January 29th, 2009 by Jay
Are the Utah Jazz headed for a lottery pick?
Hopefully not! At least not this year… Though this season has been disappointing (an understatement!), I’m optimistic the Jazz can eventually get healthy and make a push for at least a playoff spot. They are however, due the New York Knicks first-round pick most likely next year. I’ll explain how we got it, and what the complicated protection clauses are.
So first of all, here is how the Jazz ended up with this first-round Knicks pick:
In 2004 Isaiah Thomas traded Howard Eisley, Antonio McDyess, Charlie Ward, a 2004 draft pick, and a future protected draft pick to the Suns for Anfernee (Penny) Hardaway and Stephon Marbury (who is now getting paid to sit behind the bench in a suit).
A month later, the Jazz traded Keon Clark (who?) and Ben Handgloten (also who?) to the Phoenix Suns for Tom Gugliotta and that Knicks first-round pick. Here are the Protections for that pick: Protected 2006=top 25, 2007=top 24, 2008=top 23, 2009=top 22. Unprotected in 2010.
Meanwhile, the Jazz owe a first round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers from the Gordan Giricek, Kyle Korver trade. Here are the protections on that pick: protected 2009=top 22*, 2010=top 15**, 2011=top17, 2012=top 16, 2013=top 16, 2014=becomes 2014 second round pick plus cash). But there’s more…
* if Jazz pick (2009) is unprotected to Sixers AND if Jazz receive New York pick in 2009, Sixers have rights to the more favorable of the two picks.
**if Jazz pick (2010) is unprotected to Sixers AND if Jazz receive New York pick in 2010, Sixers will receive the less favorable of the two picks.
So here are the scenarios: The 2009 Knicks, while improved, will most assuredly not finish with a record in the top 8 of the League, meaning that they’ll keep the pick this summer. And the Jazz, with their injuries and struggles, they’re also unlikely to finish in the top 8, keeping their 2009 first round pick. (It’s believed that the Jazz front office designed the protections on their owed pick to be given away the same year they receive the Knicks unprotected pick in 2010.
What pick then, could the Jazz end up with in 2010? With D’Antoni taking over for Isaiah Thomas, the Knicks are much-improved without much talent. They are a classic D’Antoni team, run-n-gun, throw up a ton of 3′s, and try to outscore their opponents. They traded several of their better players, and they seem to clearing cap space for 2010 (refer to previous post if you don’t know why). This could bode well for the Jazz, but if the Knicks keep winning games, it may not be as great a pick as it originally looked with Thomas at the helm!
If the Knicks current position in the standings (20-25, 18th best record) translates to next season, the Jazz would get approximately the 13th pick overall – assuming they didn’t miraculously win the lottery and get a much higher pick.
As discussed before, the Jazz COULD have 7 free agents at the end of this season (Price, Hart, Collins, Millsap, Korver, Okur, and Boozer). Meaning that it is unknown who will return, what new additions will sign with the Jazz, or what needs the team will have. So the pick could be extremely important even if it’s not a top-10 pick. I just hope the Jazz take the necessary steps to get some help for Deron Williams in the meantime (re-signing Millsap for example), so that pick could be a missing piece to a championship team, instead of hoping it can fill a gaping hole they couldn’t fill.
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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2009 at 2:38 am and is filed under Draft News & Analysis, Jazz News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.