With the Utah Jazz season over, it’s high time to look to the offseason checklist. A big part of that list is the draft and a major landmark in the draft occurred yesterday: the Draft Lottery.
In no way did this event concern the Jazz, who were guaranteed to pick at 30 since the end of the regular season, but an explosion of mock drafts have come out in the last 12 hours or so. Some like NBA.com and the NY Post only project the lottery in the immediate aftermath, but most have branched out to at least the end of the first round.
So who does the NBA media world think Utah will take with their pick? Well, in looking at nine mock drafts (all the major ones I could find that have been released since the lottery results), there’s not much consensus. But there is one theme that can be found: the Jazz are gunning for defense on the perimeter.
SB Nation — J.T. Thor | 6’9” PF | Auburn
ESPN — Miles McBride | 6’2” PG | Auburn
CBS — Josh Christopher | 6’4” SG | Arizona State
Rookie Wire (USA Today) — Miles McBride | 6’2” PG | Auburn
Bleacher Report — Aaron Henry | 6’6” SF | Michigan State
SI.com — Terrence Shannon | 6’6” SF | Texas Tech
Yahoo — Trey Murphy III | 6’9” SF | Virginia
NBA Draft Room — Isaiah Todd | 6’10” PF | G-League Ignite
These pick projections are a mix of high-upside guys like J.T. Thor and Terrence Shannon mixed with ready-now players such as Trey Murphy III and Miles McBride.
Perhaps a tad surprising is the one duplicate in the mocks, McBride, is a pick at point guard when the general sentiment (and aforementioned theme) is that Utah needs a defensive wing player. But if the Jazz chased that need in free agency, it would make sense that backup point guard, a smaller but still present need, could be addressed in the draft.
If taking a point guard doesn’t take the front office’s fancy (or if McBride goes ahead of 30), there are plenty of options on the wing as demonstrated by the diversity of players mocked to the Jazz. The only one that doesn’t make much sense is Josh Christopher, a scoring-centric shooting guard, something Utah already has plenty of. The remaining picks all present good-to-great upside as defensive prospects and varying degrees of offensive viability.
The one thing not present in mock drafts is the idea of the Jazz taking another center. But even if Utah wanted to pick a center, No. 30 is a bad place to as there aren’t many centers around that part of the draft. Instead, it’s heavy with wings and a couple of point guards, and that should play to the team’s advantage come draft day.
Which initial mock draft selection do you like the most?
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Trey Murphy III