ST. GEORGE – What should the Jazz do on draft night? Do they make a trade so they can have a first round draft pick or stay where they’re at and only have one pick in the upcoming NBA draft — midway through the second round.
We will all find out what Utah Jazz GM Kevin O’Connor will do on Thursday night as the NBA draft will kickoff with the New Orleans Hornets picking Kentucky star Anthony Davis.
The good thing for Jazz Nation is the Jazz have some pieces to move. The one strength of the Jazz is their inside play. The Jazz are loaded with Bigs, so you wont see the Jazz trying to pick up any more inside players. With all the Bigs, it’s more likely that Utah will trade one of its star big men to try and move up in the draft.
So where could the Jazz move, what pick could they move into, and who would they trade?
Some of the “big names” on the Jazz trading block are Paul Millsap, Devin Harris, C.J. Miles and Josh Howard.
So let’s start with a possible trade and move into the first round. The Jazz could move anywhere from about pick six back. The thing to look for is a team with two first round picks or a team with a need for a proven big man.
There are six teams that have two picks in the first round.
The Hornets have the first and 10th picks in Thursday’s draft. The Hornets are picking a power forward with their first pick and according to many draft prognosticators, will take a guard with their 10th pick. So the Jazz would be out of luck there unless they wanted to trade Millsap and Harris for the 10th pick and cash or another Hornets player.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have the fourth and 24th picks. The Cavs are trying to move up to the second or third to get shooting guard Bradley Beal and might have to trade their 4th and 24th picks to move up to No. 2 or No. 3. If that’s the case, the Jazz are out of luck. But if the Cavs keep their 24th pick, it’s no surprise they are looking for a big man.
The Jazz could let Millsap go to the Cavs for the 24th pick, but would need something more. Millsap is worth way more then the 24th pick, so I think the Jazz are out of luck there.
Moving on to the Portland Trail Blazers, who have two lottery picks. The Blazers pick sixth and 11th and the Jazz have a chance at both. The Blazers are in need of a point guard and a center, two pieces the Jazz have to trade. The Blazers really like Damian Lillard from Weber State. Portlands GM Neil Olshey told the blazersedge.com, “I want a point guard who can step in and play right away and Lillard is that point guard. He is the best point guard in the draft.”
The really huge question for the Blazers is, do they take a Big with the sixth pick and gamble and hope Lillard comes back to them with the 11th pick. Look for the Jazz to try and make a trade with the Blazers. I would not be surprised if Harris and/or Millsap are in Portland next year.
The Golden State Warriors also have two picks early, the seventh and the 30th. The Warriors need a big that can play right away. This is another spot where Millsap could end up on draft day.
The Rockets have two picks in the middle of the first round. Two very likely spots the Jazz could trade into, either the 14th pick or the 16th pick.
The Boston Celtics are the final team with two first round draft picks, picks 21 and 22. I don’t see the Jazz giving up Millsap for a pick in the 20s, so that’s out of the question.
The next question would be, who would the Jazz take if they moved into the first round?
The big holes for the Jazz to fill are point and shooting guard. If Utah can get into the early lottery (pick six or seven), they would take Weber State star Lillard. If the Jazz can trade for a late lottery pick (picks 10-14), they would go for a shooter with Austin Rivers out of Duke or Jeremy Lamb out of UConn. If the Jazz move into the middle of the first round, look for them to take point guard Kendall Marshall out of North Carolina.
If the Jazz get Lillard or Marshall, I think they would have to keep Harris to bring the rookie along.
One thing about the draft and the Jazz : They’re very unpredictable. I hope the Jazz move Millsap and move into the first round. This draft is a very deep draft with a ton of big men that will be great pros.
On Friday morning, I think the Jazz will have two new players and many Jazz fans will be sad that Paul Millsap will be on his way out.
For more SPORTS TALK, tune into Blake’s Take weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – or online streaming live on the brand new KZNU Sports website: www.kznusports.com
Copyright 2012 St. George News.