Utah Jazz Draft Central Florida Forward Taylor Hendricks With Ninth Pick
Jun 22, 2023, 7:02 PM | Updated: Jun 26, 2023, 1:06 pm
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz selected Central Florida forward Taylor Hendricks with the 9th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday.
The Jazz used their first and only lottery pick on the forward from Central Florida.
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Utah is also set to pick at 16th and 28th.
Hendricks was the Jazz’s first first-round pick since Santi Aldama in 2021. Utah traded that pick to Memphis before the selection.
The last first-round pick to stay in Utah was Udoka Azubuike, drafted with the 27th pick in 2020.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) June 23, 2023
About Central Florida Forward Taylor Hendricks
Before even watching Hendricks it’s easy to recognize that the Knights freshman has one of the most impressive statistical profiles in all of college basketball as a scorer, rebounder, and shooter.
Standings 6-foot-9 with a 210 lbs frame, Hendricks has prototypical size for a modern big man and could potentially see time on the floor at all three frontcourt positions.
From day one in the NBA, Hendricks will be a floor spacer who punishes defenses that sag off of him in the corners, while finishing above the rim as a backdoor cutter and in transition.
His smooth shooting stroke, mixed with his size will be a strong combo to keep him in the NBA well beyond his rookie contract.
Have some questions surrounding Taylor Hendricks' on-ball upside given his footwork, balance, and handle, but there were some nice flashes of shooting OTD that he showed this year where his high release made it tough for defenders to contest his shots pic.twitter.com/TwEpBeOROe
— Zach Milner (@ZachMilner13) May 1, 2023
Though it wasn’t his primary role in college, Hendricks showed rare flashes as a face-up threat taking his man off the dribble and finishing at the rim. With further development and improved NBA spacing, he could become more of a shot-creator than he was in college.
While he averaged only 1.4 assists per game, Hendricks has a knack for making quick passes near the rim to teammates cutting to the basket. There’s a strong likelihood that the lack of talent around him at UCF hurt his assist numbers.
Defensively, Hendricks offers excellent length, especially near the rim where he showed strong instincts as a shot-blocker swatting 1.7 shots per game. The Florida native gets off the floor quickly to challenge shots at the rim and does so with excellent verticality.
Due to his length and athleticism, Hendricks projects as a potentially high-level switch defender on the perimeter, something every team in the NBA is looking for.
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