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Despite Mike Conley trade, Utah Jazz expected to be aggressive on NBA Draft Night

The early part of the 2nd round is going to be LIT.

2018 NBA Draft Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Utah Jazz may have made one blockbuster of a trade, but that doesn’t mean they’re done yet. The Utah Jazz are still expected to be aggressive in pursuing trades on draft night. While Derrick Favors, Dante Exum, Royce O’Neale, and others were not sent anywhere in the Mike Conley trade, that doesn’t necessarily mean Utah is standing pat with anything; it also doesn’t mean Utah is going to send another player packing. Tony Jones of The Athletic has the info.

There’s a reason for this. Many of the players Utah worked out when they were scouting for the #23 pick in the NBA Draft could find their way to the early 2nd round. That would put them on really team friendly contracts that are non-guaranteed. Perfect for a team like Utah that is trying to manufacture as much cap space as possible to fill out their roster.

Who could that be? Sam Vecenie of The Athletic updated his draft board and this is who he has falling into the early 2nd round:

31. Brooklyn Nets (from NYK) — Darius Bazley

6-9 wing/forward, sit-out, New Balance

Bazley does have a very real shot to end up in the first round. There are a lot of teams interested at this stage, due to his athleticism and ability to hit shots. The Nets have been known to take high-upside risks in the past, and this would certainly suffice as one of those that could pay off as they look to build out their frontcourt.

32. Phoenix Suns — Carsen Edwards

6-0 combo guard, junior, Purdue

The Suns could use another lead guard, especially if they decide to go with a wing as they do above in this mock draft. Edwards is a terrific shooter, and his ability to run off ball and play as a floor-spacer would fit nicely in lineups with Devin Booker. This would be a massive steal for me, as I have Edwards rated about 10 spots higher on my board.

33. Philadelphia 76ers (from CLE) — Eric Paschal

6-7 forward, senior, Villanova

I have Paschall rated as a first-round pick, and think this would be a steal for Philadelphia. He’s a tough, physical, strong guy who is a high-level culture player. It’s easy to envision him playing some bench minutes early for them, and he’d additionally give them some backup in case Tobias Harris decided to move in a different direction in free agency. He’s also a good above-the-break 3-point shooter with the ability to attack a closeout, something Philadelphia desperately needs from a spacing perspective.

34. Philadelphia 76ers (from CHI) — Bruno Fernando

6-10 center, sophomore, Maryland

Fernando is good, but what teams are starting to wonder if what exact role does he play in the NBA? He’s not much of a shooter right now, and his defensive awareness leaves something to be desired around the basket. He’s not a real switch guy on the perimeter defensively. He can certainly pass, which is great, and his IQ on that end is strong. He also has a nose for the basketball. But role questions are why you see Fernando slide to the second round here, as well as just the simple fact that the NBA has too many bigs. But Philadelphia would be a terrific landing spot as a backup center for Joel Embiid. Fernando’s range is going to start around the late teens or so, and end in the 30s somewhere. Much like any other big in this class, the range is wider than you’d think, depending on who ends up with the picks.

35. Atlanta Hawks — Chuma Okeke

6-8 forward, sophomore, Auburn

Okeke is a player who was getting discussed as a potential first-round pick prior to his injury with Auburn in the Sweet 16. He’s a terrific potential role player due his high basketball IQ and defensive ability. He can also step away and shoot it a little bit from distance. He has a torn ACL right now and will likely miss part of next season, if not the entire thing. Atlanta is still in a low stakes enough situation to where it can afford to develop Okeke and wait around for him.

36. Charlotte Hornets (from WAS) — Luguentz Dort

6-4 off-guard, freshman, Arizona State

Dort had a strong freshman season for the Sun Devils, averaging nearly 17 points a night. But his jump shot and lack of point guard skills give evaluators pause when trying to determine a role for him at the next level. The good news is that the jumper is improving and has already made legitimate strides since he left Tempe, and his defensive ability is unquestioned due to his tenacity on ball.

37. Dallas Mavericks — Louis King

6-9 wing/forward, freshman, Oregon

King’s draft range is a bit wide at this stage, with a chance for him to go in the first round, but it’s more likely he goes in the top-half of the second round. He’s big at 6-foot-9, and has legitimate potential to shoot it and handle the ball. He needs to put on weight to play the 4, or be a bit better laterally to play the 3 on defense. But at still just 20 years old, teams think he could be a solid role player.

38. Chicago Bulls (from MEM) — Talen Horton-Tucker

6-4 … “player,” freshman, Iowa State

Chicago’s general manager Gar Forman has a history with Iowa State, and Horton-Tucker is from Chicago. It’s a match made in heaven. Personally, this is higher than I’d take Horton-Tucker, as I’m not entirely clear what he’s able to do while playing for a team on his initial contract. He has legit ball skills, great length with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, and the idea of positional versatility going for him. But he’s a pretty bad defender right now, and he struggles to shoot it from distance. At only 18 years old, he might be a second-contract candidate.

Players like Carsen Edwards, Eric Paschall, and Talen Horton-Tucker have all worked out for Utah and were targets for the #23 pick. They could be had for the right combination of 2nd round draft capital for Utah. There’s still plenty of reasons to watch the NBA Draft. If you want to get caught up on some of these players you can read about them in Draft Preview articles below:

Eric Paschal 6-7 forward, senior, Villanova

Luguentz Dort, 6-4 off-guard, freshman, Arizona State

Talen Horton-Tucker, 6-4 … forward, freshman, Iowa State

Carsen Edwards, 6-0 combo guard, junior, Purdue