Throughout the next six months, look for periodic updates so you can see all the mocks in one location–perhaps once a month through the rest of the season and then more frequently after the NBA Draft Lottery transpires on 05.20 and leading up to NBA Draft on 06.26.
ESPN.com’s Mock Draft 2.0, by Chad Ford (Insider), updated 01.22.
Again, Chad Ford is one of the premier NBA Draft gurus out there (plus, he was kind enough to sit down for an interview with me three years ago during the lockout). In this iteration, Ford has the Jazz nabbing power forward Julius Randle from Kentucky at the #5 slot and with the Golden State pick, 6’3″ combo guard Semaj Christon from Xavier at #23. Ford says that “Jazz fans will be hurting if [Jabari] Parker is off the board…but Randle isn’t a bad consolation prize.” Randle is a double-double waiting to happen, but would be interesting should the Jazz front court still consist of Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Rudy Gobert. He is a potent scorer with some concerns about his defensive effort. Christon, he says, would be selected to shore up the bench thanks to “his elite athletic abilities with a scoring touch.”
Draft Express 2014 Mock Draft, by Jonathan Givony, updated 01.22
This site is one of the best in the business. It should be noted that team needs have not been taken into consideration here. Givony has Utah going with forward Jabari Parker at #3, shooting guard P.J. Hairston at #24 and Trey Burke’s former Michigan teammate Mitch McGary at #34. This would be many Jazz fans’ ideal situation–bringing the versatile and ready-to-contribute Parker to the Jazz. He can play multiple positions, is a team player and has a sense of leadership about him.
The high second rounder is something that is understandably getting lost in the Draft hype. It is a very valuable pick, as a team can often get a bubble first-round guy without being tied down to a rookie contract. Keep your eyes on this, either as another player for the Jazz or as an asset in a trade.
NBA Draft.net 2014 Mock Draft, updated 01.09
This too is a site that does not account for team needs until the Draft is closer. This version has Andrew Wiggins coming to the Jazz at #3, guard Markel Brown of Oklahoma State at #25 and Swiss big man Clint Capela at #34. Wiggins would be another excellent fit in Utah, given his athleticism and defensive prowess and potential.
CBS Sports.com 2014 Mock Draft, by Gary Parrish and Zach Harper, updated 01.13 and 01.18
Parrish and Harper offer a two-fer. While they do not lists the teams next to the picks, Parrish has guard Marcus Smart at #5 and Andrew Harrison at #23. Harper has Australian guard Dante Exum and power forward Adreian Payne at those slots. Given Trey Burke’s impressive rookie campaign, it would be interesting if the Jazz opted for either Smart or Exum. They both have good size to play alongside Burke.
My NBA Draft.com 2014 Mock Draft, updated 01.14
They have the Jazz going with Randle at #5, Glenn Robinson at #24 and Aaron Harrison at #35. Robinson is a scorer who opted out of the 2013 Draft to remain at Michigan.
Sporting News 2014 Mock Draft, updated 12.30
Obviously the various sites have the Jazz picking at different positions given the timing of their respective updates. There are naturally a lot of variables given that there is half a season to be played and the trade deadline less than four weeks away. Given Utah’s current situation, the draft will be a huge story line going forward.