Utah Jazz 2014 NBA Draft Preview

2013-14 Record: 25-57 (Last in Northwest Division)

Missed Playoffs

2013-14 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions)

Offensive: 100.6 (25th in NBA)

Defensive: 109.1 (30th in NBA)

Season Recap

Utah was one of the many teams that were tanking this past season, and luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it) their roster allowed them to do so.

They got off to a terrible 1-11 start, but managed to level things out for a while once rookie point guard - and Michigan folk hero - Trey Burke made his debut after suffering a hand injury in the preseason. Still, Utah just didn't have the talent to keep up with a stacked Western Conference.

The direction of this Jazz team is still undetermined. It was just three short years ago when they made the playoffs as a promising young team in the lockout shortened season, and things have just fallen apart since then.

Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, the two veteran pillars on that team, are now members of the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets, respectively. Utah let them walk in free agency to make playing time for young big men Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, yet neither proved they were the answer this past season.

Gordan Hayward has become a nice wing player for the Jazz, but no one can decide just how good he would be on a team that has talent around him. Alec Burks, drafted two years ago to be a complement to Hayward, hasn't developed at the rate Jazz management and fans had hoped.

Utah has a lot more question marks then they have answers, and picking fifth leaves them with some interesting decisions. The good news is that they also pick 23rd and 35th, slots that should give the Jazz decent players to work with.

Draft Picks

Round 1

Pick 5

Utah's biggest problem is that they have a bunch of guys who might turn into good players, but no one is a sure thing. The jury is still out on Burke because it's still too early to make a case either way for him, but every other position should be on the table.

They will likely pick the most talented guy left on the board, which should be Kentucky's Julius Randle. He's a bruising power forward that is offensively skilled on the low block and gobbles up rebounds on both ends of the floor. Randle set the Kentucky record for most double-doubles - yes, more than Anthony Davis - in his lone season with the Wildcats.

Noah Vonleh from Indiana is also in play because of his ability to stretch the floor with outside jumpers - something no big on Utah's roster can do. Arizona's Aaron Gordon is another option because of his athleticism and versatility of playing either forward position.

Pick 23

Because this draft class is so deep, there are a lot of guys that have lottery talent that should be available at this pick. One of those guys is Jerami Grant, an intriguing prospect and the guy I think Utah will have their sights set on. He has the prototypical size of a small forward and is great at attacking the basket, but his jump shot doesn't have a whole lot of range - he attempted only five shots from deep all season at Syracuse. However, he still has enough talent to be a good bench player until he can fully develop his game.

If Grant's not there, Kyle Anderson would be their guy. He's a 6'9" point forward that can play every position but center, but he'd take some of the ball handling responsibilities away from Burke. Anderson would be a great bench player in Utah, but probably wouldn't develop into anything more for the Jazz.

Round 2

Pick 5 (35th overall)

The Jazz need more help on the wing (since they currently have no small forward on their roster), and they'll use this pick as insurance for that position. Look for UConn's DeAndre Daniels to fill this spot because of his ability to shoot the ball, but Utah (or any team, for that matter) would really need him to bulk up.

LaQuinton Ross from Ohio State would be their next choice, although he struggled to put it all together last year when a lot was expected of him and Buckeyes. Glenn Robinson III would be a dream for the Jazz if he fell this far.

Current Roster

G: Trey Burke

G: Alec Burks

F: ?

F-C: Derrick Favors

C: Enes Kanter

F: Jeremy Evans

C: Rudy Gobert

G: John Lucas III (non-guaranteed)

G: Diante Garrett (non-guaranteed)

G: Ian Clark (non-guaranteed)

F: Malcolm Thomas (non-guaranteed)

Free Agents

C: Andris Biedrins

G-F: Gordan Hayward (restricted)

F: Richard Jefferson

F: Marvin Williams

G: Brandon Rush

G: Jamaal Tinsley

Who should Utah pick? When will they return to the playoffs? Tweet your thoughts to @brauf33.

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