The NBA Draft Lottery has come and gone and the 0.5% probability the Utah Jazz had of moving up to the top pick proved to be exactly that: a 0.5% chance. Jazz President Randy Rigby did his best to bring luck to the table, but it simply was not to be.
The Jazz brass will prepare, as they most likely have been doing all along, with the 14th, 21st, and 46th pick in June’s NBA Draft. And with those picks, they could add some solid talent while filling team needs.
This now becomes the time where Utah Jazz fans eagerly anticipate player workouts, front office interviews, the onslaught of online rumors, and, of course, the litany of mock drafts out there.
So, what do the various mocks have Utah doing with their picks? Here is a summation of some of the popular mock drafts out there all in one place, along with who they have pegged coming to the Jazz.
ESPN.com Mock Draft 3.0 (Insider), by ESPN Insider Chad Ford
Chad Ford is one of the true Draft gurus in the business. He is well-connected and does his homework. Over the next few months, he will update his prognostications. Off the heels of the Draft Lottery, he has the Jazz going with UCLA’s small forward Shabazz Muhammad at #14 and Miami’s point guard Shane Larkin at #21.
Muhammad has long been listed as mid-lottery pick, so Ford is suggesting that he is sliding. He’s a scorer, but at 6’6”, he’s on the short end of things for a small forward and may not quite have the handle needed for shooting guard. That said, he is extremely talented and would be someone Utah would have to consider if his slid.
Much has been said of Larkin’s athletic showing at last week’s NBA Combine. Ford says the diminutive point guard could be “the perfect fit.” He can shoot and facilitate, though his size is a question.
Draft Express does some of the best work out there. Their videos, analysis, and statistical breakdowns really help shed light on things. This is their first mock draft that takes team needs into account.
DE has the Jazz selecting German point guard Dennis Schroeder at #14 and power forward Tony Mitchell at #21. At #46, point guard Myck Kabongo is the prediction.
Schroeder is this year’s international man of mystery. A month ago, few knew about him and now he is the talk of the town(s), including Salt Lake City. He made some comments to NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper that mentions Utah being one of his preferred destinations. He is athletic, speedy, and uses his length (6’7” wingspan) on defense.
Mitchell is athletic and physical. He’s a shot blocker and rebounder who will need to work on finishing (43.7% shooting). Kabongo already has worked out for Utah and seemed to genuinely love the potential of playing for the Jazz. He has some well-documented off-court issues, but boasts a solid all-around game. He too needs to work on his shooting.
NBA.com Mock Draft, by Scott Howard-Cooper
Given the aforementioned interview, it makes sense that Schroeder is slated here at #14. Center Steven Adams, who by many accounts was one of the biggest surprises at the Combine, is listed at #21. His stock is rising in many mocks. Adams brings a lot of energy and good size (6’11”, 235).
SI.com’s Mock Draft 1.0, by Chris Mannix
Mannix sees the Jazz going with shooting guard Jamaal Franklin out of San Diego State with #14 and Larkin at #21. Franklin can do a bit of everything, with his rebounding being elite for his position—something Utah has traditionally loved in guards. He is not a deep perimeter threat.
CBS Sports.com Mock Draft, by Jeff Goodman and Matt Moore
Goodman and Moore do their own drafts, based on their own research and contacts around the league. The former has the Jazz going with Larkin and shooting guard Archie Goodwin. Moore lists Mason Plumlee and Allen Crabbe. Plumlee is intriguing as a polished player who improved each season at Duke. He also tests well at the NBA Combine.
Hoopsworld.com Mock Draft, by Steve Kyler
At #14, Kyler predicts shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and at #21, Schroeder. KCP is a prolific shooter, making 2.6 three-pointers per outing (38% shooting). He too is an excellent backcourt rebounder.
SportingNews Mock Draft, by Sean Deveney
Deveney sees the Jazz going with point guard with both first-round picks. He predicts Schroeder and Larkin at #14 and #21, respectively.
This site takes it one step further, saying the Jazz will go with Michael Carter-Williams, Larkin, and Kabongo. While the Jazz seem to always have three point guards on the roster, having three rookie leads might be a stretch. MCW is a tantalizing prospect, thanks to his court vision and size (6’6”). His biggest struggle is his inconsistent shooting.
This just lists the Lottery picks, and sees Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk being Utah’s man at #14. He is among the best shooting big men in the Draft and could be a solid complement as a stretch four alongside Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.
This one sees C.J. McCollum slipping down to the Jazz at #14 and tall, lanky Giannis Antetokoumpo at #21. Many other mocks have McCollum going high to mid-Lottery, so if he fell, the Jazz would have to consider him. He is a shooter/scorer and less of a traditional point guard. He has solid size and had injuries derail his season. Not as much is now about Antetoukoumpo. He is just 18-years old out of Greece and it may take a little while for him to come over. With two draft picks, the Jazz could go the investment route. He appears to be versatile and can handle the ball for a tall guy.