Utah Jazz Draft Board: Post-Lottery Edition

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2014

Utah Jazz Draft Board: Post-Lottery Edition

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    As the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame ridiculous odds and landed the No. 1 pick for the third time in four years, the Utah Jazz found itself among a handful of teams disappointed over losing the lottery.

    Utah came in with a 10.4 percent chance to land the top pick. Cleveland had a 1.7 percent chance, and thanks to their ridiculous jump to the top, Utah was bumped down to No. 5.

    That means they'll almost certainly miss out on the four prospects who've been talked about as potential No. 1s over the last several months: Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid and Dante Exum.

    Utah general manager Dennis Lindsey doesn't think all hope is lost, though:

    Dennis Lindsey: "There’s several good players that will be selected even past 5 so we think that we have a great asset to improve the Jazz."

    — Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) May 21, 2014

    And he's even hinted at possibly trying to move up:

    Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey said the team will perhaps try to aggregate picks 5, 23 and/or 35 to trade up.

    — Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) May 21, 2014

    If they do hang on to the No. 5 pick, they'll have some great options.


    Unless otherwise noted, all stats are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com and are current as of May 21, 2014.

    Player measurements courtesy of DraftExpress.com.

1: Dante Exum

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    Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard

    Age: 18

    Height: 6'6"

    2013-14 (U19 Worlds via Real GM): 18.2 PPG, 3.8 APG, 3.6 RPG, 44.6% FG, 33.3% 3FG

    With the Orlando Magic slotted to pick fourth, chances of Dante Exum falling to the Jazz are extremely slim. If he does, Utah should snag him in a heartbeat.

    As a 6'6" point guard with great lateral quickness, Exum is going to be a matchup nightmare. Imagine him in a lineup next to another 6'6" guy who can play both guard positions in Alec Burks. Talk about a backcourt of the future.

    The biggest question would be whether Exum can develop a reliable outside shot. Utah will need that from their perimeter players to create space inside for the likes of Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.

2: Marcus Smart

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    Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard

    Age: 20

    Height: 6'3.25"

    2013-14: 18.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.8 APG, 42.2% FG

    If Utah doesn't get the chance to take Exum, Marcus Smart would be a great consolation prize. Had he entered the draft last year, he likely would've been a top-three pick.

    In one of his 2013 mock drafts, ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required) said, "According to sources, Orlando had its heart set on Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart until he broke its heart when he decided to stay in college."

    He was a hot commodity last summer because of the combination of size and athleticism he'll bring to the point guard position. That hasn't changed in 2014.

    Despite registering a height just over 6'3" at the combine, it's still safe to say Smart is huge. He weighed in at 227 pounds, with 10.6 percent body fat and a 6'9.25" wingspan.

    Now combine that size and frame with insane strength:

    Marcus Smart also bench pressed 185 pounds 19 times, tied for 3rd best at the NBA Combine this year. One of best ever among PGs historically

    — Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 16, 2014

    And athleticism:

    Marcus Smart's lane agility time of 10.82 is faster than John Wall (10.84), Russell Westbrook (10.98) and Chris Paul (11.09)

    — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 16, 2014

    Smart could be a defensive nightmare for opposing guards the moment he puts on an NBA uniform.

3: Aaron Gordon

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 18

    Height: 6'8.75"

    2013-14: 12.4 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 49.5% FG, 35.6% 3FG

    If the Jazz choose to go big with the No. 5 pick, Aaron Gordon is an intriguing option.

    At the combine, he proved what most already knew or assumed about him: He's a pretty ridiculous athlete. He measured 6'8.75" in shoes with a 6'11.75" wingspan and a 39" vertical.

    Because of that combination of size and explosiveness, he's already drawn comparisons to combo forwards Shawn Marion and Andrei Kirilenko.

    That's the position at which Gordon sees himself as well. According to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix, Gordon had this to say after the combine:

    I see myself as a forward. I see myself as a basketball player. Obviously, you have to play a position in the NBA, but I'm going to do a little bit of everything. Post up, hit jumpers, go by people. I'm going to do it all. I'm confident that I can play both the three and four.

    That kind of versatility would help Gordon find a spot in Utah's rotation right away.

4: Noah Vonleh

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    Position: Power Forward/Center

    Age: 18

    Height: 6'9.5"

    2013-14: 26.5 MPG, 11.3 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 52.3% FG, 48.5% 3FG

    Utah had the worst defense in the league this past season, giving up 109.1 points per 100 possessions. A big part of the problem was porous interior D.

    Derrick Favors was decent, but his frontcourt mates of Marvin Williams and Enes Kanter really struggled to provide much help on that end.

    A long, versatile and athletic combo big like Noah Vonleh could help fill that need.

    At the combine, he measured a huge 7'4.25" wingspan, which is even more impressive when you consider his 37" vertical.

    The combination of he and Favors would be very difficult to score over at the rim.

    And Vonleh can score too. In his lone season at Indiana he showed an array of moves in the post and solid footwork that defied his age. 

    He also showed solid touch as a jump shooter, making 16-of-33 three-point attempts.

5: Julius Randle

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 19

    Height: 6'9"

    2013-14: 15.0 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 50.1% FG

    One of the best interior scorers in this crop of rookies is Julius Randle.

    He bullied his way to double-figures in points in all but five of Kentucky's games this past season, scoring in ways reminiscent of Zach Randolph.

    Thing is, Utah already has a great post scorer who isn't known for great defense in Enes Kanter. If the Jazz goes big, expect it to be a defensive-minded player.


    Andy Bailey covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him @AndrewDBailey.