It’s that time again…our monthly look at the various NBA mock drafts out there. First off, there are still 26 games on the docket, so let’s enjoy them. That said, it is absolutely okay to keep an eye on the draft. After all, the 2014 Draft could profoundly affect the short and long-term status of the franchise.
As things currently stand (and the standings at the bottom of the league ebb and flow nightly), the Utah Jazz are in line for picks #7, #23 and #37. The #7 slot has a 4.3 percent chance of moving up to the top pick. The bottom trio of the Milwaukee Bucks, the Philadelphia Sixers and Orlando Magic may be too far “ahead” of the Jazz, but the others–Los Angeles Lakers, the Sacramento Kings and the Boston Celtics are all within striking distance. The New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers are also in the same realm.
The Golden State pick will either be in the low 20s or, should the Dubs fall outside of the West’s top eight, be pick #14. They are just 0.5 game up on the #7 Dallas Mavericks, 1.5 on the #8 Phoenix Suns and 3.0 gms up on the #9 Memphis Grizzlies, who have been one of the West’s most consistent teams the past several weeks. Anything can happen.
ESPN.com’s Mock Drafts (updated 02.02 and 02.12)
The maestro of mocks, Chad Ford, has not updated his Mock Draft 2.0 (Insider) substantially since our last visit. As a reminder, it had the Utah Jazz taking forward Julius Randle at #5 and guard Semaj Christon with the Golden State pick at #23. Ford has the Jazz at #6 in his weekly Tank Rank. When playing the Lottery Mock Draft, the most common player coming up–when Utah stays at #7–is point guard Tyler Ennis. He is an intriguing prospect but, unlike Dante Exum, does not have the size to play shooting guard. With Trey Burke on board, that would not make much sense.
Jeff Goodman came out with his Mock Draft 1.0 a few weeks ago (another Insider offering). Exum was the Jazz’s pick at #5, while #21 saw them take 18-year old small forward Mario Hezonja out of Croatia, citing his “tremendous skill and potential” as an “insurance policy” in case Gordon Hayward is elsewhere (which I highly doubt).
Draft Express Mock Draft by Jonathan Givony, updated 02.26
Freshly revised, Givony has the Jazz going with big man Noah Vonleh at #7, swingman Sam Dekker at #23 and small forward Glenn Robinson at #37. This would be an intriguing assortment of additions to the young core. Should the Jazz miss out on top prospects like Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Exum, Vonleh might be a very good option. Dekker and Robinson would add some shooting. This mock does not account for team needs yet.
NBA Draft.net Mock Draft, updated 02.25
This iteration has Exum falling to the Jazz at #7. That would be rather shocking, but the Jazz would not be complaining. #23 would be guard Vasilje Micic from Serbia and #37, small forward CJ Fair of Syracuse. Micic would be curious, especially if the Jazz had Burke, Alec Burks, Exum and possibly Raul Neto on roster.
Hoops Hype Mock Draft, updated 01.27
Not included in our last look, Hoops Hype had Utah opting for Randle at #5 and Payne at #23. They have shooting guard Gary Harris at #7, FYI.
My NBA Draft.com Mock Draft, updated 02.25
This site lists Marcus Smart at #6 to Utah, followed by forward Chris Walker of Florida at #23. Given his controversy, one wonders if the Jazz would stay away from the mercurial Smart. He certainly has a lot of talent, though his suspect outside jumper might cause some to hesitate.
CBS Sports.com Mock Drafts, not updated since January
No updates here. In the current slots, Gary Parrish would have Utah selecting Exum and Andrew Harrison, while Zach Harper goes with Aaron Gordon and Adreian Payne.
There you have it. Again, a lot will happen between now and the end of the season. The Draft Lottery will occur in May and then the real action can begin.