Who Do Utah Jazz Fans Like In Draft?

Jun 5, 2023, 4:49 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – With the NBA Draft just weeks away, Utah Jazz fans have turned their attention to the top prospects in this year’s class.

As we continue our breakdowns of the top prospects for the Jazz with their selections at nine and 16, fans weighed in on Twitter on who they would like to see the team select later this month.

Last week, I asked Jazz fans what would make for an A+ performance from Justin Zanik and Danny Ainge, and though it was far from a consensus, here is who they’d like to see land in Utah from the 2023 NBA Draft.

Jazz Fans Favorite At Number 9

Though this draft is considered relatively wide open after the top four picks, Jazz fans identified a few clear favorites with the number nine overall pick, with only six different players receiving multiple votes, and three others receiving a single vote.

Those single vote-getters were Kansas guard Gradey Dick, Indiana guard Jalen Hood-Schifino, and French wing Bilal Coulibaly.

Those receiving multiple votes were Houston forward Jarace Walker, Overtime Elite guard Ausar Thompson, Villanova wing Cam Whitmore, Kentucky guard Cason Wallace, Arkansas guard Anthony Black, and UCF forward Taylor Hendricks.

Of those six, Hendricks was the overwhelming favorite earning 45 percent of the vote, largely due to his fit with the team, and the realistic likelihood that he could be on the board when the Jazz select at nine.

Hendricks is a dangerous floor spacer, with excellent shot-blocking numbers who can also provide complimentary defense on the perimeter.

Currently, Hendricks, Black, and Wallace seem like the most likely candidates from those six to be available at nine, while Whitmore, Walker, and Thompson would have to drop from their projected spots in most mock drafts.

Jazz Fans Favorite At 16

After identifying Hendricks as the crowd favorite at nine, there was a wider spectrum of preferences with the 16th pick.

After seeing just nine different players receive votes for the Jazz’s highest pick, 19 individual players received votes for the 16th pick.

Of those 19, six players received just one vote, while four players received only two.

That left a total of nine players who received nearly 80 percent of the votes.

G League Ignite forward Leonard Miller, Arkansas guard Nick Smith Jr., South Carolina wing GG Jackson, Baylor guard Keyonte George, French wing Bilal Coulibaly, UConn wing Jordan Hawkins, Kentucky guard Cason Wallace, Michigan guard Kobe Bufkin, and Indiana guard Jalen Hood-Schifino all received at least four percent of the vote.

Despite a larger pool of vote-getters, two names stood out among the rest.

Hood-Schifino of Indiana was the overwhelming favorite receiving 24 percent of the vote while Michigan’s Bufkin received 17 percent.

Hood-Schifno had a strong showing at the NBA combine highlighting his large frame for a point guard. Bufkin was a late riser during the college season, moving up draft boards thanks to strong play as the Wolverines made him a more intricate piece in their offense.

Luckily for the Jazz, their biggest areas of need (backcourt depth and a big wing) are both addressable in this draft.

If the two fan favorites were to be selected by the Jazz on draft night, the team will have found two future potential starters at point guard and power forward, providing size and skill to the young roster.

When Is The 2023 NBA Draft?

The NBA Draft will be held on June 22nd at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The draft will be broadcast on ESPN.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Who Do Utah Jazz Fans Like In Draft?