The Utah Jazz own the 30th pick in the upcoming July 29 NBA draft, but that doesn’t mean the Jazz have just one option on draft night.
The Jazz can go one of four ways when it comes time for them to make their 2021 draft selection.
Keep the pick
The most obvious option is for the Jazz to make the 30th pick and keep the player they draft. Best case scenario along this route is the Jazz get a player that can play right away and have an impact. This is usually a college junior or senior who has a clearly defined style and can be a reliable role player.
More likely than not, though, any player drafted is going to be someone who needs a year or two of development before they are ready to play reliable and regular minutes. And, especially considering that the Jazz are looking to contend for a title, a player would have to be really good and adjust to the NBA very quickly in order to play serious minutes, especially when it comes to the postseason.
That’s not to say that a player who is ready now can’t be found, but fans should be prepared for the possibility that any draft pick could end up being a project and not an answer to immediate problems.
Trade for different pick
The Jazz could try to move up in the draft with the 30th pick and cash or some other incentive. They could also trade down into the second round of the draft by dealing the 30th pick.
Trading down and getting a couple second-round picks could lead to other trades, or the Jazz could pick up a couple of guys who might not be on everyone’s radar and see how they fare through summer league and training camp but have no financial obligation.
Maybe the Jazz have their hearts set on a diamond in the rough that would be easily picked up in the second round. They could get something extra cash for the 30th pick and still get the guy they like.
Trade for the future
The Jazz don’t have many future assets. They owe first- and second-round picks to multiple teams over the next few years and not having assets to either package or use makes things a little difficult.
So, if the Jazz don’t see a player who could help them with the 30th pick, they could trade it for future picks and reload on some of the assets that they don’t have.
It might not seem like a lot now, but a couple future second-rounders could come in handy down the line somewhere when trying to create an attractive package for another team.
Pick and package
The Jazz could also package the 30th pick with one of the players on their existing roster for a player that is not in the draft. They could be making the 30th pick for another team in which they’ve already worked out a deal.
For example, the Jazz could put together the 30th pick and Derrick Favors in exchange for a player that could help the roster, in order to clear a roster spot, or to turn around and trade what they get back for something even better.
The Jazz could fill an open roster spot with a player on a veteran minimum deal once free agency opens on Aug. 2, so packaging the 30th pick and trading it away might just be a way to make room for other transactions to be made.
This might not happen on draft night, so there’s a chance the Jazz take the best available talent at No. 30, despite it not being a great fit for the Jazz, so that they can move that player to create some space for free agency.
There are many who believe that the Jazz must make the absolute right draft pick on Thursday. But it might not be about making the right draft selection, it could be about making the right decision in how they use that pick.