NBA Mock Draft — At this moment, a core of Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward, and Derrick Favors is…. it’s not the best group a team could ask for, but it’s a nice building point for a team with a top-ten pick. With those three, the decision at five comes down to preference. Unless slippage happens, it’s hard seeing them land their hands on a tier one talent–Embiid, Wiggins, Exum, Parker–but if one of those players fall to this spot they’re as good as gone.
This leaves the second tier to be poached from and three players make the most sense here: Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh, and Julius Randle. Want to sure up the perimeter defensively, especially if Hayward is retained? Go Gordon. Want to add more low-post scoring, settling for the best player available in the process? Go Randle. Think Vonleh could sure up the center position as questions still remain about Enes Kanter’s overall talent? Go Vonleh.
Here is the collection of the latest mock drafts from around the NBA pertaining to the Utah Jazz and the number five overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
NBA Draft Net – F Noah Vonleh (Indiana)
My NBA Draft – F Noah Vonleh (Indiana)
Basketball Insiders (Steven Kyler) – F Noah Vonleh (Indiana)
Draft Express (Jonathan Givony) – F Noah Vonleh (Indiana)
With the Jazz recently publicly acknowledging that the organization views Derrick Favors as more of a center than a power forward, it’s increasingly clear that the team will be looking strongly at the group of power forwards on the board here, in addition to the guard crop. Vonleh is viewed as having the potential to stretch NBA defenses eventually with his outside shooting ability, which is a major need of the team and one coveted by incoming head coach Quin Snyder.
Bright Side of the Sun – F Aaron Gordon (Arizona)
The Jazz really want Jabari Parker. I don’t see him getting past the Bucks, so the Jazz would have to give up a lot to move up. Like I’ve been heralding for months, the Jazz have Kanter, Favors, Hayward (presumably), and Burke all in the starting lineup for now and the future. Alec Burks is just fine as the perfect compliment off the bench, now they just need a small forward. Gordon is that man, and with two guards like Hayward and Burke who need the ball and two bigs who want post touches, Gordon is the perfect fit. He’s the best defender in the draft, and is going to need a while to figure out his offensive game. Luckily for him, the Jazz can afford to wait.
Yahoo! Sports (Marc J. Spears) – F Aaron Gordon (Arizona)
Gordon had an impressive workout with the Jazz last week. Boston would likely be disappointed if he is selected here.
Bleacher Report (Donald Wood) – F Julius Randle (Kentucky)
The departures of low-posts players like Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap have put plenty of pressure on Derrick Favors, and the Utah Jazz need a player who can alleviate some of the stress. Kentucky’s Julius Randle fits the mold to perfection.
CBS Sports (Matt Moore) – F Aaron Gordon (Arizona)
He gives them a lot of options for lineups if he becomes the defender he’s projected to be.
CBS Sports (Gary Parrish) – F Noah Vonleh (Indiana)
He was the rare bright spot for an all-over-the-place Indiana team. He basically averaged a double-double in 26 minutes per game, and his upside is too good for him to go much lower than this — especially considering the way he measured at the combine.
CBS Sports (Zach Harper) – F Julius Randle (Kentucky)
Julius Randle easily cemented his place in the top 5 of this draft with his tournament play. Sure, he wasn’t as great as you’d hope him to be in the final game, but his skill set, power, reach, and hustle make him a very promising player at the NBA 4. He’d give the Jazz a playmaker out of the post, which they currently don’t have. Putting him next to Derrick Favors could dominate the boards
ESPN Insiders (Jeff Goodman) – F Julius Randle (Kentucky)
The Jazz will likely decide between Randle and Noah Vonleh, but look for them to go with Randle because of his ability to bring a toughness and physical presence from the outset. Randle could coexist with guys such as Derrick Favors and/or Enes Kanter up front.
ESPN Insiders (Chad Ford) – G Dante Exum (Australia)
This might be a dream scenario for the Jazz. While Exum could go to the Bucks, Sixers or Magic (in fact, those are the only teams for whom he’s scheduled to workout), there is also a chance he slides. The Bucks and Sixers both have players higher than him on their boards (though workouts might change that) and the Magic are seriously looking at Vonleh at 4.
This is a no-brainer for the Jazz, even if he refuses to come workout. The team doesn’t really need another big. They need size at the PG position and Exum also can play off the ball with Trey Burke as well. The team could obviously take Marcus Smart here, but I’ve heard they aren’t as high on him as some other teams.
If Exum is gone, Vonleh probably has a small edge over Aaron Gordon and Julius Randle right now.