UTAH JAZZ

Utah Jazz Draft Prospect: Kentucky G Rob Dillingham

May 2, 2024, 3:29 PM | Updated: May 8, 2024, 5:42 pm

Rob Dillingham #0 of the Kentucky Wildcats...

Rob Dillingham #0 of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Kentucky guard Rob Dillingham is projected to be selected in the lottery of the 2024 NBA Draft where the Utah Jazz own a yet-to-be-determined top-ten pick.

The Jazz own three of the top 32 selections in the 2024 draft allowing them to add to their already young core.

Here’s how Dillingham would fit with the Jazz if he lands in Utah in late June.

Related: Utah Jazz 2024 NBA Draft Prospects

Utah Jazz Draft: Rob Dillingham – G – Kentucky

Stats: 15.2 points, 3.9 assists, 2.9 rebounds: .475/.444/.796

Strengths: One of the most aggressive freshmen in college basketball, Dillingham hunted shots and made them at an elite level at Kentucky.

With a lightning-quick release and the ability to create space off the dribble, Dillingham shot an impressive 44 percent from the three-point line on 4.5 attempts per game.

Despite coming off the bench as a freshman, the guard was a microwave scorer and didn’t need any time to find his rhythm within the offense.

Beyond his elite shooting and twitchy athleticism, Dillingham showed an impressive ability to get shots off inside the arc against bigger defenders, converting a respectable 49 percent of his two-point field goal attempts.

Though scoring is his strongest trait, Dillingham recorded a healthy 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio averaging just under 4.0 assists per game in 23 minutes a night.

Already an effective pick-and-roll player, there may be more to Dillingham’s passing than he showed at Kentucky if he can team with NBA-quality bigs like Victor Wembanyama or Alperen Sengun.

Weaknesses: While Dillingham’s scoring profile may be among the best in the draft, his size limitations make him an abnormally high bust risk in the lottery.

Though he’s listed at 6-foot-3 and 176 pounds, the freshman will likely measure much shorter than that at the draft combine.

Dillingham is not only short, but he also has a slight frame that allows opposing defenses to target him every possession down the floor.

The guard struggled mightily to navigate screens, while bigger offensive players simply backed him under the hoop and shot over him.

Worse yet, Dillingham often misread his responsibilities on defense, simply moving the wrong direction away from the ball, or making risky gambles that gave up position to the man he was guarding.

Offensively, the 19-year-old’s size prevented him from generating easy looks near the rim, forcing him to take overly difficult shots that likely won’t fall at the same rate in the NBA as they did in college.

While his passing numbers aren’t a glaring red flag, Dillingham’s assists were regularly a product of finding one of Kentucky’s other elite shooters who were simply one pass away.

Furthermore, Dillingham tends to jump into his passes in order to see over defenders, something he will have to eliminate at the NBA level.

Would Rob Dillingham Fit With Jazz In Draft?

Dillingham’s elite shotmaking gives him a puncher’s chance to not only make the NBA, but be an impact scorer in the mold of former Boston Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas.

The guard is bigger than Thomas and had a better freshman season, but the projected lottery pick will enter the NBA with significantly higher expectations than the two-time All-Star who was selected with the 60th and final pick of the 2011 draft.

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Due to the Jazz’s already deep (and somewhat undersized) backcourt, plus their desperate need for defense, Dillingham is among the worst fits in Utah among players projected to go in the lottery.

Though Kentucky guards have a long history of outperforming their college projections, Dillingham’s size might not allow him to exceed his lofty draft expectations.

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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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Utah Jazz Draft Prospect: Kentucky G Rob Dillingham