The Utah Jazz aren't sure about Taylor Hendricks but are doubling down on more picks anyway

The Utah Jazz seem to want draft picks more than anything.
Los Angeles Clippers v Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Clippers v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz made some moves recently that opened up some playing time for other players. Out were guys like Simone Fontecchio, Kelly Olynyk, and Ochai Agbajia, and in were guys like Taylor Hendricks and Talen Horton-Tucker. It seemed like the goal for the Jazz was to bring in some draft picks and give more time to their rookies, Keyonte George, Brice Sensabaugh, and Hendricks.

But that doesn't appear to be the case. The goal was to move Olynyk for draft capital but it appears that the only team that wanted him was the Toronto Raptors, and that's mostly because they had their eyes on Agbaji. It's unlikely the Raptors keep Olynyk beyond this season, and the Jazz are already waiving guys they got back in these trades; namely Kevin Knox.

So why trade these players if it's not to give more minutes to the rookies? Tim McMahon reported that the Jazz didn't move Olynyk, or anyone for that matter it seems, to get Hendricks more time. Considering that the team immediately turned to the offensively inefficient Horton-Tucker that seems to track. He's not exactly the guy you want in charge of your offense at any point in a game. Going with Sensabaugh would have made more sense for the Jazz if going younger was the goal.

The team may see Otto Porter get some minutes, if he can stay healthy but for the most part, the status quo doesn't seem to be too different. Walker Kessler is in the starting five from now, while Hendricks, Horton-Tucker, George, and Jordan Clarkson round out the bench.

It doesn't seem like a roster that is built for a run at a title, and one should argue that keeping Olynyk and re-signing him would've made more sense to the team and its ability to compete long-term. While he's not "young" by NBA standards, he's young enough to keep around. He's a skill-based player, and he's relatively healthy, so he'll age well. The team didn't need to trade him.

Considering that Jazz's head coach reiterated that this is a team that has championship aspirations, we have to point out that almost none of the moves lately were done to support that.

The Jazz did get a 2027 first-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers that might be worth something, eventually, but we'll have gone through three seasons before that pick matures, meaning that most of this core may be gone by then if they're not helping the team compete. If you're just building for the future perpetually, are you building anything at all?

Hoarding draft picks doesn't help things if you're not turning them into something necessary. The Jazz's coaches want to compete for a championship, and the management above them likely do too, but at what point do we begin competing? At what point does the Jazz stop trading away the kind of guys you need around you to bolster your roster for late picks that likely won't turn into anything, and instead start pursuing known commodities?

Lauri Markkanen is a Top 20 player right now and the team isn't building around him. It doesn't make any sense.

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