My co-editor here at Purple & Blues, Josh Haslam, has been doing some great pieces on different draft day trade scenarios that could help the Utah Jazz in their efforts to move up in the draft. If you haven’t gotten a chance to read them, you need to do so. His latest piece can be found here.
The collective reasoning that most, if not all, Utah Jazz fans want them to move up a few spots in the draft, is because if they stay where they are at now with the fifth pick, there is really no possible way that they would be able to draft a guy like Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins. From most fans, and experts alike, Wiggins or Parker really is the perfect fit to help complement the Jazz’s young core. The Jazz need a scoring wing, and after those two, that position will be hard to find.
Currently, the Jazz sit at fifth in the draft behind the Cleveland Cavaliers who hold the number one pick, the Milwaukee Bucks at two, the Philadelphia 76ers at three, and the Orlando Magic at four. Are any of these teams willing to trade down? I don’t really think so.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have had the top pick in three of the last four drafts and blew it last year after drafting Anthony Bennett. The Cavaliers did however strike gold with one of those top picks when they drafted All-Star Kyrie Irving. Now, with the top pick again, they could potentially be looking to draft a guy who could blossom into a top player in the league to pair up with Irving. In all honesty, they really can’t afford to miss out on that because their efforts to sway Lebron James to come back to Cleveland, I think, is pretty much slim to none.
Irving needs to be paired with another superstar for him to want to stay in Cleveland, and they could potentially get one in this draft with the top pick. However, the only way I could really see them trading out is if the Minnesota Timberwolves come calling and offering Kevin Love. I really don’t see much that the Jazz could offer to sway the Cavs. The best they could really do is offer the fifth pick, the 23rd pick, Enes Kanter, and either Alec Burks or a future first round pick unprotected. Even that, I don’t think would make the Cavs budge from the top spot.
With the Bucks at the second pick, they need to stay. If they trade back, they could be showing their fans that they’re not even trying to win. They had a good draft last season when they got a steal at number 15 with “The Greek Freak”, Giannis Antetokounmpo. After a rookie season that showed a lot of potential, hopefully getting back a healthy and defensive big man in Larry Sanders, then adding another young talent that could potentially turn into an All-Star, the Bucks can’t miss out on that.
However, the Bucks COULD possibly budge a little with the same deal that was offered to Cleveland. If the Jazz called the Bucks and said they were offering their two first round picks, Kanter, and Burks for the number two pick, Milwaukee MIGHT think about it. However, the opportunity to draft a guy with as much potential as Wiggins, Parker, or even Joel Embiid is something that I don’t think the Bucks would want to do.
Philadelphia tanked the entire season for this very moment. They wanted to be in the top three so that they can pair Wiggins or Parker with Michael Carter-Williams. MCW had a fantastic rookie year statistically and ended up bringing home the Rookie of the Year honors. They already have a pretty nice young core with MCW, Nerlens Noel (who will be back next season after sitting out his rookie season recovering from ACL surgery), and Thaddeus Young. If they can add a scoring wing to the mix, the Sixers should have a much better season coming up.
Orlando has been rumored to wanting to draft Dante Exum. They need a point guard and Exum is the best point guard in the draft. They could possibly be wanting to move up, but only if they believe one of the top three teams also might want Exum. Don’t get me wrong, if they can’t move up and Parker or Wiggins fell to four, I’m sure they would take them in a heartbeat. There has been talk that Exum could be moving up people’s big boards though. Exum is intriguing, had a great workout at the combine, but hasn’t had much exposure playing in Australia. However, according to some, if he was playing in the states, he probably would be in the mix for the number one pick.
If Exum gets taken in the top three and say Parker or Wiggins falls to four, would the Magic be willing to trade back one spot with Utah? Possibly.
Parker or Wiggins is available at four and the Jazz call Orlando. The Jazz could offer their two first round picks, but that might not be enough to persuade the Magic from giving up a chance to draft Parker or Wiggins. I think it’s a lot easier for them to trade back if Embiid is available at four because they have a pretty good big man in Nikola Vucevic. If they feel that Vucevic is the big man they want to roll with into the future and don’t see Embiid as a guy that can help them move forward, then the Jazz’s two first round picks might be all it takes to move up.
In my honest opinion, I don’t see the Jazz moving anywhere close to the top in this draft. If anything, the Jazz will most likely stay put and draft at five, but could possibly trade back. I see Cleveland taking Wiggins or Parker at one, and Milwaukee taking the one of the two that is left over. If Philadelphia can’t move into the top two they will most likely take Embiid, but Exum could intrigue them a little bit to pair up with MCW as we get closer to the draft. Orlando will take Exum if he is there at four.
Nothing that the Jazz could offer, I think, would make those teams think hard enough to trade back. The top players in this draft are guys that could potentially change a franchise. If the Jazz offer Kanter, he isn’t going to change a franchise dramatically. The Jazz will most likely make the phone calls, but after it’s all said and done, the GM’s from the top three teams in the draft will most likely all say the same thing.
“Thanks for the call, but we’re just not interested.” (click)