Utah Jazz Draft Prospect: California Guard Jaylon Tyson

May 31, 2024, 3:29 PM | Updated: Jun 10, 2024, 5:29 pm

Jaylon Tyson #20 of the California Golden Bears...

Jaylon Tyson #20 of the California Golden Bears (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – California guard Jaylon Tyson is projected to be selected in the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft where the Utah Jazz own the tenth and 29th picks.

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

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

Related: Utah Jazz 2024 NBA Draft Prospects

Utah Jazz Draft: Jaylon Tyson – G – California

Stats: 19.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists: .465/.360/.796

Strengths: A classic do-it-all guard, Tyson used his age, experience, size, and IQ to abuse lesser players in college.

Tyson’s best skill is his three-point shooting where he knocked down nearly 38 percent of his 4.0 attempts per game over his sophomore and junior seasons.

The 21-year-old has adept touch from the rim out to the NBA three-point line where he comfortably scored off the dribble and in spot-up situations.

Tyson doesn’t project as a primary ballhandler in the NBA, but displayed enough playmaking in college to initiate some offense at the next level in a complimentary role.

Though his 3.5 assists per game average doesn’t jump off the page, Tyson makes quick reads when swinging the ball around the perimeter and has good touch on passes to big men rolling to the rim.

At Cal, Tyson grabbed an elite 6.8 rebounds per game, showing his willingness as a guard to mix it up with bigger players near the rim. That toughness was also on display on offense where he earned 4.6 free-throw attempts per game in his final college season.

Defensively, Tyson moves his feet well to stay with perimeter players and generated over a steal per game during his last two seasons in college thanks to his active hands.

Tyson likely won’t be tasked with defending the opposing team’s best perimeter player, but won’t be a total liability on that end.

Weaknesses: Though Tyson wasn’t a traditional college junior after hardly seeing the floor in his freshman season, and playing for three different schools in three years, he didn’t truly break out as an NBA prospect until he was an upperclassman in a high-usage situation on a bad college team.

That isn’t a death sentence for a draft prospect, but it’s worth noting he wasn’t as advanced as some of the younger players projected in the first round as an underclassman.

While his spot-up shooting should allow him to succeed in a complimentary role in the NBA, how will his overall effectiveness fare if he’s playing without the ball in his hands?

Tyson was turnover-prone in college committing 3.1 giveaways per game as a junior, and had an even 1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio throughout his three-year career.

His turnovers weren’t a result of carrying too large of a load at Cal, but simply by forcing bad passes into traffic or trying to get too creative with the ball in his hands.

Tyson has adequate NBA size at 6-foot-5.5 with a 6-foot-8 wingspan and showed the ability to finish on top of the rim, but was still overwhelmed by bigger players at times when driving to the paint.

Would Jaylon Tyson Fit With Jazz In The Draft?

With his previous college experience, backcourt versatility, and strong shooting stroke, Tyson is the type of player who should be able to find a role in most backcourts in the NBA, including the Jazz.

Though he lacks star potential, his well-rounded game, on-court leadership, and connective style of play would complement the Jazz’s existing roster, while helping mask some of the warts in the team’s current backcourt.

There have been players in Tyson’s mold who have become elite roleplayers in the NBA a la Desmond Bane, though the shift away from being the go-to player in college has hurt others as the Jazz saw firsthand with Jared Butler.

Tyson has been projected to be taken anywhere from the late lottery to the early second-round, meaning he might have to slip some on draft night to be available for the Jazz with the 29th or 32nd pick. Still, he could be an intriguing option if the team were to trade up to early 20s on draft night.

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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: California Guard Jaylon Tyson