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Jazz don’t plan to trade Lauri Markkanen or Jordan Clarkson, set high price on Jarred Vanderbilt, per report

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The Utah Jazz traded almost everyone who didn’t make it last offseason. Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Bojan Bogdanovic were clearly in the recovery business, and as such, many expected the Jazz to continue shedding veterans throughout the season to set the stage for the long tank. Instead, they became the unexpected success story of the season. They play 12-7 to 19 games and are currently second in the Western Conference. So it seems that their plans are changing.

According to Jake Fisher from Yahoo, the Jazz are signaling to other teams that they plan to keep forward Lauri Markkanen as well as defensive back Jordan Clarkson. Markkanen was acquired in a trade for Mitchell and is a strong candidate for the most improved player this season, averaging 22.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Clarkson was in place last season but has thrived since Mitchell’s departure as it allowed him to handle more often on one of the NBA’s best offenses. In addition to Markkanen and Clarkson, the Jazz have reportedly placed a very high price on Jarred Vanderbilt, a Gobert-traded forward who is great on defense.

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All three players are in their 20s and could be part of a long-term Jazz reboot if Yuta doesn’t eventually decide to turn into a tank. The Jazz do have older veterans like Mike Conley Jr. and Kelly Olynyk they could deal with if they wanted to, but given this season’s success, they’re probably in no hurry to part with talent. Fischer notes that the Jazz are interested in Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins, but the team quickly turned down his offer in favor of Markkanen. Collins, who had a five-year contract, would need a hefty salary to come to Utah on a deal.

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Whatever Utah did, her early season success brought her valuable flexibility. The rest of the league knows that the Jazz shouldn’t give up their best players for a tank. If Utah gives anyone away, it will be at fair value.

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Source: www.cbssports.com

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