NBA Draft 2012: Why the Utah Jazz Must Trade for a First-Round Pick
The Jazz own the rights to the Warriors’ first round pick with the caveat that the Warriors retain the pick if it falls within the top seven. The Warriors finished tied with the Toronto Raptors for the seventh-worst record in the NBA, which necessitated a coin flip to decide who is scheduled to pick seventh and who is scheduled to pick eighth.
The flip went the Warriors’ way, and the Jazz front office went from scouting top-notch college prospects to disappointedly perusing a scant free-agent pool. Utah’s own pick now goes to the Timberwolves as part of the Al Jefferson trade. Ironically, Utah would’ve held on to its own pick had they tanked like Golden State did.
While it’s not impossible that a team will leapfrog Golden State in the draft lottery and knock Golden State’s pick back to eight or lower, the chances of that are slim. With such an impressive and deep draft class waiting in the wings, it’s imperative for Utah to do some creative wheeling and dealing and get themselves back into the 2012 NBA Draft by almost any means necessary.
Despite Utah’s influx of youth with Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and Enes Kanter, it still makes a lot of sense and is frankly a smart basketball move to add more youth to the team. The Jazz will be hit very hard in free agency after next season, with the contracts of Raja Bell, DeMarre Carroll, Devin Harris, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Earl Watson expiring.
The odds of Utah retaining all six of those players are virtually zero, and I would argue that even keeping three of those players is more unlikely than likely. Trading back into the draft to grab another young piece to develop along with the aforementioned basketball babies is an incredibly wise move.
Drafting a player in the first round of the 2012 draft will give the Jazz a player with a year of NBA experience under his belt with a lot of room to grow going into the 2013-14 season, as opposed to a stopgap free-agent acquisition.
Even before the 2013 free agency period, Utah very well may need additional depth at many positions.
Devin Harris had a very strong showing in April, but he still isn’t the prototypical point guard that would be ideal for Utah’s offensive system. Harris’ name has also been one of the most often included in Utah Jazz trade rumors throughout this season.
Raja Bell and CJ Miles used verbal napalm and threw coach Tyrone Corbin under the bus on locker clean out day to virtually ensure their days in a Jazz uniform are numbered.
Derrick Favors definitively proved he’s ready for starter's minutes and rapidly accelerated the deadline for Utah to make a decision on how to alleviate the big man logjam they currently have with Favors, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson and Enes Kanter. I wouldn’t be surprised if Millsap or Jefferson were the primary pieces used to nab a first-round pick for Utah. In fact, I’m expecting it.
Based on the construction of Utah’s roster, it’s fairly clear that Utah is most likely at least 2-3 years away from being serious contenders in the Western Conference. By the time Utah has gelled enough and gained enough collective experience to challenge the juggernauts in the West, it will likely be without most if not all of their current key veterans. This would also be the case for any veteran free agents they sign to fill voids left by departing players.
Further making free agency a less attractive option is the fact that Utah is perpetually near the bottom of the list of most desired NBA free-agent destinations. Utah’s only chance of landing a future Hall of
Famer is to draft one.
Just as interesting as the question of why in this case is the question of where. Should Utah shell out big money and move valuable young pieces to get a top-10 pick or see if they can buy a late-round selection outright?
Frankly, both options have appeal. Obviously the later the selection, the smaller the price tag. The earlier the pick, the higher the risk, but the higher the potential reward.
It will all come down to who is willing to give Utah GM Kevin O’Connor the best deal. And don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility for the Jazz to do both. If O’Connor decides to pull the trigger on sending away Millsap or Jefferson and gets a lottery pick in return, this wouldn’t preclude him from scooping up a pick in the twenties if it can be had for Utah’s 2012 second-round pick and cash.
No matter what the price tags shake out to be, the dollars will make sense for the Jazz to insert themselves back into the 2012 NBA Draft.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?