State Of Utah Center Stage For Basketball Draft Season

Jan 22, 2024, 1:01 PM


Utah Utes center Branden Carlson (35) dunks the ball in the final minute of a men’s basketball game against the Brigham Young Cougars at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023. (Photo Cred: Megan Nielson, Deseret News)

(Photo Cred: Megan Nielson, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The state of Utah could take center stage as the draft season approaches for professional basketball.

With college hoops regaining its footing at universities across the state, Utah is set to play a starring role in both the NBA and WNBA drafts.

For the first time since the NBA Draft was shortened to two rounds, players from BYU, Utah, and Weber State might all hear their names selected in late June.

And, for only the second time, there may be a local player selected in the top 10 of the WNBA Draft.

Three Utah Players In Latest NBA Mock Draft

In’s latest mock draft, three local players are projected to be selected in the top 60 picks.

BYU’s Jaxson Robinson has been the biggest riser in the state having worked his way into the first round of a handful of mock drafts throughout the year.

Standing at 6-foot-7, Robinson has the prototypical size for an NBA wing while knocking down 37 percent of his three-point shots this season for the top-25 ranked Cougars.

Weber State’s Dillon Jones likely would have been drafted last season but opted to return to Ogden in hopes of improving his stock.

The 6-foot-6 do-it-all forward is averaging 18.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists and is likely to be selected in the second round of this year’s draft.

Utah’s Branden Carlson was also featured in the draft site’s latest mock.

The Utes big man is projected to be taken with the penultimate selection in the second round, but has been on the NBA draft radar for several years.

Carlson is averaging 16.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists while shooting 33 percent from the three-point line on 4.8 attempts per game.

Pili Likely To Be Top 10 Draft Pick

After another dominant year at Utah, Alissa Pili is generating significant buzz to be selected in the top 10 of the WNBA draft.

Pili helped lead the Utes to a PAC-12 title last season and chose to return for her senior season at Utah.

The All-American forward is averaging 22.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists while shooting a staggering 63 percent from the floor and 46 percent from three.

Pili is projected as the eighth overall pick to the Minnesota Lynx in ESPN’s latest WNBA Mock Draft.

Utah’s Shona Thorburn is the only other local player to be selected in the top 10 of the WNBA Draft.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

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.

NBA Draft

Taylor Hendricks celebrates after being drafted ninth overall pick by the Utah Jazz during the firs...

Ben Anderson

Taylor Hendricks, Brice Sensabaugh Out For Jazz Summer League Debut

Taylor Hendricks and Brice Sensabaugh have been ruled out for the Utah Jazz Salt Lake City Summer League opener on Monday.

8 months ago


Kyle Ireland

Jazz Rookie Taylor Hendricks Arrives In Salt Lake City Following Draft

Taylor Hendricks landed in Salt Lake City for the first time as a member of the Utah Jazz three days after the franchise drafted him.

8 months ago

Taylor Hendricks arrives prior to the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft...

Ben Anderson

NBA Announces Jazz Vegas Summer League Schedule

The NBA released the schedule for the 2k24 Las Vegas Summer League including dates and times for the Utah Jazz. 

9 months ago

Keyonte George celebrates after being drafted 16th overall pick by the Utah Jazz during the first r...

Ben Anderson

Jazz Add Significant Shooting, Size In Draft

The Utah Jazz added size and floor spacers after selecting Taylor Hendricks, Keyonte George, and Brice Sensabaugh.

9 months ago

Joey Hauser #10 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates a three point basket against the Marquett...

Ben Anderson

Jazz Sign Michigan State Forward Joey Hauser To Two-Way Deal

The Utah Jazz have signed former Michigan State forward Joey Hauser to a two-way contract after going unpicked in the 2023 NBA Draft.

9 months ago

Utah Jazz Brice Sensabaugh...

Chandler Holt

Jazz First-Round Pick Brice Sensabaugh Looking Forward To NBA Transition

No. 28 pick Brice Sensabaugh talks about his college experience and what he can bring to a young Jazz team.

9 months ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

State Of Utah Center Stage For Basketball Draft Season