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.