The Utah Jazz not retaining their Top 10 pick would make this a truly terrible season

The Utah Jazz decided to tank this season and not retaining their first-round pick would make this a wasted effort.
Mar 9, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton (2) talks with referee Mousa
Mar 9, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton (2) talks with referee Mousa / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz may be looking at this current season as even more of a bust than it already is if things don't go their way. The Jazz waived and saw Otto Porter Jr. retire, and while few thought he'd be a game-changer, there was a belief among some that he'd come in and play out the season so that he could look for a bigger, better contract. That obviously didn't end up being the case and the Jazz had no long-term plans for him.

Sadly, that means the two players they gave up in the deal that included Porter, are all but wasted. The first-round pick they got in return will likely be at the end of the draft, due to an overly complicated set of circumstances. The pick will likely convey around the 29th spot, or maybe slightly before, but nothing high enough to warrant trading two high-quality assets.

This trade, however, wasn't done alone, as the Jazz was hoping that the team would be so bad that they would tank in the process. This would allow the Jazz to then retain their own Top 10 pick, giving them three total picks in the 2024 NBA Draft. As bad as this season has been to watch unfold, those three picks would at least give Jazz fans a shot at some hope and glory.

But it may not happen. The Jazz only get their pick back if it falls in the Top 10 of the NBA Draft Lottery. As the draft lottery isn't exact and wild things happen all the time, there exists a possibility that the pick falls outside of the Top 10, and that means the pick would then go to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

This means the Jazz have essentially two second-round picks. Not exactly reasons to tank and waste a year of Lauri Markkanaen's prime. If that ends up happening, if the Jazz don't retain their first-round pick, while losing out on a guy like Porter, who if healthy could've been a major difference maker for this defense, and conversely seeing Fontecchio and Olynyk help return the Toronto Raptors to playoff contention in 2024-2025, then this would have been one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

In this scenario, not only did the Jazz tank, but they tanked needlessly and for some mild draft picks, who statistics say isn't likely to develop into impactful NBA talent. A misstep of this magnitude would hopefully cause Jazz ownership to rethink the men leading this team because wasting a year of a Top 20 NBA player is bad enough. Wasting it for nothing to show should be criminal.

The front officer better hope they get their pick back, otherwise we're going to start advocating for a chance at the top. If they were willing to tank now, why would we think a winner is ever coming with this core?