3 Best Offseason Moves for the Utah Jazz


  • The Utah Jazz should draft Creighton’s Baylor Scheierman for elite shooting.
  • Sign Isaiah Hartenstein in free agency for defensive flexibility and to shore up the frontcourt.
  • Initiate a three-team trade with the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat to add an All-Star to the roster.



The Utah Jazz’s roller coaster 2023-24 campaign ended tragically as if they were coached by William Shakespeare instead of Will Hardy. Nonetheless, with 2023-24 on the books, the Jazz can now look ahead to the next season, knowing what they need to change to achieve their goals.

All-Star forward Lauri Markkanen is now the face of the franchise, a player who a team would have to give an arm and a leg to trade for.

2023 No. 16 pick Keyonte George and 2022 No. 22 pick Walker Kessler are cornerstones as well.

Now, the Jazz must figure out the best way the best way to build around them.

1 Draft a Shooter

Creighton’s Baylor Scheierman is among the best shooters in the draft

Creighton senior Baylor Scheierman at NBA Combine

The 2024 NBA Draft could be chock-full of trades considering the rumors that have been swirling around. Regardless of whatever other teams do though, the Jazz need to be prepared to trade the No. 10 pick. More on that later on.

The Jazz will also have the No. 29 and No. 32 picks in the NBA Draft. With either selection, Creighton senior Baylor Scheierman should be available. A 6-foot-7 wing with a smooth game and sweet shooting stroke, Scheierman averaged 18.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 0.9 steals per game last season.

An exceptional shooter with logo range, the Nebraska native has made 40.4 percent of his 3s over the past four seasons. He’s dangerous whether spotting up, coming off of screens, or pulling up; in halfcourt or transition. Though the Jazz have one elite outside threat already (Markkanen), Scheierman is better at pull-up 3s. This differentiation increases Utah’s overall effectiveness beyond the arc in and of itself. Furthermore, with the Jazz ranking 22nd in 3-point percentage (35.4) in 2023-24, they’ll want to improve their shooting corps anyways.

That Scheierman is an assertive rebounder and solid playmaker benefits his ability to stay on the court, as Hardy prefers players to get involved in multiple ways. Hardy will have to coach Scheierman up on defense, but he does have a knack for forcing turnovers.

2 Sign a Mobile Center

Isaiah Hartenstein’s mobility blends well with Walker Kessler’s lack of it

Isaiah Hartenstein pressures Collin Sexton on the perimeter

In free agency, the Jazz will have $38.1 million projected practical cap space. With that, they’ll be able to sign a point guard that they view as a safety net and mentor for George. However, to that end, they should just hold onto Jordan Clarkson, a trade candidate this offseason who has already taken George under his wing. In terms of his own play, he’s a natural scorer who’s grown into an above-average playmaker.

That said, the Jazz should use their newfound wealth to pry Isaiah Hartenstein away from the New York Knicks. As the Knicks only have Hartenstein’s Early Bird Rights, they can only pay him about $16.2 million annually at maximum. Utah can usually outbid that, and though Hartenstein enjoyed his time in New York, money talks.

Isaiah Hartenstein – By The Numbers (2023-24)







Starter Only






Bench Only






Hartenstein’s mobility allows the Jazz’s defense to have more flexibility. Though Kessler is a supremely talented shot-blocker, he’s not the most nimble big man there is. That isn’t to say Hartenstein has catlike grace, but he’s far more natural moving in space and often affects ball-handlers with his length and quick hands. Because he’s also a strong and fundamentally sound interior defender, he’s arguably a better option for the first unit than Kessler. To that point, a higher offer than the Knicks are offering, and a starting role might guarantee Hartenstein signs.

3 Trade for a Star

The Bulls, Heat, and Jazz need each other

Zach LaVine goes up for layup

A three-team trade featuring the Jazz, Chicago Bulls, and the Miami Heat is the best option for each of them. In said deal, the Bulls will receive Sexton, Jimmy Butler, the No. 10 pick, and a laundry list of minimum-salary players from Utah. The Heat will receive DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic. The Jazz will receive Zach LaVine.

Jazz-Bulls-Heat Trade Parameters

Jazz receive

Zach LaVine

Bulls receive

Collin Sexton

Jimmy Butler

Kenneth Lofton Jr.

Darius Bazley

Omer Yurtseven

Heat receive

DeMar DeRozan

Nikola Vucevic

Motivated to remodel their Big 3, the Bulls make a deal that brings back Butler, their former franchise keystone. Butler spent his first seasons with Chicago after the Bulls selected him with the 30th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. A defensive tone-setter who’s capable of being an offensive engine, Butler’s return will put Chicago back on the right track.

Sexton, a fiery guard, can step into LaVine’s place as a go-to scorer. The passion that he plays with at both ends will be a breath of fresh air in Chicago. Kenneth Lofton Jr., Darius Bazley, and Omer Yurtseven are end-of-bench pieces. However, they’re all rotation-caliber players who could earn consistent minutes due to the Bulls’ lack of depth.

The Heat’s decision to move on from Butler hinges upon his lack of availability, and that’s what draws them to the durable DeRozan. With a starting-caliber big man in Vucevic, Miami addresses their rebounding concerns while adding a reliable low-post scorer. Their perimeter defense will take a hit, but they won’t have to worry about their best players limping to the finish line.

For the Jazz, this trade is largely about addition by subtraction. There was too much tension with Sexton around, with his unexpected breakout leading to him stepping on George and Clarkson’s toes. Conversely, due to Hardy’s preference for George and Clarkson, Sexton’s minutes were relatively limited.

By taking on LaVine, the Jazz may not completely solve their backcourt issues. However, LaVine’s a more established player; a multi-time All-Star, in fact. As a result, he commands more respect from his peers and coaches. He’s also a more natural jump shooter and playmaker, with better length for the position at 6-foot-5. Lastly, though he had a down year in 2023-24, it’s worth acknowledging that he averaged 25.1 points per game over the previous five seasons.


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