The Utah Jazz have been one of the prominent Western Conference Teams for most of the last 20 years. With Carlos Boozer most likely leaving town, the Jazz will need to make some shrewd moves to stay near the top of the West. Snagging the Knicks’ pick at #9, the Jazz will have the opportunity to do just that.
Returning Players- Andrei Kirilenko (SF); Deron Williams (PG); Paul Millsap (PF); Mehmet Okur (C); CJ Miles (SG); Kosta Koufos (C); Ronnie Price (PG); Wes Matthews (SG); Kyrylo Fesenko (C)
Team Payroll (9 Players) – $54,790,979
Estimated Salary Cap – $56,000,000
Team Needs- Bench scoring; Fresh blood in the frontcourt; backcourt depth
Position Needs – SG, SF, PF
Picks – 1st Round (#9); 2nd Round (#55)
Analysis- It’s looking like the tumultuous tenure of Carlos Boozer in Utah is coming to an end and while the team performed well while he was there, they never seemed to live up to lofty expectations. Still, they have one of the best players in the league in Deron Williams and a capable supporting cast. Holding the Knicks first round pick, the Jazz will have a Top 10 pick to help try and keep them near the top half of the Western Conference.
With Boozer likely gone, and this draft being especially deep at the Power Forward position, look for the Jazz to try and find his replacement with the #9 pick. They most likely will have a couple of good options here, including Patrick Patterson from Kentucky, Ekpe Udoh from Baylor, and Ed Davis from North Carolina. Of the 3, Patterson would be the best fit for the Jazz offense. He can play both inside and out, has the ability to stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting, and can be a great asset on both the offensive and defensive boards. Udoh and Davis are both raw on the offensive end, but both can be game-changers on the defensive end. The other possibility at #9 could be for the Jazz to look for another scorer in the backcourt. If they want to go in this direction, look for them to target Xavier Henry, who has the ability to score in bunches.
In the 2nd round, the Jazz have the 55th pick and will most likely look to address their bench scoring if a player they like is available. Some possibilities in this spot are Jerome Dyson from Connecticut or Dwayne Collins from Miami. Both players could bring energy and scoring at any point during the game, while Dyson can alone change the pace of a game.
If they make the right choice at #9, there shouldn’t be much of a drop-off from the end of the Boozer Era. No matter what, Coach Sloan will make it work.