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Best Draft Picks in Utah Jazz History

How has Utah fared over the years?

The 2019 NBA draft is nearly upon us. We tried to put together a nice stream breaking down the prospects, which can all be found here. I talked specifically about the history of the 23rd pick here and what you might expect from that draft position.

I’ll stick with the draft theme today as well. Today, however, I’d like to go through Utah’s draft history. The Jazz have been in Salt Lake City since 1979. This year marks 40 years of the Utah Jazz. That’s 40 years worth of draft history for us to work through, so let’s get started.

Here is my (probably biased) list of the best draft picks from each top 60 spot in franchise history.

  1. File Not Found - The Utah Jazz have never selected first. Not once in 40 years. That seems unlikely, yet here we are.
  2. Darrell Griffith (1980) - Dr. Dunkenstein. Great name for a great player that played his entire career in Utah. The Jazz nailed the highest pick in franchise history with this Hall of Famer.
  3. Deron Williams (2005) - This probably should have been Dominique Wilkins. But if that were the case then the Jazz would probably not be in Utah anymore.
  4. No selection
  5. Dante Exum (2014) - No competition here for the Australian guard. Could this finally be the year he lives up to being a top 5 pick?
  6. No selection
  7. Thurl Bailey (1983) - Thurl had himself a great career here in Utah and it’s great still having him around the team.
  8. No selection
  9. Gordon Hayward (2010) - who?
  10. No selection
  11. No selection
  12. Alec Burks (2011) - what could have been if it weren't for an unfortunate series of injuries
  13. Karl Malone (1985) - An MVP and Hall of Famer at 13th? Yeah you take that Delivery every single time. The Jazz also traded up for Donovan Mitchell at 13th. They should draft here more often.
  14. Ronnie Brewer (2006) - Brewer played a solid role for one of the most successful teams in franchise history. Then got salary dumped.
  15. Dell Curry (1986) - Only played his rookie season in Utah, but went on to have a long, successful career.
  16. John Stockton (1984) - I still can’t believe that in back to back drafts and with picks in the teens the Jazz found Stockton and Malone.
  17. Eric Leckner (1988) - Your guess is as good as mine
  18. Luther Wright (1983) - Scored a total of 21 points in his one and only season.
  19. Sasha Pavlovic (2003) - Also only played his rookie season in Utah. He did have a decent stint in Cleveland.
  20. Eric Maynor (2009) - I was excited about his potential. Unfortunately it never materialized following a great college career at VCU.
  21. Blue Edwards (1989) - Played some great minutes for the Jazz in the early 90’s, averaging nearly 10 points a game during his 2 separate stints. Could Grayson Allen take over this spot eventually?
  22. No selection
  23. DeShawn Stevenson (2000) - I went with Stevenson here because of how long he stuck around in the league. I believe Rodney Hood will eventually supplant him.
  24. Andrei Kirilenko (1999) - I was really tempted to go with Tyler Lydon, because that pick helped us land Donovan Mitchell. But AK-47 is one of the best players, let alone drat picks, in franchise history. He’s in the top 5 in most statistical categories. What I would do to add him as a stretch 4 to the roster today!
  25. Morris Almond (2007) - He scored a lot of D-League points
  26. No selection
  27. Rudy Gobert (2013) Technically he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets. But screw that. We’ve had The Stifle Tower since day 1.
  28. Greg Ostertag (1995) - The starting center during the Finals runs. That’s about all I can say.
  29. Nazr Mohammed (1998) - He never actually played for the Jazz. He was just drafted by Utah.
  30. Josh Hart (2017) - Maybe the Jazz should have just kept this pick instead of trading up...
  31. No selection
  32. No selection
  33. Walter Palmer (1990) - No idea who that is.
  34. CJ Miles (2005) - He never put it completely together, but Miles has had a fantastic NBA career for a 2nd round pick out of high school.
  35. Jarnell Stokes (2014) - Has never suited up for the Jazz.
  36. No selection
  37. Carey Scurry (1985) -Stuck around for 2.5 seasons before being traded to New York.
  38. No selection
  39. No selection
  40. No selection
  41. No selection
  42. Thomas Bryant (2017) - Again, maybe the Jazz should have kept this pick along with #30 instead of trading up...
  43. No selection
  44. Ante Tomic (2008) - Yes, we still own his draft rights.
  45. Bryon Russell (1993) - I’d say this pick worked out quite well. Russell was a key piece during the glory days. He scored nearly 6,000 points in a Jazz uniform.
  46. Erick Green (2013) - Thanks for helping bring Rudy Gobert to us. Shoutout to Dee Brown!
  47. Paul Millsap (2006) - One of the best careers from a 2nd round pick, Millsap was always so easy to cheer for. He still is honestly. Jazz also got Mo Williams at 47, so it’s been a good pick for them.
  48. Isaac Austin (1991) - Played a couple forgetful years in Utah before being moved.
  49. Steve Trubmo (1982) - Apparently he played for BYU?
  50. Goran Suton (2009) - He didn’t actually make the final roster
  51. Robert Whaley (2005) - He was actually an AAU coach in Utah until his arrest in Layton.
  52. Joel Bolomboy (2016) - I’m still convinced he could be a rotational NBA player.
  53. Jarron Collins (2001) - Another great late-round pick by Utah, Collins played a backup and spot starter role for Utah for 8 years.
  54. Shandon Anderson (1996) - Played a few bench minutes behind Bryon Russell. I just remember how a video game used to say his name whenever he made a 3 “SHANDON ANDERSON!!”
  55. Jeremy Evans (2010) - The advanced statistical darling and NBA dunk champ.
  56. Nate Erdmann (1997) - Yep.
  57. Torraye Braggs (1998) - Double yep.
  58. Eddie Lucas (1999) - Triple yep.
  59. No selection
  60. Tyrone Wallace (2016) - Mr. Irrelevant was able to shed that nickname after a couple pretty successful years in LA, for which he’s still under contract.

Well, there you have it. The best selections for each pick in Utah Jazz history. It’s obvious who the 2 best picks ever were. Actually, it’s probably obvious who the best 4 picks have been, even if two of them were traded for and technically not drafted.

Who do you think the best picks in franchise history have been? Who were the biggest steals? Hopefully this helps gets you more excited for the draft next week!