2. Chuma Okeke
Chuma Okeke, who is listed as a 6’8″ power forward, is currently recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered during Auburn’s impressive run in the NCAA Tournament in March, but he shouldn’t be overlooked at No. 23.
That injury alone could be enough for teams to look elsewhere with their first round draft pick, which could include the Jazz, but the potential of Okeke and how his game could translate to the NBA might just be intriguing enough for a team to take a chance on him later on in the opening round.
After putting together a solid career at Auburn and showcasing some of that talent on the big stage at the NCAA Tournament before his injury, Okeke looks like the type of player you could plug into a lineup to play multiple positions on both ends of the floor.
Along with his ability to shoot the ball both in the paint and outside from 3, Okeke is the type of player that could stretch the floor for the Jazz and allow them to both improve their numbers from beyond the arc, as well as open up opportunities for Rudy Gobert in the post.
The downside of Okeke being picked in the first round by Utah would be the fact that he probably wouldn’t be able to come in and immediately have an impact in Salt Lake City while recovering from his knee injury. The other thing when dealing with a young player and an ACL injury is the unknown of whether or not they will fully return to form.
When it comes to selecting in the first round, many teams would obviously prefer a player that could come in and contribute during his rookie season right off the bat. With Okeke, any team that drafts him will have to be patient.
If Okeke is able to fully recover from his ACL injury and return to his athletic form that he displayed throughout his collegiate career at Auburn, he could be a nice addition and could contain a lot of upside at the No. 23 spot for Utah.