Should the Utah Jazz Consider Tanking This Season?

Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson
Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson /

After the Rudy Gobert trade and news that the Utah Jazz are looking to move Donovan Mitchell, the writing appears to be on the wall. The Jazz, without their two best players from last season, won’t stand a chance in the Western Conference.

Is it time for the Utah Jazz to tear it all down and tank?

This is despite having players like Pat Beverly, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Jordan Clarkson. All they’d do is keep the team from bottoming out so maybe the Jazz should consider pressing and holding the reset button on the roster. However, that could lead to the Jazz tanking next season, but should they?

Assuming Mitchell is indeed traded, the Jazz don’t necessarily have to tank since they could end up with a massive pick haul by moving him. Factor in the four future first round picks they got for Golbert, and the Jazz could be sitting pretty in the pick department. With so many picks, the Jazz could rely on other teams (whose picks they own) to tank for them while they try and remain competitive.

Then again, with all the young additions to the roster, that might be hard to do. In that case, the Jazz might be better off leaning into a rebuild by looking to move their veterans for even more picks. Moreover, the asking price for Beverly, Bogdanovic, Conley, and Clarkson should be a first-round pick for each. They may not get that for all of them, but they could package two of those players together in a trade to take back a bad contract. That would net the Jazz more assets while helping make their own pick even worse.

Why the Jazz Should Tank

Considering how stacked the 2023 NBA Draft is expected to be, the Jazz making their own pick worse could have enormous long-term benefits, namely, 7’2 center Victor Wembanyama. He is already the front runner to be the number one pick, but there could be several franchise-changing players that will be available in the top 10. That should incentivize the Jazz to tank.

And just by stripping the team of its veterans, and relying more on inexperienced players, it would all but guarantee the Jazz a top 10 pick. That means that they’d have a chance to draft their next star, without having to resort to the typical tanking shenanigans. Better yet, with so many picks in next year’s draft, the Jazz could pair some of their picks together to try and move up.

Next. Putting a price tag on Donovan Mitchell. dark

So the higher their own pick, the better position they’ll be in, in a historic draft. Overall, while tanking might go against the Jazz culture, the team is already trending in the direction of a rebuild. Therefore, the Jazz should continue to stockpile assets by trading their remaining veterans, which should also improve their spot in next year’s loaded draft. So the Jazz should look to tank, in hopes of finding their next star.