HomeNBAJazz 2024 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Utah Adds Elite Defensive Wing in...

Jazz 2024 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Utah Adds Elite Defensive Wing in Top 10


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We now sit just over a month until the 2024 NBA Draft arrives later this summer, and with the lottery reveal behind us, we have some improved knowledge about how this process could soon go down for the Utah Jazz.

By holding two first-round picks (one landing at the tail end of the top ten), and a top second-rounder at number 32, there’s immense potential for a significant class to soon be in store for the Jazz. Still, the top of this year’s group of prospects is largely unpredictable, and one that may take a couple of extra weeks to completely iron out.

With the results of the 2024 NBA Lottery in, though, we can throw out some early guesses as to how things could end up falling if the selection process started today. Here’s an early prediction of how the top ten picks could fall, and who the Jazz could end up getting their hands on at tenth overall:

1. Atlanta Hawks: Alex Sarr, C, Australia

May 12, 2024; Chicago, IL, USA; Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields (right) and Mark

May 12, 2024; Chicago, IL, USA; Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields (right) and Mark / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The future of the Hawks is a bit up in the air this offseason, but winning the lottery after entering with 3% odds to do so is a big help. Sarr can be a great big to pair alongside Trae Young or Dejounte Murray with his length, versatility, and two-way ability.

2. Washington Wizards: Nikola Topic, PG, Serbia

The Wizards need to find some stability in the backcourt. With the future of Tyus Jones in flux and a shaky season from Jordan Poole, a guard makes sense here for Washington. Topic is one of the elite playmakers and finishers of this draft with the potential to be a high-level guard with an improved shot.

3. Houston Rockets: Zaccharie Risacher, SF, France

Thanks to the James Harden trade, the Rockets are set up with a golden opportunity to add a premier player in the class with a top-three pick. Risacher projects to be a lengthy 3&D threat that can fit seamlessly into this budding Houston core.

4. San Antonio Spurs: Rob Dillingham, PG, Kentucky

It’s no secret that the Spurs could benefit from a guard early in this draft, and with a top-five pick, they have a chance to secure one of the best on the board. Dillingham can be a reliable scoring guard to pair next to Rookie of the Year winner Victor Wembanyama to terrorize opposing defenses for years to come.

5. Detroit Pistons: Matas Buzelis: PF, G-League Ignite

Team Detlef forward Matas Buzelis (13) of the G League Ignite celebrates with a teammate after

Team Detlef forward Matas Buzelis (13) of the G League Ignite celebrates with a teammate after / Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY

After entering the lottery with odds at the top spot on the board, the Pistons suffered a brutal fate by sliding down to fifth. They still manage to secure a strong prospect in Buzelis, who can be an interesting fit next to Cade Cunningham with his size and ability as a playmaker.

6. Charlotte Hornets: Stephon Castle, PG, UConn

The Hornets could benefit from a secondary ball handler and playmaker next to LaMelo Ball, and a selection of Castle would inevitably bring that. After a national champion run with the Huskies, the 6-foot-6 combo guard can be a stellar two-way fit in the Hornets’ set of guards.

7. Portland Trail Blazers: Cody Williams, SF, Colorado

The Trail Blazers ended last season as one of the league’s worst offensive teams, finishing with a 29th-ranked offensive rating of 107.6. Williams would bring a much-needed lift to this rebuilding Portland unit as one of the more versatile offensive players in this year’s draft.

8. San Antonio Spurs: Reed Sheppard, SG, Kentucky

With the Spurs’ pick of his Kentucky backcourt mate earlier in the first round, it only makes sense for San Antonio to double-dip on the Wildcats by adding Sheppard here at eight. As one of the most elite shooters in college basketball last season, he can bring an immediate impact to this team who could be looking to compete in the West sooner rather than later.

9. Memphis Grizzlies: Donovan Clingan, C, UConn

After trading away Steven Adams this past season, the Grizzlies could use another big defender to help former DPOY Jaren Jackson. Clingan can enter as an elite rim protector with 7-foot-2 size to create a scary shot-blocking tandem in the frontcourt for Memphis.

Mar 28, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; West guard Bronny James (6) and forward Ron Holland (1) react during

Mar 28, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; West guard Bronny James (6) and forward Ron Holland (1) react during / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In this scenario, the board ends up falling in favor of the Jazz to land a player that not only presents a high upside moving forward but fits some of Utah’s overwhelming team needs. Ron Holland is a prospect whose stock has been up and down throughout the past year, and while he ends up falling to ten here, make no mistake that he can be one of the best in this class.

The most outstanding trait Holland possesses is his defense, which would prove to be a perfect fit for a Jazz team that ranked dead last in the NBA in defensive rating. He’s 6-foot-8, providing the size and length this Utah front office has recently coveted, and can fit nicely into a frontcourt next to Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler.

The positive attributes are there, but it’s hard not to mention the shooting struggles Holland endured throughout the past year. During his one season in the G-League Ignite, he shot a poor 24.0% from deep on 3.6 attempts per game. He still ended up averaging over 20 points a night with the lack of a three-ball, but he’ll need to find more consistency to be reliable at the NBA level.

Luckily for Holland, he could join a roster in Utah with many young scoring options to lean on as he develops his shot-making ability for himself. His defensive prowess would merit enough reason for him to gain considerable playing time off the bat and can be a contributor as a defensive stopper pretty immediately.

It’s nearly impossible to project what the Jazz may end up doing with their top ten picks with an unpredictable executive like Danny Ainge running the show, but if the board falls this way, it’s difficult to see Utah pivoting off of a talent like Holland.

All answers will be revealed for the Jazz’s selection when the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft kicks off on Wednesday, June 26th.

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