Utah Jazz Potential Draft Options
Updated: Jul 29, 2021
These are what I view are the best possible options for the Utah Jazz for tonight's NBA Draft.
The Utah Jazz have only the 30th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. What they will do with this pick? This is what I predict may happen after coming off a second-round playoff exit.
The way I look at this year’s draft analysis, there is a lot of “what ifs” within the organization. One big what if is the future of Mike Conley with the Utah Jazz. As of this morning, Conley posted a video of his self-care routine with doTERRA, a company that is based out of Utah. Donovan Mitchell jokingly commented on his posted trying to connect the dots for his return to the team. Granted nothing can become official till signings of free agents on August 6th. Later in the article I will cover what I feel should be the best options for the Utah Jazz.
In this year’s draft, the Jazz have just one pick in this year’s draft with the 30th pick, the last pick of the first round. With this pick, the Jazz need to find a player that can help with the teams struggling perimeter defense, along with being an effective scorer that can come off the bench or serve as another option at the point to allow Mitchell to create off the ball. In this year’s draft, theirs is a lot of focus on the lottery picks, but also a lot of working projects for the prospects that are hoping to hear their names on draft night. With Utah having the final pick in the first round, these are the names that I consider to be the best possible options for the organization.
Ht./Wt.: 6’4/200 lbs.
The Chicago native has been listed as a potentially good fit for the Jazz organization. He spent two seasons at the University of Illinois under Head Coach Brad Underwood. After his first year at Illinois, Dosunmu considered entering his name into the 2020 NBA Draft but heard that he was a shooting guard that could not shoot. He took that to heart and returned to Illinois for his sophomore season and improved his field goal shooting percentage from 43.5% to 48.4%. He focused on his basketball IQ and taking smarter shots for the success of the team by taking more shot inside of the three-point line, taking thirty more attempts within the three-point line and even making thirty more shots than the previous year. With this comes a decline in his three-point shot, going from 50-142 his freshman year to 29-98 his sophomore year and even down to 32-82 his junior season. Though his three-point frequency decreased, his points per game increased each year with his final season averaging 20 PPG. He’ll be crucial piece when it comes to fast breaks with his incredible open court speed and in transition to defensive the Jazz will hope that his 6’8 wingspan can translate to confusion on turnovers on the opposition.
Ht./Wt.: 6’6/215 lbs.
School/Organization: Michigan State
With George Niang being a unrestricted free agent this offseason, finding a versatile forward to help the secondary unit is key to help prepare Utah to feel confidence in resting their starters for key moments in each game. Henry can provide that type of relief with his off the ball playmaking ability he possesses. During his time at Michigan State, Henry was a known catch-and-shoot player, making him dangerous in transition and a potential boost from the bench to relieve the tension from Ingles and Clarkson as off the bench scorers. He has shown with the Spartans that he can be a reliable player, improving in every statistical category besides three-point percentage. With the Jazz, Henry could be a potential younger replacement for Joe Ingles, who is rumored to be traded on draft night. At 6’6, Henry can become a threat in transition and with the ball in his hands he’ll be able to utilize his playmaking abilities and getting the rest of the team in rhythm.
Ht./Wt.: 6’10/205 lbs.
With the age of Thor, I feel that he is very much so a high-risk, high reward project if the Jazz decide to go in this direction. He was ranked a Top-50 prospect his senior year of high school and since has gained ten pounds in muscle and has grown another two inches according to his scouting profile. Thor’s athleticism and size is something that the Jazz is lacking, with Niang being a free agent, this leaves the organization with three men rotating two positions (PF/C), O’Neale, Gobert, and Favors. With that comes the question of if the Jazz will draft him in hopes that he continues to progress in the G League while bringing their first-round pick from last year, Udoka Azubuike, that was beginning to show some promise before his season ending injury. Even though Thor is a more agile player than the other big men on the roster, at the college level, you can see his raw talent but at time seems like the game is moving quicker than his basketball IQ can process. With his one year of collegiate basketball and his multiple weaknesses, I feel that Thor would be sent straight to the G League to harness the raw talent he has from the 9.5 points per game and 5 rebounds per game.
Outside of those three players, I believe the jazz should either trade down and hope for more developmental talent like they’ve done in years past with Elijah Hughes and Miye Oni, or trade for some veteran talent to help the Jazz get over the second-round hump in the playoffs. One trade that I’ve heard circulating is that the Lakers have proposed a trade that will include:
1st Round Pick #22 + Kyle Kuzma (University of Utah Alum.)
1st Round Pick #30 + Joe Ingles
Though I am personally not a fan of this trade but it does give the Jazz youth in their lineup along with a higher draft pick with the potential of being an effective draft pick that will be able to be on the court sooner rather than later.