It’s time to check back in on where and who the Jazz would be picking in the 2023 NBA Draft if the season were to end today. The Jazz have seemingly committed to the tank for the remainder of the season, so we’ll be on the lookout for much more movement in the coming weeks.
Current Pick Standings
If the season ended today and the lottery went as expected according to the regular season record the Jazz would own the following picks:
- 10th (Jazz)
- 18th (from Minnesota)
- 27th (Least Favorable of Houston/Philadelphia/Brooklyn)
Since our last check-in, the Timberwolves have become an increasingly competent basketball team, in large part due to the addition of Mike Conley at the trade deadline. Unfortunately for the Jazz, the pick from Minnesota will most likely fall outside of the lottery.
The image below shows how the lottery could shake out after running a simulation on Tankathon.
In today’s simulation, the Jazz didn’t get lucky. However, this simulation does illustrate how valuable it is to move up this board as much as possible over the final weeks of the season. OKC jumps from 9th to 1st in this simulation. Moving from the 10th worst record to the 9th improves your odds of a getting top-4 pick from 9% to 23.1%! If the Jazz could end up with the 6th worst record those odds of a top-4 pick jump to 37.2%, and you can see in this simulation the Pacers make the jump up to the 3rd pick.
Big Board Check-In
For today’s check-in I’ll be using an internal SLC Dunk big board created by the great Anthony Cheng! This tool pulls in results from 11 different big boards and mock drafts from notable outlets/publications.
The name that comes up in the 10th spot is Keyonte George, the 6’4” SG from Baylor. George is a bonafide bucket getter - he projects as a Bradley Beal/Eric Gordon type. He drives well going left or right, aided by a big frame that helps him overpower other guards. He’s an above-average athlete, but his first step and lateral movement aren’t quite at the elite level. George looks like he’d be able to play on or off ball, and is a pretty nice fit in the current NBA game.
Floating around that 18th spot is GG Jackson, the 6’9” Forward from South Carolina. GG Jackson is an interesting draft case - he ranges anywhere from the 10th pick to the 28th pick in the mocks I’ve seen. Drafting GG Jackson is the ultimate upside play. He has tantalizing shot-creation and shooting skills for a guy that is barely 18 years old and his size. However, his decision-making and playmaking ability is lacking currently, and it’s very hard to tell if he’s just not interested in taking better shots or looking for his teammates, or if those issues are a product of the system he’s playing in at South Carolina. Jackson has superstar potential, but there is a load of risk associated with picking him. I’m of the mindset that if he is available at 18, the Jazz should take the flier on him.
A name floating around the 27 range is Terquavion Smith, the 6’4” Guard from NC State. He looks like a solid bucket-getter - he has a nice jumper and moves well without the ball. An NBA comparison I’ve seen for him is Bones Hyland. Smith doesn’t pop on the defensive end at all but could be a nice shot at a bench scorer in the late first round.
We’ll continue to keep an eye on the Jazz pick as they’re expected to start losing more games during the stretch run of the season, and SLC Dunk is going to be ramping up the draft coverage.