The Nets and Kyrie Irving are all the trade buzz in New York at the moment, with Irving’s reported trade request coming on Friday afternoon, but the Knicks are reportedly kicking the tires on an eventual deal with the Jazz.
According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the ‘Bockers and Utah have had “exploratory conversations” for a deal that would send Obi Toppin and Evan Fournier to the Jazz, along with draft pick compensation, for Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt.
A potential snag in such a deal would be Utah’s desire to attach first-round compensation to acquire Fournier and his salary, as he is due nearly $19 million next season, and the Knicks, per Scotto, are hesitant to part with that kind of draft capital.
Beasley is averaging 13.5 points per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 36 percent from downtown, while Vanderbilt is averaging 8.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game while shooting 55.6 percent from the field.
Toppin, a former first-round pick, showed flashes of promise last season but was out with a leg injury this season, and has also been limited by Tom Thibodeau, and it seems a change of scenery would be best for Toppin, who has been used sparingly so far this season. Fournier was exiled to the bench as he continued to struggle to start the season, though injuries brought him back into the fold of late.
As Scotto noted, Toppin was discussed with Jazz executive Danny Ainge this past offseason in a potential trade for Donovan Mitchell that never materialized, and Ainge has acquired Fournier in the past when he was with the Celtics front office.
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1
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