NBA Draft 2012: Can the Jazz "Move on up" in the Draft?

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 23: NBA Commissioner David Stern speaks at the podium during the 2011 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center on June 23, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The Jazz brass, be it Kevin O'Connor, Walt Perrin, or anyone else who gets in front of a TV camera or Radio mic has been talking about how the Jazz are keeping their options open for moving on up. I do not know how likely that is, after all, I could say that I'm keeping my options open on where to live, in case there are tiger attack in my neighborhood. Clearly, it's never going to come up, but I can pretend all I want. (If I'm wrong I'll blog about it . . . either the Utah Jazz moving up or the tiger attack) That said, if the Jazz are serious about moving up in the draft we can only assume it would mean trading some of our assets to do so. We're not going to go out there and "buy" a draft pick like some other teams do. We're not that type of team that puts their money where their mouth is.

So, can the Jazz move on up in the draft? Let's pool our assets and see how far we can go . . .

Asset Inventory:

The Jazz have a lot of stuff. They have guys with long contracts, guys with short contracts, guys with big contracts, and guys with little contracts. We also have players on all spectrum of age, experience, youth, and potential. Clearly we know that the only untouchables on the team are Al Jefferson, Josh Howard, and the Bear -- so we have pieces to move. Jokes aside, let's take a look . . .

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Untouchables:

I really don't see the Jazz moving any of the four main young guys just to move up in the draft. The only guy really "worth it" is the #1 potential pick, and New Orleans isn't trading that pick. Not after all the hard work rigging the draft the NBA had to do for it to happen. Al Jefferson is irreplaceable. Devin Harris is figuring it out. And Paul Millsap is our guy. And all of them have expiring deals. Together they total $32,103,633 million dollars in expiring contracts. The Cap in 2013-14 is not set yet, but that sum is 55.35% of next year's cap value (2012-13). That's a huge piece of the pie, and the Jazz are prob going to let the chips falls -- they are too cowardly to actually move one of them. (Just like how they let the expansion draft take Rickey Green away, instead of moving him in order to allow John Stockton to be the starter). That's just my opinion. And according to my opinion, the Jazz aren't going to move any of these 7 guys.

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What is left?

  • Raja Bell (1 yr, $3.48m)
  • Earl Watson (1 yr, $2.00m)
  • Jamaal Tinsley (1 yr, $1.35m - pending we officially pick up the option on him)
  • DeMarre Carroll (1 yr, $0.89m - pending we officially pick up the option on him)
  • 2012 Draft pick #47 (non-guaranteed $0.50m rookie starting deal)
  • Future draft picks (see next section)
  • Draft rights (Ante Tomic, Tajida Dragicevic, and others)

DeMarre Carroll is "a guy we had our eye on for a while" from the horse's mouth himself, so we're not going to get rid of him. Jamaal is super cheap and a capable 2nd / 3rd stringer at this stage. He has no upside. Earl Watson is the offensive / defensive inverse of Jamaal, and a capable 2nd stringer at this stage. He's more expensive, and did complain about playing time as the season went on. Raja Bell seems to be on the outs, and is the most likely guy we *need* to move. His exit interviews and media turn to a heel have already started -- in stark contrast to how he was played up as some savior early on last off-season. Our current draft pick this year is kind of worthless. Tomic's rights are worth more -- and he may never play in the NBA. So that's telling.

Is there a market for Raja Bell though? Is he worth more than a 2nd rounder? Is it possible to move up just with him? I don't think so, for any of those questions. We'll have to give a bit more in order to move up.

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Draft Picks:

Moving up means giving up where you are. So, automatically, we also have to give up the #47 pick. And that is in addition to Raja Bell (salaries needing to match, and he's making $3m -- a late lotto pick will only make $2m -- we'll also have to give cash back). What else do we have as collateral?

Golden State pick:

Utah Jazz: Receives Golden State’s 2013 first-round pick (top-7 protected in 2013, top-6 protected in 2014, else 2014 and 2016 second-round picks) via Utah (from the Marcus Williams trade on 9/29/09) from the Deron Williams trade on 2/23/11.

- Via Hoopsworld.com

Chicago Pick:

Utah Jazz: Receives Chicago’s 2013 second-round pick via the Carlos Boozer trade on 7/8/10.

- Via Hoopsworld.com

New Jersey Pick:

Utah Jazz: Receives New Jersey’s 2015 second-round pick via the Mehmet Okur trade on 12/22/11.

- Via Hoopsworld.com

And this is all in addition to the normal picks we have . . . which I believe are all of ours.

So, I guess, we can have a starting package of:

  • Raja Bell
  • Cash
  • and some combination of draft picks (Golden States pick + the Chicago pick)

And we could move up in the draft to the second half of the lotto (Pick 8 and lower) -- which is the pick we WOULD have had if we lost to Golden State in our last meeting of the season, btw, ha ha. Sometimes, I think, it would be fair to criticize our team for focusing too much on the now, and not enough on the long term. It may not be an accurate or valid criticism, but the criticism could be made.

.

Other options:

  • A package deal with another team for one of our untouchables which brings their draft pick *and* some players back to make up the financial difference
  • Trading up AFTER another team takes the guy we want (we've done this for Borchardt and Fesenko in recent history)
  • Buying the pick with cash, homie.

.

What do I think?

I think the team will continue talking about trading up, but not actually do it. The parking to the draft party isn't free right? Yeah, thought so.

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