Utah Jazz: A look back at NBA Draft history before 2019

Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images /

With the Utah Jazz holding picks No. 23 and 53 in the 2019 NBA Draft, let’s look back at some notable players that they have selected at those picks before 2019.

Throughout their history, the Utah Jazz have made some notable selections in the annual NBA Draft.

Some key names that come to mind immediately include when the Jazz moved up and picked hidden gem Donovan Mitchell in 2017, as well as Hall-of-Famers John Stockton in 1984 and Karl Malone in 1985 in distant history.

In the 2019 NBA Draft, Utah will look to find another key player it can add to the mix during the 2019-20 campaign. This year, the Jazz hold the No. 23 overall pick in the first round of the draft, along with No. 53 selection in the second round.

Before the draft kicks off in June, let’s take a look back at the players that Utah has selected at those positions in team history and analyze how they did throughout their careers in the NBA.

No. 23

At pick No. 23, the Jazz have selected a total of four players at that spot throughout their history:

In 1979, they picked guard Tico Brown out of Georgia Institute of Technology. Brown never ended up playing in the NBA throughout his basketball career, going on to play eight seasons in the Continental Basketball Association before retiring in 1988. In the CBA, Brown won two championships and retired as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 8,538 points.

In 2000, Utah selected wing DeShawn Stevenson out of Washington Union High School (after he originally committed to playing college ball at Kansas). Stevenson spent nearly four seasons with the Jazz before he was traded to the Orlando Magic during the 2003-04 season. In 222 games in Salt Lake City, Stevenson averaged 5.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 16.7 minutes per game.

In 2008, the Jazz picked center Kosta Koufos out of Ohio State. Koufos, who wrapped up his 11th season in the NBA, played two seasons in Utah before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2010. In 84 games, he averaged 3.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in 8.8 minutes per game.

In 2014, Utah selected wing Rodney Hood with the No. 23 overall pick in the draft. Hood, who is probably the player with the best resume out of the four, spent his first four seasons with the Jazz prior to being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2017-18 campaign. He is currently in his fifth NBA season with the Portland Trail Blazers.

In his time in Salt Lake City, Hood served as a solid offensive option while mixing between a starting and bench role, averaging 13.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.8 steals per game in 227 total games.

Here are a few other notable selections in NBA Draft history at No. 23:

No. 53

At pick No. 53, Utah has selected just one player during its draft history: Tadija Dragicevic in 2008.

Dragicevic was selected in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft out of Serbia. His draft rights were traded in June 2012 to the Dallas Mavericks and later traded to the Chicago Bulls in 2014. Currently, his draft rights are held by the Houston Rockets. Dragicevic, who has yet to play in the NBA, currently plays for Cafes Candelas Breogan of the Liga ACB.

Here are a few other notable selections in the NBA at No. 53:

Although the Jazz aren’t likely to strike gold when it comes the players they pick at Nos. 23 and 53 in the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft, they could still find a solid player that could contribute moving forward in Salt Lake City.

Next. Each team's greatest NBA Draft pick of all-time. dark

We will find out soon who Utah will add to the mix for the 2019-20 season and beyond in June.