We’re a little over halfway through the season and the college basketball season is starting to move towards the conclusion of the regular season so it’s time to visit the draft site and what prospects are in the Utah Jazz region in the upcoming draft.
If the season ended today, here’s where the Jazz would pick based on the picks/rights they hold.
- Number 13 (Own Choice)
- No. 18 (via Minnesota)
- No. 28 (via Philadelphia)
In previous editions of this series, we’ve looked at several other players, including Kyle Ware, Terquavion Smith, Aussar Thompson, Tyrese Proctor, Chris Murray, Harrison Ingram, Leonard Miller, Jarras Walker and Jordan Walsh. A few of these players have come out of the Utah area or even out of interest, but today we’re adding nine more names to the options list.
We now take a look at mock drafts to see who is in the Utah region and who the Jazz will pick. The reference for certain choices will be the Consensus Big Board developed by our very own Anthony Cheng. He compiles the latest 11 mock drafts and ranks them by average on big boards or mock drafts.
According to the current consensus rankings, the Jazz have Gregory “GG” Jackson II, a 6-10 freshman out of South Carolina, in the 13th grade. Utah is expected to select 7-foot center Kelly Ware at No. 18. Outside of Oregon. And at 28, the Jazz will pick Duke’s 7-foot-1 freshman center.
Suffice it to say these consensus picks, while informative about where these prospects currently stand, don’t help us predict who the Jazz might take. Considering the strength of Utah’s roster with big forwards and centers (Lori Markkanen, Walker Kessler, Jared Vanderbilt), the Jazz are unlikely to be loaded with much volume. First-round picks are used to add versatility on the wing and ball handling.
Here are just a few of the prospects I’ll be featuring in the Utah region right now.
Kansas | Hot man | 6-8 | No. 12 in consensus (12.94 ADP)
The freshman wing is a bit of a surprise for lottery consideration, but his play has warranted that rise. Dick isn’t a very high-flying wing and at just 205 pounds, he’s not big. But he’s a dynamite shooter (42.7 percent from three) and a solid scorer (14.8 points per game).
If Dick can fill out his frame, he can at least be a very good 3-and-D player. He already ranks high in defensive metrics at the college level and gets steals at a solid rate (nearly three per 100 possessions). Adding more weight should make for a better finish on the rim.
Gregory “Gigi” Jackson II
South Carolina | Hot man | 6-10 | No. 13 in consensus (14.73 ADP)
Although he wrote off Jackson a bit in the above paragraph, there is a possibility that Jackson may have drawn from Jazz’s interest. Despite his size, which lends itself to clashing with Markkanen’s positioning, he’s a very modern forward who can handle the ball and operate from the perimeter.
Jackson’s downside is that he’s not very effective right now. Of 1,196 NCAA players who made at least 150 field goal attempts, Jackson ranked 1,117th in true shooting percentage. He’s taking a variety of shots, the kind usually taken by first-year scorers, but the shots that require him to pass the ball and score in the NBA aren’t falling for him. Maybe he can grow in that area but it will take time. But he has more. Jackson is just 18 years old and doesn’t turn until December 19th.
Michigan | Hot man | 6-8 | No. 14 in consensus (15.79 ADP)
Former Michigan great Juwan Howard, the Jets are a versatile point guard but the floor-spacing forward is minimal. Howard is shooting 38.2 percent from 3-point range at a pace of nearly seven per game. He is ranked in the 91st percentile in pitching by Synergy Sports.
There is some potential in defense. He wasn’t a world beater at that end and his offseason results could limit his potential if he doesn’t translate to the NBA. Another area of concern around defense is running back. Despite his good size, he only carries 2.7 catches per game and is one of the bigger players on the team (except for 7-1 Hunter Dickinson).
Ohio State | Hot man | 6-6 | No. 19 in consensus (20.85 ADP)
For Senbauf (bThe athletics 14th in the mock draft/big board), is his scoring prowess. Despite his growing scoring burden (he wasn’t a starter to start the year) and taking all kinds of tough shots, Sensabaugh is making 50.6 percent of his shots overall and 47.4 percent of his threes. At 235 pounds, Sensabaugh is a wrecking ball in the paint but athletic enough to move around the court.
The fact that skeptics may arise is likely to be the footage that Sensaba is now taking in this clip, especially in the next stage. But if he’s a truly exceptional shooter, he could be a mid-first round steal.
New Zealand Makers | 18 years | 6-6 (7-2 Wingspan) | No. 22 in consensus (24.35 ADP)
Jazz took an interest in young Rupert (turned 19 at the end of May). On January 26, Utah was one of nine NBA teams to send representatives to the Breakers game.
Rupert’s upside is rooted in his potential as a 3-and-D wing. He has size at 6-foot-6 and a 7-foot-2 wingspan, but his 3-point shooting is a work in progress. Rupert is shooting just 26.2 percent from 3-point range this season, and has not shot more than 33 percent over the past four seasons in various leagues.
Xavier | Junior | 6-6 | No. 30 in consensus (32.48 ADP)
This year, Jones made a huge leap and made him a potential first-round pick. His scoring is up from 11.6 points per game last year to 14.5. But just as important are his jumps in 3-point percentage (29.2 to 40.6) and assists per game (3.2 to 5.0).
His limitations as an athlete prior to this season (and low volume this productive season) along with his draft history in the first round may keep some from taking him up. There’s a chance he’ll be a solid bench and rotation player, though.
Terence Shannon Jr
Illinois | High | 6-6 | No. 31 in consensus (35.13 ADP)
Shannon repeatedly refused to enter the draft. He could enter after a sophomore season where he showed his athleticism and potential to NBA scouts. He also had a chance to quit after being part of Texas Tech’s run to the Sweet 16. After transferring to Illinois, he increased his scoring average from 10.4 to 17.4.
Shannon has solid NBA potential with three-point scoring chops and good athleticism. His age at this point stands out as a negative, but he could earn a spot in the rotation early as a scorer.
Jaime Jaquez Jr
UCLA | High | 6-6 | No. 31 in consensus (35.13 ADP)
Jakes is a player who has all the skills of NBA players but lacks some of the athleticism. But he has enough athleticism and solid size to use those skills in the NBA. He could put a little more work into his 3-point shooting (career 32.7 percent from three) and become a versatile wing with borderline starter potential.