After finishing first in the West last season, the Utah Jazz were swiftly eliminated in Round 2 of the playoffs against a Clippers team that was without Kawhi Leonard for the second half of the series.
Fast forward to today, and their situation has only gotten worse. They're 4th in the West and losers of 7 of their last 10 games.
As pressure mounts for the franchise to make a big move, a number of potential targets have emerged. The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor revealed two of those targets in a recent update.
Jerami Grant and Harrison Barnes are two of the players the Jazz have had trade talks for, league sources say. With one week to go until the trade deadline, Utah is targeting wings that can defend.
In the wake of Joe Ingles' season-ending injury, Utah desperately needs a wing to replace him. Who better to fill that position than Jerami Grant?
As one of the top names of the deadline, Grant's future in Detroit seems questionable and they seem ready to part with him for the right price. The 27-year-old forward is a solid two-way player with averages of 20 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game on 41.5% shooting.
Barnes, meanwhile, is another quality wing player. As a 9-year veteran who can shoot the three and defend, he'd be an ideal fit for the roster.
But even as they look to fill their biggest needs, there is a bigger, much darker cloud looming over the franchise.
One of the big reasons why Ryan Smith brought in Dwayne Wade, and yes, Dwyane bought into the team, but I will promise you, he got a very favorable price. (...) I think he got a very sweetheart deal. One of the reasons he did it was Ryan Smith wanted to have Donovan Mitchell stay in Utah for the long-term.
Dwyane Wade, who (Ryan Smith) brought in to be a co-owner but also be an advisor, is seriously concerned about Donovan Mitchell’s desire to stay (in Utah) long-term.
So, these next weeks will be crucial for Utah. If they fail to adjust and improve the roster, it could have severe implications on their season and the seasons to come.
The acquisition of Grant or Barnes wouldn't solve all their problems, but it would help convince Mitch, and the rest of the team, that the front office is committed to building the best possible unit.
We will see soon enough what they are able to do.