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Utah Jazz Consensus Mock Draft 2.0: With the 14th pick in the NBA Draft ...

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The Utah Jazz now find themselves closer to the playoffs sitting with the potential 14th pick of the NBA.

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NCAA Basketball: Texas-Arlington at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another Mock Draft for the Utah Jazz here on SLC Dunk. The Utah Jazz have climbed in the standings and now find themselves just outside the playoffs. If the NBA season were to end today, they would be drafting at #14 in the 2019 NBA Draft. While that doesn’t seem like a great pick, tremendous value can be found at it.

Just last year, the Denver Nuggets had Michael Porter Jr. fall into their laps (a potential top 5 pick) because of injury concerns. The last pick in the lottery can turn into a “swing for the fences” type pick. Past prominent #14 picks have been Tim Hardaway, Dan Majerle, Ronnie Brewer, Marcus Morris, TJ Warren, Bam Adebayo, and last year’s Michael Porter Jr.

There’s another wrinkle to picking at 14th now. Increased odds of landing in the Top 4. The Utah Jazz would still only have a 0.7% chance of landing the #1 pick like past 14th seeded teams, but because of the additional chance of moving up Top 4, the Jazz would have a 3.4% of moving up Top 4. It’s not likely that Utah would be able to move up, but chances are we’ll see a back of the lottery team make a big leap in the coming years.

Like last week, most of these picks for Utah are Best Player Available and their numbers are PER36. Needs for Utah haven’t been accounted for yet in most projections as we haven’t quite past the trade deadline.

Utah Jazz Consensus Mock Draft 2.0

Website Pick Draft Pick at BPA Age Position School Height Points Rebounds Assists Blocks Steals 3PT% FG% Last Update
Website Pick Draft Pick at BPA Age Position School Height Points Rebounds Assists Blocks Steals 3PT% FG% Last Update
Tankathon.com 14 Brandon Clarke 22.4 PF Gonzaga 6'8 21.7 10.6 2.2 4.4 2.2 33% 69.30% January 3rd, 2019
NBADraft.Net 14 Johntay Porter 19.1 C Missouri 6'11.5 14.5 10 3.3 2.5 1.2 36.40% 43.70% January 9th, 2019
Sports Illustrated 14 De'Andre Hunter 21.1 SG/SF Virginia 6'7 17.7 6.4 2.8 0.4 0.8 43.3% 51.90% January 3rd, 2019
The Athletic 14 Daniel Gifford 20.3 C Arkansas 6"11 20.8 12.2 1.1 2.6 1.4 0% 64.70% December 30th, 2018
CBS Sports 14 Daniel Gifford 20.3 C Arkansas 6"11 20.8 12.2 1.1 2.6 1.4 0% 64.70% December 30th, 2018
ESPN.com - Big Board 14 De'Andre Hunter 21.1 SG/SF Virginia 6'7 17.7 6.4 2.8 0.4 0.8 43.3% 51.90% January 7th, 2019
ESPN.com - Projected Mock Draft 21 Daniel Gifford 20.3 C Arkansas 6"11 20.8 12.2 1.1 2.6 1.4 0% 64.70% January 7th, 2019
One Click on Tankathon 14 Brandon Clarke 22.4 PF Gonzaga 6'8 21.7 10.6 2.2 4.4 2.2 33% 69.30% January 3rd, 2019
All stats are PER 36. All stats via Tankathon.com.

Tankathon.com - PF Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga

Prospect Report via Sam Vecenie of the Athletic

Clarke was An All-Mountain West defender, so Gonzaga also had a good idea what it was getting on that end of the floor. However, I’m not sure that what Clarke has morphed into could have reasonably been predicted.

Indeed, Clarke might be the best defender in all of college basketball.

The now-6-foot-8 forward has played a lot of center for the Zags and has taken to the role of being the team’s primary rim protector with aplomb. He’s averaging 3.3 blocks per game, tied for fourth nationally along with 7-foot-6 UCF center Tacko Fall. Already, three of his blocks have made massive headlines. The first two came in the final 45 seconds of Gonzaga’s game against Duke, when Clarke rotated over twice from the weak side to block R.J. Barrett and preserve a victory over the then No. 1 Blue Devils. Against Tennessee, Clarke had what is inarguably the block of the first month of the season, when he met athletic wing Yves Pons at the top of the summit and sent him packing back to Fuveau in France.

NBADraft.Net - C Johntay Porter, Missouri

Prospect Report via Sports Illustrated

Most NBA teams were convinced Porter was staying in the draft last season before a late change of heart. After sitting out his sophomore year with injury, it would seem wise for him to enter his name for real this time around, riding the strength of last season. Porter needs to get into better physical shape, but he’s young for his class, and has an innate sense of where to be on the floor that would fit nicely with the stars Philly has in place. He won’t overwhelm anyone physically, but he’s skilled with the ball, a strong shooter and passer for his size, and has the kind of game that should easily mesh alongside other good players. The Sixers need to shore up their frontline behind Joel Embiid, and Porter would make a great deal of sense.

Sports Illustrated / ESPN.com’Ds Big Board - PF s Big Board - SG/SF De’Andre Hunter, Virginia

Prospect Report via Sam Vecenie of the Athletic

Overall, Hunter hit 38.2 percent on his 55 3-point attempts last season, a solid number that portends potential but still has some room for growth. I grabbed some highlights of Hunter shooting from distance last year. It’s certainly a confident stroke, but it’s one that can occasionally lose a bit of rhythm. He’ll also flare his right elbow out occasionally, which can create some inconsistency from left to right on misses. All of these little things can be pretty easily fixed with work, and I’d bet on them getting ironed out over the next three years. But he’ll need to show scouts improvement to keep up with his lofty status.

...

More than that, though, Hunter’s ability to switch onto different offensive player types and match up against a variety of skillsets is a legitimate NBA skill right now. Last season, Virginia used Hunter as a primary defensive assignment on possessions against a diverse group of players such as Theo Pinson, Boznie Colson, Temple Gibbs, Deng Adel, Josh Okogie, and Lonnie Walker. In that group, you’ll find physical guards, explosive guards, power post players, playmaking wings, and more. Hunter availed himself well against them all due to his ability to slide his feet, stay in front of offensive players, absorb contact, and then contest shots. He’s physical when he needs to be physical, like when standing up in the post against Colson, or quick-footed like when he’s facing off against Josh Okogie.

The Athletic/CBS Sports/ESPN.com Mock Draft - C Daniel Gafford, Arkansas

Prospect Report via Sports Illustrated

If Gafford were to slip to this point in the draft, it would be more a referendum on the baseline value of centers (and the needs of the previous handful of teams, in this scenario) than any indictment of his talent. He’s a long, fluid athlete and provides a nice vertical spacing element at center, able to run the floor, finish above the rim and block shots. His upside isn’t massive, but as long as he continues to get stronger, he should be able to impact the game on both ends and as a rebounder. He would be a nice coup for Utah, who could use a better backup option for Rudy Gobert.

*One Click on the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery Simulator*

Utah gets #3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and select ...

NCAA Basketball: Texas Southern at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

PF Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga


SLC Dunk’s Take

While some of these experts are taking draft needs into play, it would be wild if Utah selected yet another center in the NBA Draft. Looking at Utah’s big man corps 6’10 or taller who are on contract for next year currently—Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, and Tony Bradley—it would seem out of character to draft yet another Center. A floor spacing 4? Yes. But a Center with no outside shooting ability and spacing? Questionable.

If Utah were to go in the direction of Daniel Gafford out of Arkansas, I like the pick if it’s a value pick at #21 where ESPN.com is projecting Utah to finish. If Utah still has Favors, Gobert, and Bradley still on the roster, another center selected would be more of a referendum on Favors future as Utah approaches free agency and on Tony Bradley’s lackluster start to his career.

But this upcoming draft is in many ways similar to 2013 where Rudy Gobert and Raul Neto were drafted. It’s a rorscharch test for what you want to see and going to challenge even the best front offices when identifying talent. The best players to come out of 2013 where the young athletes that were committed to work, not the athletes that had somewhat polished college resumes like Nerlens Noel and Trey Burke.

With that said, once it gets to #14 in the draft, Utah has to go for the player they WANT and ignore the player that might be heralded as the best player available at that spot. Utah is in desperate need of shooters. I would like to see Utah come out of this draft with another shooter like De’Andre Hunter. Shooting was why they targeted Grayson Allen. If Utah is at 14 and Hunter is still there ... hopefully Utah gets him.