Hard to believe, but seven games remain in the 2013-2014 season. The time flies by when you’re having… well, when the time flies by. In seriousness, while there have been some struggles, there are a lot of positives from this season–despite what Frank Isola may think. There are some solid young players, incredible financial flexibility and three very good picks in the upcoming Draft. As things stand, the Jazz are currently in line for picks #4, #23 and #34.
With this in mind, time for the monthly look at the myriad mock drafts out there and who they prognosticate for the Utah Jazz. Remember that several of these are not taking team needs into account just yet.
ESPN’s Draft coverage
NBA Draft guru Chad Ford has not issued an update from his Mock Draft 3.0 (Insider), which had the Jazz selecting forward Aaron Gordon at #7 and guard Mario Hezonja at #23. While waiting for 4.0, there are a number of great things on ESPN’s site. The NBA Mock Lottery grants the Jazz 11.9 percent chance of winning. There are also Ford’s Big Board and Top 100, which has guard Dante Exum at #4
DraftExpress Mock Draft, updated 04.02
In an interesting twist, DX has Julius Randle coming Utah at #4 (with Exum going #5). Power forward Adreian Payne out of Michigan State is listed at #23 and Washington’s C.J. Wilcox at #34.
NBA Draft.net Mock Draft, updated 03.26
This mock was quite a stretch. It has the Jazz opting for guard Kyle Anderson at #5. That is about 10 slots higher than most predictions. While Anderson is a very solid player thanks to his size and ball-handling abilities, this does not make this much sense. In this scenario, Exum, Noah Vonleh, Randle and Aaron Gordon are all still on the board. It also has guard James Young from Kentucky at #23 and Deonte Durton at #35. Hoopshype has a little more in-depth analysis on the same mock draft.
CBS Sports Mock Drafts, updated 03.26
This is a 3-for-1 for basketball fans, with Matt Moore, Zach Harper and Gary Parrish all offering their best guesses for the Draft. Parrish has the Jazz going with Vonleh at #5 (over Exum and Gordon) and Sam Dekker at #23–both intriguing prospects. Harper went with Randle and shooting guard Jordan Adams. Last but not least, Moore picked Vonleh and point forward Dario Saric. Some reports have Saric bowing out of the Draft, but nothing firm yet. Even if he does not come over right away, he could be a steal that low in the game, especially if he is truly Lottery talent.
The Sporting News Mock Draft, updated 03.26
Be forewarned, this is a slide show. Sean Deveney lays down his thoughts, saying he could see the Jazz nabbing Exum at #4 and Cleanthony Early at #23. Exum would be an exciting player capable of playing both guard positions. It would be an interesting dynamic alongside Burke (in his chat today, Chad Ford said that Exum very much wants to play point guard in the NBA and that he might be leery of working out for teams with young PGs in place). Besides having a stellar name, Early has been rising in many mocks thanks to his recent play.
My NBA Draft.com Mock Draft, updated 04.01
This is a mock that a lot of Utah fans could get behind. This has center Joel Embiid “slipping” to #4. His recent injuries are a definite concern, but he is teeming with potential. They they have forwards K.J. McDaniel at #23 and Chris Walker at #34.
As the season winds down–and especially after the NBA Draft Lottery in May–look for these updates more frequently, especially as the various sites start taking into account workouts, rumors, insights and the like. It will be interesting to watch.