What's new

Drafting All Star


Well-Known Member
The Jazz have many draft picks. I was curious what are the chances that they can reasonably expect to draft with them an additional All Star player to complement Lauri (or any other star obtained via trades). I used the data from 30 years of drafting from this article: it is not unique and I saw some other attempts at the analysis with very similar results. I chose this one because they did the statistical smoothing in giving you a curve and not the actual position-by-position data (which are affected too much by random variation given that the sample size is only 30). When adding probabilities up across several picks I used the binomial distributions (which gets hairy when you have to add up several unequal probabilities but I don't want to go into that too deep). Here are the results for the first-round picks.

The chances of drafting an All Star:

8th pick - 23%
29th pick-3%

2025 (projected on the current MN and CLE records):
20th pick - 7%
27th pick- 4%
Jazz own pick-?

If you combine 4 first-round picks in 2024-25, the Jazz have a 33% chance of drafting an All Star player with them, i.e. they will not be able to do so. Now, we can estimate the value of CLE-MN picks in general. We don't know where they end up but, given that both of those teams are currently successful and have a young core, it would be reasonable to expect them on average to be around 20 (the 23-24 Cavs record). Four of those picks give us a cumulative 25% chance of drafting an All Star, 6 picks - 35%. In short, most likely they will bring only the role players.

Now, what if the Jazz decide to tank for their life and end up with the bottom-four league record in both 2025 and 206 (that way no pick needs to be transferred to OKC by the way)? The most likely outcome of such tanking is having the chances of the 3rd pick (because you do have a good shot at the 1st pick and the 1st gives you a VERY high chance of getting an All Star). One 3d pick gives you a 39% chance of drafting an All Star, two - 63%, three - 77%. The real-life Jazz drafting history confirms that (setting aside the slight difference in the past darft odds, with three high draft picks the Jazz drafted Exum, Kanter and DWill .

The take-aways:

1. The draft stash acquired from trades will, most likely, bring the Jazz some solid players but not stars. Even if the Lakers pick ends up, say, the 8th (a very lucky scenario!), it would give only the 23% chance of doing so. Every other pick will matter very little on its own.

2. Other teams know about these probabilities and will value these picks accordingly in potential trades.

3. The only reasonable way for the Jazz to "guarantee" an All Star-level player via draft is the complete tank for 2 years... or, even better, for 3. The counterpoint: you can get three 3rd picks and still have a 23% chance of NOT drafting a single All Star with any of them (cue in Minnesota rapidly drafting Cory Brewer, Rubio, Flynn, Wesley Johnson and Derrick Williams).

4. The difference in half-assing the tank and going the full-tank is massive: the 8th and 9th picks combined give you a 39% chance of drafting an All Star, which equals to a single 3rd pick (a very likely outcome of the shameless tanking). Essentially, by doing a late-season tank for two years, the Jazz lost on a whole extra 3rd or 4th pick of opportunities to draft an All Star.

5. It is important to notice that low draft picks STILL usually give you valuable players on cost-control rookie contracts. They are bad for finding your stars but are very good for building around them.
So, yes, the chances of drafting an All-Star are statistically much higher with the top picks, but the Jazz do have a lot of lower picks and the probabilities could add up across many of them. Let's look at the actual young teams that recently completed their rebuilding and now are competitive or, at least, strong but currently injured. Who are they relying on?

- The Timberwolves. The core is Towns (1st pick) and Edwards (1), supplemented by later trades. They actually had two other high picks but none of them produced an All-Star for the team: Dunn (5), Culver (6).

- OKC. The core is SGA ( via trade) and Holmgren (2), supplemented by Jalen Williams (12). Another high pick brought them a role player in Giddy (7).

- Memphis. The core is Morant (1) and JJJ (4).

- The Knicks. The core is Brunson (free agent) and Randle (free agent). Several high picks got only role players: Toppin (8), Barret (3), Knox (9).

- The Cavs. The core is Garland (5), Mobley (3) and later trades for Allen and Mitchell. Several high picks got only role players: Okoro (5), Sexton (8).

- Orlando. The core is Banchero (1) and F. Wagner (8). Several role players - Isaac (6), Bamba (6), Suggs (5), Black (6).

The takeaways:

Unless you are a prime destination for free agents or forced trades (LA, NYC) you have to rebuild through draft. And the successful rebuilds were made through getting the first or second picks. The only exception, the Cavs, seem to be the weakest of all rebuilds, since their draft foundation (Garland+Mobley) are just borderline all-stars. The same is true for JJJ (4th pick), which really limits the ceiling for Memphis.

It looks that it is extremely hard to successfully rebuild through the draft without the 1st or 2nd picks and that other high picks are just not the same. Besides the above teams, it looks that the rebuild of the Spurs and the

But if the impactful All-Stars are routinely drafted with lower picks, why are they not becoming part of the drafting teams cores? They simply take much longer to develop and are much, much more likely to be traded (or even let go!) by impatient GMs. That what happened to Sabonis (11), Markkanen (7), Allen (22), SGA (11), Brunson (second round), Haliburton (12).

If Utah want to successfully rebuild through the draft it does not need any 4th or 7th picks: the team needs to fully tank until they get at least one top-2 pick.
Keyonte has some fringe All Star potential. It depends on his efficiency and what he can do in different isolation scenarios. Give him a couple years to work on it. I think he wants to be good.
@jazznik I think every draft is a bit different. Yes, drafting with the #1 or #2 pick most often gets you the best prospect in the draft, or it at least gives you the opportunity to get that player. The problem is, any team needs to luck into getting that top pick. A team that really bottoms out still is only assured a top-5 pick. This upcoming '25 draft has a solid handful of nice prospects such that having a top-5 pick might be good enough to get a franchise-level player. So maybe next year's draft is worth tanking for.

In any case, teams need to draft for upside and develop their players well. Guys like Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo, etc. are often available outside the top 10. Teams just need to be able to project them well and develop them effectively. The Jazz getting Donovan and Rudy, at #13 and #27 respectively, could have worked potentially if the Jazz built a more versatile group around those two.
I have no idea why you're completely ignoring recent champions like the Nuggets and Bucks in whatever this analysis is.
Their centerpieces have been drafted a while ago. The draft strategies are quite reactionary and the NBA certainly goes through periods when everybody does this or that (everybody drafts hulking bigs, or shooters like Curry, or rangy wings, or shies away from raw foreign player, or falls in love with raw foreign players etc.). I tried to see what has been done by the very last group of rebuilding teams since it should be most applicable to what the Jazz are doing now.

I think one of the important lessons is that 1-2 picks are ready to contribute almost immediately , like Zion and Ja in 2018, while those who are drafted just a couple of places below often take several years to develop, like Garland (5) and Coby White (7) in the same 2018 draft.

That means that even if we draft a future star with, say, our 8th or 6th pick, they are very likely to be ready only after 3-4 years, which means that it is too long for Lauri. If we truly want to keep Lauri and draft a second star to complement him, it better be with the 1st or 2nd pick in 2025. And to get a chance for top two picks we need to be really, really bad. That means trading either Markkanen or Sexton and not bringing in anyone who could make the team better. Sexton+Lauri make us too good to get Flagg or Harper.
We are in empty space for years to come.
This team is to good for tanking and to weak for playoffs.
We should try tank for Wemby but
FO played for their long fat salaries. We will draft 8th and 9th and we will bagging players like Mikal Bridges to come to Utah but nobody will.
It would be really interesting to see what teams like the Jazz and OKC do with their draft picks in years 28-30. Many fans are clamoring for trading them right now for immediate help and that aligns with the current incentive system that encourages GMs to focus on the tangible short-term improvements. However, these pick could be invaluable in producing quality players on cost-controlled contracts who could help 5, 7, or even 10 years later. That's how you build such long-lasting dynasties as the Spurs. You can even draft a future star with a lower pick because you can afford being patient and slowly develop him.
If you're not picking from 1 or 2 what is 8 worth? The team either needs to tank for top lottery picks or play hard. The 8th pick, in a shallow draft, who gives a ****? Its like being the first gaped arsehole in an orgy. **** it.
If you're not picking from 1 or 2 what is 8 worth? The team either needs to tank for top lottery picks or play hard. The 8th pick, in a shallow draft, who gives a ****? Its like being the first gaped arsehole in an orgy. **** it.
This man speaks from experience.
Apply this same principle over the last 30 years, specifically for the Jazz compared to other teams, for both signing a free agent who becomes an all star and trading for someone who becomes an all star. Ideally a first time all star after the FA signing/trading. This would give you a much fuller picture.