Project 2024 could be a chance for jazz to get a star

Salt Lake City – The 2024 NBA Draft may be the Utah Jazz’s most realistic opportunity to add their next superstar to the roster.

Last week, Jazz CEO Danny Ainge gave a subtle hint about the team’s rebuilding schedule and mentioned the 2023 and 2024 drafts.

“I’m not sure how it ranks against historical drafts,” Ainge said, but I think it’s better than last year’s draft. I think “24 is better than 23, but that’s too early to start judging 16-17 year olds.”

It sounded like a sloppy line from Ainge at the time, an unofficial statement about the team’s draft assets while they were undergoing a full roster rebuild.

But on Monday, Ainge’s comments got even more interesting after a report from The Athletic’s Shams Al-Sharaniyah The league was looking to lower the qualifying age for players wishing to enter the NBA.

“The minimum age for jumps from high school to the NBA will go into effect as early as the 2024 NBA Draft.” Charania Books.

This means that in 2024, the NBA will have two seasons combined into one, with both top 19-year-olds declaring the draft after having played one year in college and high school seniors once again eligible to jump into the league for the time. The first since 2005.

Essentially, the number of talents in the draft will be doubled, giving Jazz more access to star players in the lottery, without necessarily having one of the top overall picks.

The 2023 draft features French phenom Victor Wimpanyama and Scott Henderson who have been named potential next-level superstars, but it would take great luck in the lottery to land any of the players.

Even if the Jazz finished with the worst record in the NBA next season, they’d still only have them 27% chance of landing one of the two top picks in the draft.

However, the team that finishes with the worst league record can’t fall further than fifth in the draft, which could be too close for a star-caliber player in a draft of twice as talent as usual.

Even before Monday’s report, the Jazz had added incentive to lose games during the 2023-24 season.

Although owning jazz 15 picks from the first round From now until 2029, they only have one option in the suddenly attractive 2024 Draft. And that pick will belong to the Oklahoma City Thunder if he falls anywhere after the 10th pick, giving the Jazz little reason to start winning over the next two seasons.

While the Jazz front office will certainly do everything in its power to position the team to pick a high draft pick this coming season, the 2024 draft presents the team with a unique opportunity to add star talent.

If the team doesn’t eventually get a chance to draft Wembanyama or Henderson next June, there could be a deeper class of stellar talent on the horizon just two years from now.

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