If you’re new here, we’ll let you know about Utah Jazz. They are good. They may have the skeleton of an NBA title contender, but something is missing. Much to our disappointment at the J-Notes, it’s probably a 3-and-D wing.

Earlier in the year, it didn’t seem like the Jazzmen were lacking in anything. In fact, they still own the best offensive rating in the NBA by a comfortable margin, at 117.52. It was at the other end of the field that the Jazz seemed increasingly vulnerable.

This may surprise some. After all, the Jazz have a 3x Defensive Player of the Year in the middle. This all bears repeating: the Jazz probably need a defensive-minded wing, and in Quin Snyder’s system, they also need to be an at least proficient three-point shooter.

Luckily, the perfect player just might be in the trade market.

Utah Jazz must trade for Robert Covington

From this point on, Robert Covington is on the Portland Trail Blazers. Heading into this season, any safe bet would have been that he would stay there. After all, the Blazers entered 2021-22 with ambitions similar to those of the Utah Jazz. If the Jazz were 10th in the Western Conference at 18-26, fans might revolt.

This is where the Blazers currently are. To make matters worse, Damian Lillard could potentially be done for the season.

While that’s not necessarily the expected outcome from a medical standpoint, it might be the best course of action for the Blazers. In the absence of Queen, they risk falling in the ranking.

There is a lot of speculation that they may be selling veterans in a bid to reset. If they “tan” the rest of this season, they could land a lottery pick and find themselves in a unique position to trade that pick, along with any assets they acquire for their veterans this season, for a star player. .

The Utah Jazz should capitalize on their conference rival’s misfortune.

Covington a perfect fit with the Utah Jazz

Robert Covington is a human skeleton: he opens possibilities for just about any NBA team. However, the Utah Jazz have a particular need for his services right now.

He is one of the most versatile defensemen in the NBA. He leads the Blazers in D-LEBRON (a metric designed to measure defensive impact based on box scoring and on/off metrics) with a score of 2.06.

That mark doesn’t land among the best players in the NBA, but it couldn’t be expected when the Blazers have the third-worst defensive rating in the NBA (115.57). Similar measures have generally favored Covington throughout his career.

If the team acquired him, Utah Jazz fans would quickly understand why. His incredibly fast hands and high basketball IQ allow him to disrupt passing lanes at will. He has solid length and impressive speed at 6’9, allowing him to play any spot in the frontcourt. It would be a perfect addition to that jazz club.

He’s also a reasonably effective three-point shooter. His 35.5% accuracy on 4.8 attempts per game this season might not turn heads, but he’s reliable enough for a player who could give this team minutes in 4th or 5th place.

Do the Utah Jazz have a way to acquire Covington?

The short answer is yes.

Jordan Clarkson and Covington make roughly the same amount of money at around $12 million a season each, while Joe Ingles’ pact isn’t hard to match either. Of course, if the Blazers go this season in pursuit of a meaningful upgrade in 2022-23, they will have no interest in acquiring a talented veteran like Jordan Clarkson or Joe Ingles.

In all likelihood, this should happen in a three-team trade. Alternatively, the Jazz could try to tie one of Jared Butler, Udoka Azubuike or Elijah Hughes to one of their veteran’s contracts. Portland could be incentivized to acquire a young player to include in a potential off-season trade deal.

Either way, it shouldn’t be impossible to strike a deal. The Jazz have durable contracts that match Covington’s. Whether they’re redirecting one of their veterans to a competitor who needs their skills more or tying up one of their younger players, Covington should be a realistic target if the Blazers are determined to sell.

It would be well worth the price. After all, the Utah Jazz might just be a Robert Covington away from true NBA championship contention.