Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington is drawing trade interest from the Jazz, league sources tell veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein.
Utah, known to be on the lookout for a defensive upgrade on the wing, has been linked to Jerami Grant, who is the team’s “preferred target,” according to Stein. However, the Pistons aren’t expected to be interested in a Jazz offer consisting of Joe Ingles‘ expiring contract and a future first-round pick.
Like Grant, Covington is a solid, versatile defender with the size to match up against bigger wings and forwards, but he’s not a dynamic offensive player and he’s in the final year of his contract with the Blazers, so he’s unlikely to cost as much in a trade as Grant would.
That makes Covington a more realistic target for the Jazz, whose trade assets are limited — they don’t really have the sort of promising young prospects who would generate major trade interest, and they’ve already parted with a pair of future first-round picks. Their conditional 2026 first-rounder is the earliest one they could put on the table.
Since arriving in Portland, Covington is averaging just 8.2 PPG in 113 games (30.9 MPG), which would be his lowest scoring average since his rookie year in 2013/14. He’s still contributing in plenty of other ways though, knocking down 37.1% of his threes, grabbing 6.2 rebounds per game, and providing 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks per contest.
Covington is expected to be on the trade block in the coming weeks, since the 20-26 Blazers – who will be without Damian Lillard for at least several more weeks – are motivated to shake up their roster and will perhaps try to sneak below the luxury tax line. For what it’s worth, any swap involving only Covington, Ingles, and draft assets wouldn’t get them closer to that second goal, since Ingles’ cap hit ($13.04MM) is slightly higher than Covington’s ($12.98MM).