Jazz Insider predicts bizarre draft day maneuvers

The 2024 NBA Draft is just around the corner, and with less than two weeks until picks start rolling in, it’s still unclear what path the Utah Jazz will take. Utah owns Nos. 10, 29 and 32, and it’s anyone’s guess which player(s) will call Salt Lake City home next season. Jazz CEO Danny Ainge has a reputation as someone eager to upgrade the roster through trade, and according to Jazz beat writer Tony Jones of The athletec, this could be the case in the run-up to the design. Jones shared his thoughts on the matter The Drive Guys with Kevin Gleason and Kyle Draper on Sactown Sports 1140

“I don’t expect them to use all three picks. I think they’ll trade at least one. I think they might even trade at least two, and I think they might even want to trade the 10.” If you know, they’ll find something good for a veteran.”

This insight is consistent with Ainge’s comments at the postseason press conference. “Trader Danny” told the press, “We’re ready to go big game hunting,” and those comments have Jazz fans wondering if this is the year Utah will make a major acquisition in an effort to get into the play -off conversations to participate. With All-Star forward Lauri Markkanen’s contract set to expire after this season, now could be the time to pair Utah’s best player with another big difference-maker.

However, if we’re being realistic, the Jazz are still several players away from being considered a contender, so an upgrade could be premature at this stage. Keep in mind that the 2025 NBA draft class is expected to be packed with top talent, and next season is still an option. Even though Jones’ view on the picks has shifted before the draft, he’s still not clear on which direction Utah is going.

“If I was a Jazz fan this summer, I would expect anything, and this is one of the first offseasons I could say that about the Jazz. Whatever they do, I won’t be surprised.”

Jazz fans are divided on whether tanking is the right move this season. Utah has tanked over the past two seasons, but things didn’t pick up until after the trade deadline. This put them in an unfortunate situation where they didn’t gain any postseason experience or get a top 5 pick. As you enter the third season of rebuilding, you want Utah to commit in some way before the start of the season.

Does the demise of the 2024-2025 season hinder Utah’s chances of re-signing Markkanen? Markkanen just turned 27 and has never played in the play-offs. You have to remember that the moves Utah makes this summer will impact his decision on which franchise he will be preparing for in his prime.

There are a lot of moving parts, but the answers are coming quickly: the draft opens on June 26 and the free agency frenzy begins on June 30.

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