The Utah Jazz are supposedly in position to strike for a big name next offseason

Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz.
Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz. /

The Utah Jazz are a team that can make significant moves next off-season, apparently.

The Utah Jazz took a major step in the rebuild in just Year 1. After trading their three best players during last year’s offseason, (Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic), and their fourth best player mid-season (Mike Conley), many thought the Jazz were going to be years away from competing and that the Jazz would be in the hunt for Victor Wembanyama.

Turns out, both of those situations turned out not to be true. The Jazz nearly qualified for the play-in tournament, and were at a time, the top team in the Western Conference. They also saw the team thrive around Lauri Markkanen, who came over from the Cleveland Cavaliers in the offseason for Mitchell. The Jazz are now far closer to competition than they are from needing the first overall pick.Tony Jones

This is why The Athletic’s Tony Jones believes the Jazz are one season away from trying to go shopping for a major name. Speaking to Spence Chektts on ESPN’s 700 The Drive (via Sports Illustrated), Jones spoke about the Jazz’s potential next season, saying;

"They have a team that they like, in terms of really being able to strike next summer. So they have a lot of depth. They have a lot of movable contracts. They have a lot of guys that are entering the last year of their contracts. So right now, they’re a really, really flexible basketball team, and I think they think they’re a really competitive basketball team as well. So I think this is a team that doesn’t want to have a prolonged rebuild."

Certainly, the emergence of Markkanen has expedited the rebuild, and for good reason. Markkanen has long been considered a rising star in the NBA but the Chicago Bulls didn’t prioritize him, and the Cleveland Cavaliers buried him in the rotation as the team’s fourth option.

Yet, in Utah, he proved what he could do and rose to NBA All-Star levels of play. His consistency going forward will determine what happens next with the Jazz and their future. If he doesn’t play well in 2023-2024, and the team struggles, they’re further away from making any potential moves than people realize.

dark. Next. Pros and cons of Utah Jazz making bold move for Tyler Herro