Does tanking really give the Utah Jazz a shot at a championship?

The Utah Jazz are hoping that tanking in back to back seasons will help them build a winner, but is that really the case?
San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz
San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

There are many fans and pundits out there who aren't happy about the current situation in Salt Lake City. The Utah Jazz have made it clear that they're tanking and going 3-18 in their last 21 games really sells that point. The team is banking on getting draft picks and building a winner through player development. It's very early into that process, but many have already started to have doubts about the process.

On one hand, it's destroying the chemistry and culture the team is trying to build. Stars like Lauri Markkannen have made it clear he's not happy with the moves, and those are the types of things that could force the Finnisher to ask for a trade. Then the question comes up, if you have a borderline playoff team with a bunch of castoffs and Markkanen, what could you be if you invested in the talent around him?

We'll never know, as Danny Ainge seems pretty set in this half-in, half-out concept of tanking. It got the Jazz Taylor Hendricks last year, and he certainly doesn't seem like a star as of writing, if the Jazz is hoping to land another top 10 player this upcoming draft, it's very possible they land another player like Hendricks.

The odds of landing a Donovan Mitchell-type player, an MVP candidate with the 13th pick in the draft, isn't common. Usually, you need a top-three or four pick to get a game-changer who can elevate the franchise. The Jazz don't seem committed to that concept, for one reason or another. They want to have a team that's both rebuilding and ready to win, just depending on which way they flip the switch.

This is going to cause a lot more harm than good, as the squad is going to get tired, if it isn't already, of the whiplash from management, on top of the constant trade rumors that seem to involve everyone on the roster. It's not a recipe for success, especially if they don't land a game-changer.

The nickel and diming approach may not work and it could end up backfiring immensely, especially if they use all these picks on prospects and not one of them rises to the level of Markkanen, if not higher.

Even Eric Walden of is pointing out that guys like Hendricks and Keyonte George aren't moving the needle, and he's not wrong. As far as rookies go, they're not exactly breaking the mold. They have upside, but neither is lighting the league up and if the Jazz think landing two more guys of similar quality is going to make this whole thing worth it, we have some bad news for them.

Now, Walden is in favor of tearing the team down and properly tanking, but I have a different mindset. I think the Jazz need to go star-hunting and use the picks and 2023 rookie class as assets to land said star(s). This nickel-and-diming they're doing isn't helping the team get better, and all it's doing is driving people mad with their non-committal approach to winning or losing.

Fans want to know there's a plan, and this constant upheaval at the deadline has shown us there is no plan, and even those in the know were told that the Jazz were looking at a major name at the deadline and had the team he was on agreed to the Jazz's deal, they wouldn't have blown the squad up. Now, this could just be a leak to appease fans, but it's likely there's truth to this. The idea however does seem to suggest that the Jazz are just adapting to things on the fly, I.E., having no plan.

The Jazz better hope that this plan pays off, otherwise a lot of legacies will be destroyed in the process, and it'll be even harder to retain mega stars when they land in Salt Lake City. The future of the team is truly on the line.