Utah Jazz, who own the No. 12 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, aren’t opposed to the idea of trading down in the draft if that would help them acquire more assets.
“I think we’re still pretty wide open,” Jazz executive Walt Perrin told The Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday. “We’ve been on the phone quite a bit. I think we’re still open to anything and everything. Whether that’s to keep the pick, to trade up, to trade down or whatever.”
Jazz, who narrowly missed on a playoff berth last season, are expected to have point guard Dante Exem back next season on a roster that is loaded with exciting, young talent. According to ESPN insider Chad Ford, the Jazz are projected to pick Utah sophomore center Jakob Poeltl with their lottery pick.
Utah Jazz need back-up bigs…
Besides Poeltl, the likes of Henry Ellenson, Wade Baldwin IV, Furkan Korkmaz and Skal Labissiere are perceived as realistic options at No. 12. Are Jazz better off drafting a big, a wing or a guard?
Utah could definitely use a back-up to Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors, who have formed a very potent front court in the starting unit. Jeff Withey and Tibor Pleiß are the only other bigs in the roster. While Withey played 12 minutes off the bench last season, Pleiß spent most the year with Idaho Stampede, Utah’s D-League affiliate.
Dennis Lindsey, general manager of the Jazz, realizes that his team has plenty of options. “With the number of guards, wings, bigs, and trade options, I think there are going to be a bunch of interesting things that we have to sort through. We’ve been receiving interest. We’re going to have some meetings this week. I think Wednesday is going to be a little more open-ended than I’m normally used to. It definitely has the chance to be a dynamic week.”
Utah Jazz have also worked out mystery center Thon Maker and Denzel Valentine, the wing out of Michigan State. Neither player is projected to go at No. 12. Therefore, it could make sense for Utah Jazz to trade down to try and acquire one of the two.