During the week leading up to the NBA Draft, we hear a lot of things about teams in the draft. For those teams that do not own a pick in the draft, things on their front seem to be a little quieter. However, for a team like the New Orleans Pelicans who don’t draft a player this year, they are wanting to move into the first round. Should the Utah Jazz consider something with them?
The Jazz currently own the 5th, 23rd, and 35th pick in the NBA Draft. With the first of their three picks, the Jazz are not interested in moving it and giving it to the Pelicans. Only way that happens is if Anthony Davis comes to Utah, and that isn’t happening anytime soon. The 23rd pick is a little more interesting. The Jazz have a roster that is already nearly full, and adding more than one rookie to the roster is something that doesn’t seem likely.
If the Jazz could send the 23rd pick, and possibly even the 35th pick to a team like the Pelicans, what could they get out of it? Depending on which route the Jazz decide to go with their first selection, there could be a couple different possibilities that could happen.
If the Jazz select a big man with their first selection, they may be looking for a shooting guard or small forward. When you look at what the Pelicans will have on their roster after the free agency period begins, they don’t have much there. However, two guys that jump out are Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans. With Gordon, you are unsure if you should pick trading for him because of his history with injuries. With Evans, he is making less money than Gordon, and has a history of playing very well against the Jazz. He had a solid year in New Orleans, averaging 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game.
If Utah decides to select a guy like Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle, Noah Vonleh, or possibly even Joel Embiid with the fifth pick, I wouldn’t be opposed to the Jazz sending the 23rd pick and the 35th pick to the Pelicans in exchange for Tyreke Evans. The Pelicans get into the draft, and the Jazz get a swingman that can do a little bit of everything and can fill a void if the Jazz end up not being able to re-sign restricted free agent Gordon Hayward.
On the other hand, if Utah decides to select a guy like Marcus Smart, Dante Exum, or possibly even trade up to land Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker (considering they wouldn’t have to include the 23rd pick to do so), they could be looking for a big man to come to Utah when it gets closer to the 23rd pick. Again, considering this after free agency begins, there will be a lot of pieces gone. However, the Jazz could go after a guy like Ryan Anderson. He fits what new Jazz head coach, Quin Snyder, is wanting to do. Snyder wants to find a big man that can stretch the floor and hit outside shots. Anderson is one of the best in the league at that position.
Either of these moves would be better than the Jazz keeping the picks and drafting another rookie. If the Jazz keep the picks, there is little chance that the players selected at 23 and 35 actually even make the team. Instead of doing that, the Jazz should try and get some value out of them and trade them.
The Pelicans are extremely interested in moving into the first round. The Jazz have been quite active reportedly in making a trade in the draft. If they don’t trade up with their first selection, a trade like this would be something that could be very beneficial for the team.