The biggest talking point surrounding the Utah Jazz right now is how big of an offseason this could potentially be for the franchise.
If the Jazz end up trading Rudy Gobert and/or Donovan Mitchell or make any other significant moves, when could those go down?
The Jazz’s season ended on April 28 and technically they became eligible to make trades at that point, but if history is any indication, it will be close to the annual NBA draft on June 23 before anything significant goes down — if it does.
It may well even be in July after the NBA’s free agency period opens before anything happens (again, this is assuming anything notable happens at all this offseason).
Yes, it’s probably wise to hold your horses and reconfigure your thinking if you thought anything seismic could happen within the organization in terms of player movement anytime super soon.
As far as head coach Quin Snyder potentially leaving, that could happen sooner rather than later, if it’s going to, and technically he could get traded to another team, but those deals are very rare and would involve the Jazz getting back draft picks rather than significant players.
Why won’t major moves likely happen for a while even though Utah is allowed to make them now?
For one, only teams that are no longer playing are currently eligible to make trades. That means eight teams are not right now.
Secondly, the 2022 NBA draft order has not been set yet. The draft lottery will take place on May 17, at which point the order will be finalized, barring trades.
This could become significant if the Jazz would be looking to get draft capital back as part of a trade, as they could certainly get significant picks back in exchange for Gobert and/or Mitchell.
Thirdly, there’s simple history. Trades just very rarely happen as far away from the draft as we are right now.
According to the NBA’s daily transaction log, there has only been one trade in the last five years that occurred in between the end of a regular season and a few days before that year’s draft.
That was the deal last year involving the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder headlined by the Celtics trading Kemba Walker and the Thunder dealing Al Horford about six weeks before the draft, and many noted how it occurred at a rather random time.
Trades just really don’t often happen in between the end of a regular season and right before a draft.
Maybe the Jazz will become one of those rare teams that does it, but don’t count on it. Rather, keep your eyes open starting May 17, but closer to the draft is the time to start paying most attention.
Key NBA offseason dates
May 17: NBA draft lottery
June 23: NBA draft
June 30: NBA free agency begins (4 p.m. MT)