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Utah Jazz Following the Danny Ainge Blueprint By Stockpiling Draft Picks

Ryan Phillips
Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers
Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages
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The Utah Jazz finally moved their last significant piece on Thursday when they shipped All-Star Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The deal was a monster for the Jazz. Since arriving last summer, executive Danny Ainge has begun remaking the franchise using the plan he executed with the Boston Celtics: stockpiling a ton of draft picks.

The Jazz have completely remade their roster this offseason, unloading two All-Stars by moving Mitchell to Cleveland and Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves. In those trades the franchise netted seven unprotected first-round picks, three first-round pick swaps and a host of young players, including two first-rounders from the 2022 NBA Draft. Over the next seven drafts, the Jazz have 15 first-round picks.

Additions to the above list should include turning Patrick Beverley into Talen Horton-Tucker, and shipping Royce O'Neale to the Brooklyn Nets for another first-round pick. That's eight first-rounders and three first-round pick swaps added in one summer.

During his time with the Celtics, Ainge loaded up on draft picks and deployed them shrewdly. Most notably, he selected All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who just led the Celtics to the NBA Finals. Utah is hoping for similar results with its reboot.

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