Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Utah Jazz Post-Lottery 2023 NBA Mock Draft Roundup

Leading up to the 2023 NBA Draft, we will update our Utah Jazz Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Utah Jazz from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Jazz:

The Rookie Wire — Cody Taylor (5/19)

9. Cason Wallace, Kentucky

Given his ability to shoot and defend, Wallace looks to be a good fit with the Jazz. He brings a ton of energy on defense and has all of the tools and physical attributes to lock down opponents on a nightly basis. He showed he can run an offense efficiently after ranking second in the SEC in assists (4.3) and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio. He also projects to be able to step in and log big minutes, if needed.

16. Jordan Hawkins, Connecticut

Hawkins is regarded as perhaps the best shooter in the draft this year after finishing 12th in the country in 3s. From shooting on the move to coming off screens, Hawkins' game fits perfectly at the next level and would be a good addition to the Jazz.

28. Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA

Jaquez is another player that helped himself this week at the draft combine. He registered a 39-inch max vertical jump, which ranked seventh, and was third in standing vertical jump at 34.5 inches. He isn't necessarily a player many would consider one of the most athletic players in the draft but Jaquez has that ability. He has a tremendous ability to score and can also make an impact on the defensive side of the ball. He has shot up draft boards of late and now appears to be a potential late first-rounder.

CBS Sports — Gary Parrish (5/17)

9. Cam Whitmore, Villanova

16. Jett Howard, Michigan

Howard was the MVP of the Iverson Classic before his freshman season at Michigan. He can play multiple positions, make shots from the perimeter and is just, broadly speaking, a good-sized player with a well-rounded skillset, in part because he's the son of a former NBA player and high-major college coach.

28. Jalen Wilson, Kansas

Wilson is the latest Kansas alum to develop into a legitimate NBA player after spending multiple years under Bill Self. He made a huge leap from his third season to his fourth season with the Jayhawks while earning Big 12 Player of the Year honors.

Sporting News — Kyle Irving (5/17)

9. Cason Wallace, Kentucky

The Jazz have Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson, but securing a promising young guard may be in their best interest with a top-10 pick. Wallace is one of the best floor generals in this draft class and would give Utah a more traditional point guard.

The 19-year-old is the type of reliable playmaker, tenacious perimeter defender and developing scorer that any guard-needy team should be trying to target. With recent success stories like Tyrese Maxey, Immanuel Quickley, Tyler Herro, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, De'Aaron Fox, Jamal Murray and Devin Booker, Wallace is looking like the next Kentucky guard whose game should translate to the next level.

16. G.G. Jackson, South Carolina

The Jazz are a rebuilding team looking to acquire as much talent as possible and Jackson — the youngest player in this draft class — has the upside they're looking for.

At 6-9, 215 pounds with a 6-10 wingspan, Jackson already has the size, strength and length of an NBA player despite just turning 18 years old in December. Jackson has shown he can spot up, create his own shot off the dribble or put the ball on the deck and attack the rim. He has all the tools to be a switchy defensive stopper at the next level, using his motor and physicality to guard multiple positions.

28. Maxwell Lewis, Pepperdine

The Jazz could use another wing ball handler at this stage in the draft, and Lewis is the type of offensive-minded player who could help bolster their second unit.

Lewis was a mid-major riser who has become a projected first-round pick after being left off of nearly all preseason mock draft boards. The 6-foot-7 wing is an offensive weapon that will serve as an off-ball scorer and shooter at the next level. He can knock down perimeter shots in a variety of ways and he uses his size and length to finish at the rim, be it off the dribble or as a cutter.

He's the type of prospect that projects as a role player at the next level.

The Athletic — Sam Vecenie (5/16)

9. Anthony Black, Arkansas

The Scout: Black is maybe the smartest player in this draft class in terms of basketball IQ. He consistently makes the right play. Black averaged 13 points, five rebounds and four assists while shooting 45 percent from the field and is entirely reliable as a 6-7 point guard. On top of it, he's a terrific defensive player and one of the best in the class at the point of attack while also being switchable because of his size and strength level. I buy Black making decisions at an exceedingly high level and being able to reliably attack both ends of the court.

The Fit: The Jazz get to reshape their roster now following the Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell deals. Danny Ainge rebuilt the Celtics roster with a lot of size on the wing and on the perimeter (think Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Grant Williams and others). My bet is that they look for bigger wings and guards to build around, especially with where the NBA is going. Black fits the bill perfectly and would pair very well with some of the scoring guards on the roster.

16. Kris Murray, Iowa

The Scout: Murray isn't quite his brother in terms of effectiveness. He's not the shooter Keegan is, and he's not quite as athletic. But he's a 6-8, well-rounded wing who stepped into Keegan's role at Iowa and averaged 20 points, eight rebounds and two assists per game. And across the league, teams continue to look for wings with real size and athleticism who can immediately step in and play. At 22 years old, Murray figures to provide genuine value within the first two years of his career as a rotation three/four with starter's upside.

The Fit: The Jazz will use this NBA Draft to continue to build out their talent base following its trades of Gobert and Mitchell last offseason. They shouldn't really have a specific type. The goal should merely be to acquire the best talent. Murray is an athletic wing/forward with size who would give them some interesting lineup flexibility in the frontcourt next to Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler.

28. Maxwell Lewis, Pepperdine

The Scout: Lewis was one of the true breakout prospects of the first half of the 2022-23 college season because of his length, athleticism and shot-creation prowess. Lewis looked at times like a potential lottery pick as a 6-7 wing with about a 7-foot wingspan that was making 3s at around the 40 percent mark. But as the season wore on, we saw some further flaws. Teams began to sell out to stop him, and his production suffered. Over his final 12 games, he shot 37 percent from the field and 24 percent from 3 while turning it over nearly four times per game. Still, over the totality of the season, we're talking about a toolsy shot maker who averaged 17 points, six rebounds and three assists. He has a lot of work to do on the defensive end, and that will matter. But these guys tend to get picked, even if front offices are generally a bit more polarized on Lewis than people think.

The Fit: The Jazz have three first-round picks, and Ainge and Zanik seemed to reference valuing college offensive production at a high level in their postseason press conference, as well as a desire to add shooting and defense to the roster for next season. I buy Lewis as a shooter, and at this stage of the draft, it's exceedingly difficult to add both of those in a single player. The Jazz should continue to look to fill out wing and guard depth, given that their frontcourt of the future looks set with Markkanen and Kessler.

Yahoo! Sports — Krysten Peek (5/16)

9. Anthony Black, Arkansas

The Jazz could add Black in the backcourt and bring some size and playmaking as they continue rebuilding in the post-Donovan Mitchell era. Black is a reliable guard who plays the right way and was one of the best passers in college basketball. He is spending the pre-draft process working out alongside other projected first-rounders Whitmore, Gradey Dick and Jalen Wilson. Black's outside shooting remains an area of development, but he's a hard worker and it's little for concern with his upside and what he projects as an NBA guard.

16. Kobe Bufkin, Michigan

If the Jazz take a wing inside the lottery, this would be a good place to pick up a talented guard and Bufkin showed signs late in the season of high upside as a primary and secondary ball-handler. Bufkin's change of pace and the competitive edge he displays on the court makes him an intriguing prospect in the mid-first round as he shows glimpses of Tyrese Maxey with the way he finishes around the rim.

28. Bobi Klintman, Wake Forest

There's a lot of buzz surrounding Klintman heading into the draft combine week. Klintman, originally from Sweden, averaged only 5.3 points and 4.3 rebounds during his one year at Wake Forest but possesses tremendous upside with his size and skillset at the wing position. The NBA values youth and upside to a plug-and-play prospect and there is going to be a team that will take a swing on Klintman in the first round.

Bleacher Report — Jonathan Wasserman (5/16)

9. Anthony Black, Arkansas

The Jazz can add more playmaking at both ends with Black, who'd double as a ball-handling initiator and two-way wing. Coaches may eventually prefer him as the starting point guard, given his strengths as a passer and a 6'6", point-of-attack defender.

16. Dariq Whitehead, Duke

Jazz CEO Danny Ainge would put more stock into the high school scouting of Whitehead, who's having another surgery to repair a foot injury that was clearly bothering him at Duke. The 6'6", 18-year-old wing still shot extremely well from Duke, and anyone who watched the 2021-22 Monterverde season saw far more self-creation and athleticism from Whitehead than he was able to showcase in college.

28. Maxwell Lewis, Pepperdine

Teams sound split on Lewis, a 6'7" wing with smooth creation flashes, three-level shot-making skill and a 9-22 record at Pepperdine this past season. Teams will have to weigh his promising eye-test results and valued archetype against his low-impact production in a weaker conference.

SB Nation — Ricky O'Donnell (5/16)

9. Cason Wallace, Kentucky

There is no better perimeter defender in this draft class than Wallace. A 6'3 guard with a 6'6 wingspan and a strong 195-pound frame, Wallace not only blankets opposing guards but can also slide up and defend bigger forwards. He plays with a stunning combination of effort and intelligence on the defensive end, never giving up on plays — as evident by a deep collection of chasedown blocks — while mastering opponents' tendencies. Wallace's offense is a little less refined, but he can hit a spot-up jumper (34.6 percent from three on four attempts per game) and acts best as a connective passer on the perimeter.

16. Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas

Smith was supposed to be the best NBA prospect in college basketball this year. Instead, he battled a knee injury and gave pro scouts more questions than answers about his game during his one year at Arkansas. At his best, Smith is an incredible half-court scorer who can beat defenses with floaters, pull-up jumpers, and spot-up threes. He didn't get to and finish at the rim as often as NBA teams wanted, and his thin frame is going to face major questions defensively. Smith's best role in the league might be as a microwave bench scorer, but you don't have to squint too hard to still talk yourself into star upside here.

28. Sidy Cissoko, G League Ignite

Cissoko is a long and strong French wing who projects as an impact defender. At 6'7 with a 6'10 wingspan, Cissoko has a strong chest and quick feet that allows him to defend multiple positions on switches. He was excellent at coming over to get blocks and steals as a help defender during his year with the Ignite. His offense is less developed at this point but he has a decent shooting stroke on spot-ups and can throw some interesting passes as a ball handler. Scouts will want to see if he can pressure the opposing defense as a scorer with the ball in his hands.

CBS Sports — Kyle Boone (5/16)

9. Taylor Hendricks, UCF

The meteoric rise last season of Santa Clara star Jalen Williams -- and his subsequent stellar season as a rookie with OKC -- has taught us not to overlook mid-major stars. Hendricks is perhaps the latest example of that, as he starred for UCF last season as a sharpshooting forward who can protect the rim and be a havoc-wreaker on defense.

16. Kobe Bufkin, Michigan

A second-year player for Michigan, Bufkin blossomed into a bona fide first-round talent this past season. He has a nice combination of scoring and creation that might make him an appealing two-way guard in the league.

28. Bilal Coulibaly, Metropolitans 92

Coulibaly is a late riser in the 2023 class who has showed flashes of excitement for Mets 92 as a teammate of Victor Wembanyama's. He's a raw prospect who has the physical ability, athleticism and length that teams like in wings.

For the Win — Bryan Kalbrosky (5/16)

9. Jarace Walker, Houston

Houston's Jarace Walker, the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, is one of the most promising defensive prospects in this draft class. He is capable of guarding either the ball handler or the screener in pick-and-roll actions, which will translate well to the next level.

Walker crashed the boards hard and boxed out his opponents on 39.8 percent of opportunities, per AI-Powered statistics provided by Stats Perform. That ranked as the most among projected first-round draft picks.

Although a bit undersized for his position measuring 6 feet 6.5 inches, he makes up for it with his bounciness. His standing vertical (34.5 inches) ranked at the 2023 NBA Draft Combine ranked in the 97th percentile among all participants since 2000, per Stadium Speak.

16. Jordan Hawkins, Connecticut

UConn's Jordan Hawkins is a movement shooter perfect for the NBA.

The All-Big East guard leads all players in points scored on handoffs and off-ball screens during the NCAA men's tournament, per Synergy. But this isn't just a stellar run for the UConn star during March Madness. He has done this all season.

The NCAA champion drew a ton of contact and led Division I with 23 fouls drawn on 3-pointers, per CBB Analytics. Even if defenders got a hand in his face, Hawkins still managed to shoot 38-for-93 (40.6 percent) on contested 3-pointers, per AI-Powered statistics provided by Stats Perform.

28. Sidy Cissoko, G League Ignite

G League Ignite's Sidy Cissoko found a rhythm down the stretch, averaging 15.2 points and 3.3 rebounds with 4.4 assists as well as 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game during 13 appearances after the All-Star break.

Opponents were just 10-for-33 (30.3) when he was credited as the nearest defender in the restricted area of the paint, per AI-Powered statistics provided by Stats Perform. That ranked as the best among consensus top-100 prospects with at least 30 attempts tracked in that zone.

Cissoko has flown under the radar during the pre-draft process but could make a high impact.

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