JAZZ NOTES

Utah Jazz Mailbag: Are Jazz More Likely To Tank Or Get Better Next Season?

May 28, 2024, 4:46 PM

Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz...

Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Welcome to the Utah Jazz mailbag where every week our NBA insiders answer your questions on social media about your favorite team.

Each week we will send out a prompt on KSL Sports ThreadsInstagramX, and Facebook pages asking for the questions you have about the Jazz.

Then, we’ll respond to as many as we can in that week’s mailbag.

Jazz Mailbag: Is Utah More Likely To Tank Or Get Better In 2024?

Question: What are the chances the Jazz stay or trade up from their #10 pick, vs. trading down or out?

Answer: This is a great question because it could honestly go either way.

It is very dependent on how the first seven or eight picks of the draft go. If Utah has its eye on two to three players and all of them are gone by 10, the Jazz could cut its losses and sell the pick for a player or future assets.

However, if a guy is available at seven that Utah thought would be gone in the top five, it’s just as possible that they package picks together to move up a few spots.

The safest assumption is that Utah will not be taking on three rookies in back-to-back drafts. The Jazz could sit at 10 and trade one or both of the later picks to keep stacking assets.

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Question: Who do you think would be the best complimentary 1A guy next to Lauri (Markkanen)? (That’s semi-realistically obtainable)

Answer: Assuming the Jazz are looking for a co-star for Markkanen instead of a guy that would make him the second option, there are a few things to look at.

Markkanen and Keyonte George are potentially the two players who are most likely to stick around as the Jazz look to become a contender. Both Markkanen and George are pretty versatile players who can bring different things from different spots on the court.

This raises the question, should the Jazz target more versatile options or a specialist?

Let’s look at the Atlanta backcourt for this question. Trae Young is an elite playmaker and shooter but you cant ask him to do basically anything else. Dejounte Murray can bring scoring, playmaking, defense, and some of the other little things but he isn’t great at any one thing.

In this case, the Jazz would likely benefit from adding Murray more than Young.

Utah is desperate for players that can bring defense, playmaking, and basketball IQ. Whatever complimentary stars can check those boxes should be on the Jazz’s radar.

Question: (Are the Utah Jazz) More likely to tank or get better?

Answer: Again, this is a good question because both are equally possible.

The upcoming NBA Draft should set the tone for how the upcoming season looks for Utah. If the Jazz end up packaging picks for a rotation player, they are likely looking to improve on last season.

If the Jazz select two players in the draft or trade for more picks, it’s probably going to be another rebuilding year.

However, Utah’s front office is very opportunistic. If a big name becomes available midseason and the Jazz can put together the best package, they definitely will make that call.

The Jazz have a solid core and enough assets to quickly put together a competitive team if they play their cards right.

The last thing they want to do is make a move out of haste that ends up limiting their options down the road. Perhaps the biggest thing going for the Jazz right now is the fact that they have the freedom to go in almost any direction they want.

The Phoenix Suns are locked into multiple big contracts and will likely be a bottom-feeder for a long time once Kevin Durant and Devin Booker move on to their next chapters.

To answer the question directly, I don’t think the Jazz will go full tank mode next season. But, they also will likely find themselves outside of the playoff picture.

The Jazz Notes podcast, hosted by Ben Anderson and Chandler Holt, keeps you up-to-date with Utah Jazz news from on and off the court every week. Check back on Tuesday afternoons for the latest episode!

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Utah Jazz Mailbag: Are Jazz More Likely To Tank Or Get Better Next Season?