Utah Jazz Mock Draft Round-Up 1.0

May 20th, 2015 | by David J Smith
Wisconsin big man Frank Kaminsky is someone who might be on Utah''s radar. (Mary Langenfeld / USA TODAY Sports)

Wisconsin big man Frank Kaminsky is someone who might be on Utah”s radar. (Mary Langenfeld / USA TODAY Sports)

The NBA Draft Lottery has come and gone and while the Utah Jazz did not get lucky, they now know that the 12th pick is indeed theirs on June 25th. With draft positions settled, the next few weeks will be exciting with player workouts, trade rumors, potential promises, posturing by agents, players rising or dropping and so forth. It also means that the mock drafts are now out in force.

As we did last year, we will regularly provide a mock draft round up with naturally a Jazz focus. Each of the following mocks was updated following Tuesday evening’s festivities. Without further ado…

ESPN.com Mock Draft 5.0 (Insider), Chad Ford (updated 05.20)

NBA Draft guru Chad Ford is one of the best follows this time of year. He churns out constant content and updates his mock draft and big board often. In his first post-Lottery iteration, he has Utah going with 6-10 forward Trey Lyles out of Kentucky. With strong young players at each position, Ford feels the Jazz have the luxury of truly selecting the best player available. That will most definitely be the case for Utah. Regarding Lyles, Ford says he “has a high basketball IQ, good size for his position and versatility,” while also noting that he is “not the most explosive athlete.” There is a lot to like about Lyles. He is fundamentally sound and does a lot of things well. With the Jazz’s need for a stretch four, can he push his range out the NBA 3-point line?

He also feels the Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker, along with UCLA’s Kevin Looney are also possibilities for the Jazz at #12. Later in his post, he mentions Bobby Portis as another player Utah likes.

DraftExpress Mock Draft, Jonathan Givony (updated 05.19)

DraftExpress is arguably the best draft resource out there, flush with insightful scouting reports, videos and the sort. They keep things updated, sometimes daily. Givony sees Kaminsky being the Jazz’s guy, which makes sense on many levels. At 7-1, Kaminsky’s ability to open the floor with his deft shooting is such a plus for him. He has a fine repertoire of scoring moves, but his perimeter touch is the biggest positive. Kaminsky is a smart player who has elite passing abilities. He moves well for his size and can rebound. Most of all, he is a leader who exudes leadership and makes his teammates better. Raise your hand if you knew that he had a 35.0 PER. He has to be on Utah’s short list.

In the second round, Givony goes with a pair of international players in relative unknowns Timothe Luwawu and Marc Garcia.

NBA.com Mock Draft, Scott Howard Cooper (updated 05.20)

NBA.com has the Jazz also going with Kaminsky, for all the reasons above. While he may not have the highest ceiling, Kaminsky’s floor is pretty solid.

SI.com Mock Draft 2.0, Chris Mannix (updated 05.20)

Mannix also does a fine job. Like Ford, he sees the Jazz opting for Lyles, saying he is a “solid face-up forward who has shown flashes of a decent perimeter game.” Willie Cauley-Stein also is mentioned, but given the questions GMs have about his game, he would be an interesting pick for Utah. With a troika of Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert and Cauley-Stein, opposing teams would have a horrendous time scoring.

CBS Sports Mock Drafts, Sam Vecenie, Zach Harper, Gary Parrish (updated 05.20)

This is a three-for-one package, with a trio of mock drafts from their excellent writers. In his updated list, Sam Vecenie sees the Jazz bringing forward Kelly Oubre of Kansas into the fold. Oubre is an intriguing prospect, given his athleticism, size and sheer potential on both ends of the court. He has a tantalizing set of skills, but may take some time to develop on the NBA level. Vecenie says that “no player in the lottery has a wider range of potential outcomes than Oubre.” My guess is Oubre will probably not be available at #12, but if he is, the Jazz would probably have to take a long look at him. In the second round, he has center Rakeem Christmas from Syracuse at #42 and Lithuanian center Arturas Gudaitis and #54.

Harper goes with forward Kevin Looney in his mock draft, saying he would add depth and be another asset for future deals. He suggests that the Jazz will trade one of their second round picks, something I too see happening. He goes with Eastern Washington guard Tyler Harvey and center Mouyssa Diagne of Senegal in the second round.

Lastly, Parrish forecasts another Booker coming to Salt Lake City. Devin Booker would indeed help address the Jazz’s need for enhanced shooting prowess. The Kentucky guard is a pure shooter who has the potential to be elite in this aspect on the NBA level. Beyond that, he has a lot to work on. There is potential to be solid defensively, but it will take time. Beyond that, having a pair of Bookers, along with Trey Burke and Alec Burks would undoubtedly be oodles of fun for Utah’s broadcasting team. Parrish predicts the Jazz going for small forward Jonathan Holmes of Texas at #42 and undersized center Alan Williams at #54.

Sporting News Mock Draft, Sean Deveney (updated 05.20)

Deveney prognosticates the Jazz taking swingman Mario Hezonja. By many accounts, Hezonja — who is a teammate of big men Ante Tomic and Tibor Pleiss — will not make it this far in the draft. He is understandably very highly regarded. If he slips to #12, Utah would probably be ecstatic. He is a very good scoring small forward with deep range. Hezonja also crashes the boards and is a willing passer. He would be a stellar fit for Snyder’s offense. He also has defensive upside. This would be a no-brainer if Hezonja was still available when Utah is on the clock.

Bleacher Report Mock Draft, Jonathan Wasserman (updated 05.19)

BR has 6-11 big man Myles Turner coming to Utah. Turner would be an interesting player off the bench for the Jazz, one well worth a look. He has the potential to be a good stretch four candidate. Turner has nice shooting touch and the potential to extend his range, too. His ability to block shots would add to Utah’s strong front court. Along with Kaminsky, Turner will be someone to keep an eye on.

NBA Draft Net Mock Draft (updated 05.19)

This one has Kaminsky’s teammate, Sam Dekker, being Utah’s pick. Dekker is another interesting prospect who could do well for the Jazz. He has very good size and is as fundamental a player as there is out there. He can get to the basket, can score through a litany of moves and possesses range. His shot, however, is not as consistent as it will need to be. With the need for shooting threats, that will something for the Jazz to consider. Dekker is unselfish, but knows when he needs to step up and carry the offense in spurts. Interestingly enough, his NBA comp on this site is Gordon Hayward. Oregon combo guard Joseph Young and Bulgarian forward Aleksandar Vezenkov are listed as Utah’s two second-round picks.

Feel free to share your thoughts below, perhaps suggesting players you think would help bolster the Utah Jazz’s strong, young core.

David J Smith

David J Smith

Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News and has written for the Utah Jazz website and Hoopsworld.com (now Basketball Insiders). He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. He and his incredibly patient wife, Elizabeth, have some amazing children--four girls and two boys. Voted "Most Likely to Replace Jerry Sloan" in high school.
David J Smith

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  1. Don says:

    Assuming they pick up a talented wing like Dekker, Oubre, Booker or Hezonja, where is he going to get playing time to develop his game? From Hayward, Burks or Hood?

    Didn’t we just let Big Al, Millsap and Carroll go so that we could develop young talent? Are we going to do that again?

    I gotta admit, Hood would look great in Atlanta with the rest of our walkaways.

    • David says:

      Don, solid questions. PT on the wings could indeed be an issue. Even so, you always have the take the best player available and then sort things out. You never know what happens with injuries or trades.

  2. cw says:

    If Kaminski does good in the workouts, then he would be the best selection. He meets the jazz needs, and being older ther eis a better chance he could help right away, which meets the Jazz’s time table. A guy on a four year rookie scale contract who can contribute form the start is gold in this league.

    I think there are two big questions. 1. can he guard well enough. There might be wiggle room here because he could be protected by the rest of the Jazz excellent D. And 2. can he get his shot off against NBA talent? He seems to have the size so it probably comes down to is he athletic enough to make a hook shot and get off a stand still three pointer against NBA strenght and speed. If he can do those two things I’d draft him. Hopefully the jazz will have him go against rudy or Favors or booker.

    • David says:

      Kaminsky adds shooting, size and savvy. There are definitely questions about his game, but as a bench player, they may not be as prominent of issues. As for getting his shot off, the play of the Jazz’s point guards and the overall flow of the offense could also contribute to his effectiveness.

  3. Spencer says:

    In my estimation, the greatest need the Jazz have is this:

    A stretch four who can defend on the perimeter AND be a miss-match. All other positions have both the talent and the size to be a miss-match every night. Remember how Lamar Odem just killed the Jazz as the Laker’s 6th man? He made Boozer pull at least three hammies trying to keep up.

    I believe that Looney has that potential. Plus everyone says he is a humble kid with a great attitude and work ethic. Sounds like someone Snyder can turn into something special.

    Booker fills that role very well right now. Looney could take things to another level in a few years right when we are peaking as a team. And in addition, he has the length of a center, the ability to pass and drive of a small forward, he very high release on a pretty good shot. I could see a lineup of Gobert Favors Looney Hayward and Exum playing in stretches that would be absolutely the longest lineup on the history of the NBA.

    Looney! Looney!

    • David says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, Spencer! Looney has appeal, for all the reasons you mention. Whoever the Jazz draft (if they keep the pick), Snyder and the coaching staff will work hard in helping them develop. They were key to the growth of so many of Utah’s young players this past season.

    • Paul Johnson says:

      Another player who may fit that mold is Trey Lyles, but it’s difficult to know until the Jazz can conduct workouts.

  4. My dream scenario would be to trade up for Kristaps Porzingis. Maybe even for Mario Hezonja. If they stay at 12, I like Booker (the youngest player in the draft, and possibly the best shooter) or Looney. I like taking a shot at a home run type of pick at 12, a young player that won’t necessarily push for playing time next season but can develop for future stardom in a Jazz uniform.

  5. Dan says:

    Somewhat off the topic, however I am curious about Bryce Cotton. Any thoughts as to where he fits into the Utah Jazz organization(if anywhere)? At times I thought he was better than Trey or Dante. I saw more potential from him than Dante as a backup.

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