This article was first published as the Jazz Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Friday.

Rudy Gobert is gone, Donovan Mitchell is gone, and before you know it the 2022-23 season will be upon us and the Utah Jazz’s No. 1 objective will be to lose games.

The point of losing as many games as possible during the upcoming season is so the Jazz can increase their odds in the draft lottery. The 2023 draft class is supposed to be one of the most stacked and talented that we’ve seen in years.

While we have quite a while until we get to the 2023 NBA draft next June, it’s not too early to look at what the Jazz could be playing for this year. So here’s a look at four players who are projected to be top draft picks next year:

Victor Wembanyama

This is the guy that everybody is going to want. He is an 18-year-old, 7-foot-3-inch center out of France. He’s already been touted as a generational talent and is pretty much guaranteed to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft.

A big guy out of France with natural defensive instincts, a 7-foot-9-inch wingspan, and a penchant for blocking shots will probably sound pretty familiar to Jazz fans, but Wembanyama stands out for more reasons than his potential defensive upside.

First of all, his defense isn’t just looked at as potential. He’s already exceptional, and he an offensive game that is lot more versatile than your typical 7-footer. He creates well, handles the ball, has court vision and hits jumpers.

Utah Jazz trading Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers
Some of the top Twitter reactions to the Utah Jazz’s trade of Donovan Mitchell

Scoot Henderson

As a high schooler, Henderson was a five-star recruit, but he turned down college offers and chose to go to the G League Ignite team and shined in his first year with the team as he turned 18 years old midseason.

Though just 6 feet, 2 inches, the guard has an incredible frame to develop into and seems everything that he does seems to be right on the edge of becoming better and greater every time he takes the floor. He still needs to work on his shooting, but as a creator he is ready for the NBA now.

The Thompson Twins

No, this is not about the new wave music group from the ’80s. Amen and Ausar Thompson are 19-year-old brothers who play for Overtime Elite, which is a newer academy-like league that offers players a path toward the pros by foregoing their college eligibility.

The twins are both 6 feet, 7 inches and are incredibly gifted athletically, but they bring their own unique skills. Amen looks like he could become exactly the type of long and quick defensive wing that the NBA covets and Ausar seems like he’s more of an interior defender but both possess incredible playmaking skills. What’s left to see is if their handles and shooting can become a little more consistent with another year of development.

New with the Jazz

With Donovan Mitchell gone, the Jazz rebuild is underway. But how long will it take?

This week on ‘Unsalvageable’

Check out “Unsalvageable” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster).

This week the crew reacts to the blockbuster Donovan Mitchell trade and reminisces about Mitchell’s time with the Utah Jazz.

The podcast has moved to a new feed so remember to follow or subscribe by searching for “Unsalvageable” through your podcast provider.

New episodes come out every week. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you stream podcasts.

From the archives

Who is new Utah Jazzman Ochai Agbaji?
Who is new Utah Jazzman Collin Sexton?
Who is new Utah Jazzman Lauri Markkanen?

This week in Jazz history

Make no mistake, Sept. 1, 2022, the day that Donovan Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers is going to go down as a historic date for the Jazz. Time will tell whether history will be kind to the Jazz after this trade, but it marks the end of an era for the Utah Jazz has absolutely changed the course of what the future of the Jazz will be.

How to pass the time in the offseason

Now that the Jazz season has come to an end, it means that I have some time to catch up on the things that I love but don’t have enough time for during the NBA season. Here I’ll suggest my latest way to pass the offseason time and also take your suggestions.

I read a lot.

It’s part of my job to stay up to date with the news of the day and the comings and goings of the NBA and read the articles that competitors and colleagues are writing. I read a lot of basketball books that give historical context to the game and am always trying to immerse myself in knowledge.

But I also read a lot for pleasure. I firmly believe that everyone should have a library card, I think that book clubs are a great way to bring people together and expand your mind, and I try to support local books store as much as possible.

Sometimes, I have a big of a problem when it comes to quitting when I’m reading something that I truly am not enjoying. I don’t like to give up on things, especially books. But I don’t think that’s necessarily a good quality.

I just finished reading a book that I absolutely hated. In my opinion, it was over 500 pages of absolute hot garbage. I knew I didn’t like the book from early on, and now that I’ve finished it, I’m mad at myself for following through with it.

So this week, I’m coming to you with a piece of advice. There is nothing wrong with walking away from something that you are not enjoying. If you aren’t liking a book, put it down and find something that actually brings you joy to read. If you aren’t liking a movie or TV show, turn it off. There’s no reason to turn something that’s suppose to be enjoyable into a chore.

View Comments

P.S. “The Overstory” was not a good book.

Extra points

  • Knicks fan Stephen A. Smith is not happy about the Donovan Mitchell trade (Deseret News)
  • When will Donovan Mitchell return to Salt Lake City? (Deseret News)
  • Donovan Mitchell trade grades (ESPN)

Around the league

A guide to the best players in EuroBasket 2022.

The G League will expand its use of the Elam Ending this season.

Dirk Nowitzki’s number retired by German Basketball Federation.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.