This article was first published as the Jazz Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Friday.
As the June 22 NBA draft continues to near, it’s clear that the only sure thing is that Victor Wembanyama will go No. 1 overall to the San Antonio Spurs.
Outside of that singular fact, there are a lot of things that could change on draft night and any one of those things could have ripple effect on the rest of the NBA.
Of the teams that lucked out on lottery night and were awarded a top-four pick, three of them are rumored to be considering trading the pick. Since we know that the only sure thing is the Spurs sticking with the top pick, that means that the second, third and fourth picks could be up for grabs.
Those picks, if traded, will not come cheap. If the Charlotte Hornets trade the No. 2 pick, if the Portland Trail Blazers want to trade the No. 3 pick, or if the Houston Rockets want to trade the No. 4 pick, that could mean some high-profile players could be on the move and a lot of assets could be changing hands.
These are the type of moves that could really change the makeup of the league and leave teams looking completely different.
The 2023 draft could end up impacting the offseason in major ways. Draft-night trades, or trades that happen prior to the draft could force the hand, not only of teams involved, but other teams as well.
Just as an example, let’s look at the Trail Blazers. If they decide that they’re in win-now mode and don’t want to work to develop a draft prospect, and they beef up their roster with a star to pair with Damian Lillard, how will the rest of the West react to that?
For that matter, how will Western Conference teams react to Wembanyama?
It’s been a while since the NBA has had a draft that was this uncertain at the top of the selection tier and since there have been so many teams that could be changing direction or focus.
Grab your popcorn. Draft night is going to be wild.
Programming note: I’m on vacation, so there won’t be a newsletter next week. Jazz Insiders will return on June 9.
New with the Jazz
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).
Join the crew this weekend as they welcome Portland Trail Blazers insider Sean Highkin in to talk about how the draft could upend the offseason, what the Blazers are going to do with the No. 3 pick, and how it could be the first domino of the offseason.
Stat of the week
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic notched his eighth triple-double of the playoffs when the Nuggets swept the Los Angeles Lakers with a Game 4 win in the Western Conference finals. Jokic finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists and passed Wilt Chamberlain’s record of seven playoff triple-doubles. Chamberlains’s record stood for 56 years.
From the archives
- Where will Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller start their NBA careers? (Deseret News)
- Will the Utah Jazz move up in the draft from No. 9? (Deseret News)
- Photo of the day: Delta Center once again (Deseret News)
- Six players the Jazz might draft with the ninth overall pick (Salt Lake Tribune)
Around the league
Police conduct welfare check after Ja Morant social media posts.
Former Clippers GM Michael Winger leaves to run Washington Wizards.
Celtics continue to hold off Heat from closing out Eastern Conference finals.
June 22 | 6:30 p.m. | NBA draft | ESPN
Full NBA playoffs schedule here.