Analyzing Why It Might Be Difficult for the Jazz Trade Up in Draft

The paths for the Utah Jazz to trade up in the draft could be limited.
Jan 12, 2023; Provo, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz CEO and former Brigham Young Cougars player Danny Ainge looks on prior to a game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Marriott Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 12, 2023; Provo, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz CEO and former Brigham Young Cougars player Danny Ainge looks on prior to a game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Marriott Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2024 NBA Draft is fast approaching, and thus, the inevitable trade winds are swirling yet again. Though the NBA Finals have yet to conclude, twenty-eight teams are fully in offseason mode. The Utah Jazz own picks 10, 29, and 32, giving them plenty of flexibility to either stick, move around, or trade out of the draft.

Rumors about the team's overall direction this summer have been all over the place. Though the team has consistently stated that they want to improve this summer, their actions over the past few transaction windows have said otherwise. I do suspect the Jazz will add talent this summer. Whether that is youth or veteran talent and how aggressively the team plans to pursue those pieces is to be determined.

One option that is appealing to me would be packaging some combination of picks in order to move up in the draft. This scenario allows you to take luck into your own hands and get a prospect you’re in love with, assuming there is a prospect that fits this description for the Jazz decision-makers. While it sounds great in theory, not many teams above the Jazz in the draft order make sense as trade partners.

Starting at the top, neither the Atlanta Hawks nor the Washington Wizards seems likely to move all the way back to 10, nor do any of the Jazz’s other pieces make much sense in a trade. I would be firmly against trading future firsts to move up in this draft.

The Houston Rockets is rumored to be actively looking to trade out from the 3rd overall slot for immediate help. Unless the Rockets are surprisingly interested in Collin Sexton or John Collins, there’s just not much there.

The San Antonio Spurs hold picks 4, 8, 35, and 48. Unless they’re planning to surround Victor Wembanyama with 7 rookies next year, I don’t think the Jazz packaging their extra picks will bring much appeal to the Spurs. Could they be interested in some of the Jazz vets? Maybe, but I’m not sure the difference from the 10th pick to the 4th is worth giving up a talented veteran piece.

The Detroit Pistons at five is where things get interesting. The Jazz and Pistons engaged in trade talks a year ago, with Utah sniffing around and moving up in the draft. Detroit has a new lead decision-maker as they again attempt to climb the Eastern Conference standings. Would Detroit, who also owns pick 53, be interested in sliding back a few spots to pick up additional draft capital? I have my doubts, given how many young pieces they already have, but they make more sense than any of the teams above them.

The Charlotte Hornets own the 6th and 42nd picks in the draft. If there’s a player the Jazz really like, I think this would be a spot they could use their extra picks to get up to. From a value perspective, would 10, 29, & 32 be a fair swap for 6 & 42?

The Portland Trail Blazers is in a similar boat as the Jazz with three of the top 34 picks this June.

The Memphis Grizzlies sit one spot above the Jazz. Maybe the two teams could work out something similar to what Washington and Indiana did last year. Memphis is also in a win-now situation, so adding another rookie doesn’t necessarily fit their timeline.

The Jazz are in a good spot, rounding out the top 10. If they fall in love with a player they must trade up for, the possible trade partners seem limited. This isn’t to say the Jazz can’t or won’t trade up, and it just might take more than the extra picks the Jazz acquired last February.

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Alex White

ALEX WHITE

Alex White is in his first year covering the Utah Jazz and NBA. His analytical expertise is in the field of the NBA draft and all things Jazz.