Utah Jazz: Swapping Shelvin Mack For Terrence Jones?

The Cleveland Cavaliers need a playmaker and the Utah Jazz need some power forward help. Shelvin Mack and Terrence Jones can fill the gaps for both teams.

“We need a f–king playmaker.”

LeBron James has been pretty clear in what he wants before the trade deadline passes.

Given their roster construction and lack of cap space making a deal has been difficult, but that hasn’t stopped the Cleveland Cavaliers trying.

Steve Kyler of BasketballInsiders.com has suggested that Utah Jazz third string backup point guard Shelvin Mack is a target.

Mack was once somewhat of a regular feature for the Jazz during the season averaging 7.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in his 21 minutes per game. But as Dante Exum has improved and demanded more minutes, Mack’s place in the rotation is dwindling.

The Jazz have plenty of depth at the point guard position even without Mack. Exum is improving and Raul Neto is a young and capable backup who started 53 games last season, so Mack is a legitimate trade chip.

Using the Cavaliers’ trade exception gained from the Mike Dunleavy trade, the Jazz can send Mack to Cleveland and open up a roster spot to add someone what can contribute regularly.

That roster spot already has a potential suitor in the form of Terrence Jones.

After the blockbuster trade that has seen DeMarcus Cousins joining Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans, Jones has become available.

ESPN’s Chris Haynes has reported Jones and the Pelicans have mutually agreed to part ways and explore potential trades.

With the Jazz $13.6 million under the salary cap, they can afford to eat the $980,431 remaining on the final year of his contract. As the Pelicans seem content in losing Jones there’s a chance they won’t be demanding a lot in return if T-Jones is happy with where his new home will be.

If that new home does turn out to be in Salt Lake City, it may only be temporary.

Even if the Jazz can only secure Jones as a rental for the rest of the season, he’s worth making a move for. The 6’9″ power forward would give the Jazz some much-needed stability at the position heading into their first playoff appearance since 2011-12.

With Derrick Favors struggling with health and Trey Lyles not looking like the player he did last season, the Jazz could utilize Jones even if it is only a short-term arrangement.

His 11.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 24 minutes per game off the bench for the Pelicans must be intriguing to the Jazz front office. Having a scorer that can explode for 35 points like he did against the Cavaliers in January gives the Jazz a little more clout come playoff time.

Shipping Mack, who is on the final year of a contract that quite possibly won’t be renewed, and receiving Terrence Jones — even if only for the remainder of the season — is an experiment worth considering.

The Jazz are about to begin what they hope to be a long and prosperous period of time in and amongst the Western Conference’s elite. Shelvin Mack sure isn’t going to be the missing piece in a surprise second-round playoff series victory this season, but Terrence Jones might.

It’s worth a try, at least.

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