How valuable is Utah's stash of draft picks?

Trading their stars has made the Jazz rich in draft capital, but will those picks be any good?
Keyontae George is selected by the Utah Jazz at 16th overall 2023 NBA Draft.
Keyontae George is selected by the Utah Jazz at 16th overall 2023 NBA Draft. / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz used the trade deadline to add two more picks to their already impressive horde of future draft capital. With picks that will likely end up at the end of the first round and the beginning of the second round in this expectedly underwhelming 2024 draft class, many Jazz fans may be left scratching their heads at some of the moves Utah is making. Was the sacrifice of Ochai Agbaji a good decision? Will any of Utah's future picks become the building blocks for the future contender that Utah plans to construct? What are the chances that Utah can use its plentiful collection of picks to find the stars of their drafts? Many fans may feel like Han Solo when looking into the heart of the asteroid belt of the Western Conference, demanding that no one tells them the odds of successful navigation. Fortunately for Jazz fans, the odds are better than 3,720 to 1.

What are Utah's most valuable picks?

If relying on their own draft selections, Utah's future draft picks will likely continue to fall toward the back half of the lottery, and into the 15-20 range as they develop and improve. But since more than half of Utah's future picks will come from other teams across the league (thanks, Minnesota and Cleveland), Utah can be free to win as many games as they like without any negative draft position ramifications. But what picks should Jazz fans get excited about, and how can we know that any of these picks will turn out to be valuable NBA players?

2027 1st round pick via Los Angeles Lakers

NBA followers weren't surprised when the Jazz traded for Los Angeles' 2027 first-round pick. Marc Stein reported that Danny Ainge "covets" that exact pick. It's no mystery why. In efforts to appease LeBron James, while he's on their roster, the Lakers have made many trades that may have negative long-term consequences once their current core of James and Davis dissolves. Considering that the Lakers are struggling to keep their heads above water in a season when both players have been playing well, the Laker's demise may arrive sooner than anticipated. That's why NBA teams like the Jazz have been circling LA like vultures, just waiting for the team to fall apart and end up atop the draft lottery.

2025, '26, '27, and '29 1st round picks via Minnesota

Minnesota is playing at the peak of its powers this season and is in first place in the Western Conference standings. Although their picks will probably be in the late first round for the next few years, quality talent can still be found at the end of the first round. Rudy Gobert, the player who reeled in nearly all of Minnesota's draft picks through 2029, was selected 27th. Finding an All-Star becomes less likely as you get deeper into the draft, but not unlikely.

Minnesota's cap space situation is something to keep your eye on. They will be paying a hefty sum for their big-man trio of Towns, Gobert, and Reid. On top of that, Anthony Edwards, the team's best player, will be very expensive when his contract extension kicks in next season. Minnesota doesn't have the resources of LA or New York, so these draft picks could turn out to be very favorable if the team implodes.

2025, '27, '28, '29 1st round picks via Cleveland

The Cavaliers are in a comfortable situation. They are a young, up-and-coming team with plenty of talent. Darius Garland and Evan Mobley could be one of the NBA's most fearsome duos if they continue to develop. Donovan Mitchell is always rumored to want to leave in free agency, and I'm sure the Knicks look like a very appealing option at the moment. For Utah, these picks will likely remain in the 15-25 range of the first round. This will require the Jazz to be smart with their selections, but finding some real value with so many picks in their back pocket is far from impossible.

Utah needs to be deliberate in finding their core of the future, but with their embarrassment of draft wealth, fans should be optimistic for the team's future.

dark. Next. Grading the trades that the Utah Jazz made at the NBA Trade Deadline. One of the worst trade deadlines in recent NBA history has now passed. The Jazz were one of the only teams that made meaningful moves, but how good were they?