The NBA Draft is coming up, which means The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for each NBA team. Each day, a new team will be analyzed for their past season, their team needs and targets. Today, the Utah Jazz will be evaluated.
Compared to the season prior, this year was disappointing for the Jazz. While the team finished fifth in the Western Conference with 50 wins, they were eliminated in five games by the Houston Rockets. Utah made the semifinals in 2018.
On offense, Utah could still use some improvement despite a strong sophomore season by Donovan Mitchell, who averaged 22 points per game. Utah ranked 14th offensively this year, and was middle of the road in points scored per game, as well as three-point shooting. Utah needs some more offensive talent to go with their stellar defense if they want to start contending in the West.
The Jazz have two picks in the 2019 NBA Draft.
First Round: Pick No. 23
Second Round: Pick No. 53
Point guard- With Ricky Rubio headed into unrestricted free agency, a point guard may need to be drafted to replace him. Rubio is a great facilitator who played well in Utah’s offense which ranked fourth in assist percentage. A guard who can score and pass would be a great pickup for the Jazz, even as a backup to Rubio.
Small forward– Jae Crowder and Joe Ingles are both solid players at the three position who each bring a different set of skills to the table. A young wing scorer to play behind them on the depth chart would be a wise draft move for the Jazz.
First Round, Pick No. 23: Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue
Edwards would be a good draft pick for Utah with the 23rd pick. The junior point guard played great last season at Purdue, averaging 24.3 points on nearly 40 percent shooting, 35 percent from beyond the arc.
Edwards at the point guard spot would be an upgrade over Dante Exum. As a backup, Edwards could provide some instant offense.
Edwards and Mitchell could become one of the better scoring backcourts in the league with time and development.
Second Round, Pick No. 53: Darius Bazley, SF
Utah could roll the dice on Darius Bazley with their second-round pick.
Bazley, a McDonald’s All-American in high school, took an unconventional path to the NBA. Committing to Syracuse, the changing plans to go to the G League, then forgoing that to train on his own, Bazley is projected to be drafted in the second round.
The Rich Paul client is an athletic 6-foot-9 forward with a 6-foot-11 wingspan. Despite limited action, Bazely could develop into a good scoring forward in the future.
Stats credited to basketball-reference.com.