has become with a strict salary cap and luxury tax rules, teams are looking to avoid that at all costs–especially the small market teams that cry poor in every collective bargaining negotiation.
In this case, a team like the Utah Jazz could trade a player like Paul Millsap just to avoid the luxury tax. The Jazz are in a unique situation where they have young talented big guys like Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter who they can afford to let Millsap go via trade.
In trading Millsap, the Jazz can go after a guard that they desperately need. With Mo Williams out, the Jazz have been searching for answers in that department. The Jazz are building a good young team and with a few smart moves, they can become an elite team in the near future.
A deal that works for both teams would be sending Millsap to the Toronto Raptors for Jose Calderon. They would have to get an additional guy added on Utah’s end, but the trade revolving around those players works well. In the short run, Utah gets a veteran NBA point guard who can run an offense and shoot the ball effectively. Toronto gets an established veteran who plays hard and can help a team full of young players.
This trade also helps create salary cap flexibility for both ball clubs in the future. As solid of a player that Millsap is, he will not be the guy the Jazz continues to build around in future. They have too many young players who cost less and have a bigger ceiling. This deal helps both teams go in a different direction sooner rather than later.