The second half of last season, the Utah Jazz found an identity, going 19-10 after the All-Star break. With Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert up front, with Gordon Hayward on the wing, they became a force defensively that scored enough points to win.
But they need more talent — and they want to get it through the draft.
Utah has the No. 12 pick plus a couple second rounders, but they are looking to move up in the draft, according to Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders.
With rumors about a potential mutual interest between the team and soon-to-be free agent Paul Millsap beginning to circulate, we now have a source confirming the organization not only intends to move up in tomorrow’s draft, but could be willing to package assets and players to do so if necessary.
“They have enough depth and have assets on the roster,” said David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz. “I am certain they are trying to couple those assets, picks and players to move up.”
How real the Millsap thing is can be debated — the Hawks want (actually, need) to retain him, and he has said he liked the family atmosphere in the ATL. But, a free agent needs leverage, and Utah could provide just that.
Still, there are some quality pieces Utah might want in this draft, the problem with moving up is you have to find a partner willing to move down. This is not the NFL with its war of attrition, where trading down for multiple picks makes sense. In the NBA the talent drops off quickly as you move down the board, and the Jazz would have to offer something of more quality than a couple second round picks to interest a team above them to move.
That said, it’s something to watch. Boston, Denver, and a host of other teams are expected to be active on draft night, a one a lot of people around the league expect to be a crazy night of trades and moves. Utah wants to get in on the action.