Will it be A.C. Green?
Or Efthimis Rentzias?
Or Roy Marble?
The imperfect science that is draft in the NBA means there is almost always talent to be had late in the first round. But for every Green, who scored more than 12,000 points and became an All-Star while helping the Lakers win multiple championships, and for every Prince, the 23rd overall pick in 2002 who went on to be named to the NBA’s All-Defensive team four times, there are busts, players who never quite get a foothold in the league.
But surely, when the Jazz pick at No. 23, in a draft as deep as this, there will be talent, a potential starter, a possible All-Star.
“We’re still looking at that,” Jazz Vice President of Player Personnel Walt Perrin says. “But I think there are some pretty good players at 23.”
Owning the fifth overall pick, the Jazz were unable to bring in the draft’s biggest names — Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, Dante Exum, and Andrew Wiggins — for individual workouts. But the team saw plenty of talent expected to be available late in the first round.
UCLA’s Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams both visited Salt Lake City.
So did former North Carolina Tar Heel shooting guard P.J. Hairston.
Jordan Clarkson, a combo guard from Missouri, Adreian Payne, the hulking big man with an outside touch from Michigan State, Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III, and Syracuse’s Jerami Grant also came through town.
But what the Jazz might do at No. 23 remains the be seen.
The Jazz have young talent at each position. But by the front office’s own admission, the team also has needs at every position, and the Jazz could look to add depth, shooting or some other particular skill set with the late pick.
Some of that will depend on what happens earlier in the night.
“It has a little impact on what you do,” Perrin said of the team’s early first-rounder. “You try not to take a player at the same position with two first round picks. It has an impact. But, again, if the guy at 23 we think is the best player on the board, and we want to utilize that pick, we’ll take him.”
Of course, the Jazz could utilize the pick — the franchise’s reward for paying the bloated salaries of Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush last season — in a different way entirely.
As draft rumors swirl at full force with the hours until the event ticking down, the Jazz have reportedly been in discussions with the Cleveland Cavaliers about moving up and taking the No. 1 pick. The 23rd pick could be used as an asset in sweetening a potential deal. Even if the Jazz can’t grab that top pick, where they would have their choice of Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins, the team is not married to keeping the 23rd pick. The Jazz know they’re young and could very well decide not to take on another guaranteed rookie contract.
“It’s a possibility we may move it,” Perrin said.
Recent No. 23 NBA Draft picks
2013 • Solomon Hill
2012 • John Jenkins
2011 • Nikola Mirotic
2010 • Trevor Booker
2009 • Omri Casspi
2008 • Kosta Koufos
2007 • Wilson Chandler
2006 • Josh Boone
2005 • Francisco Garcia
2004 • Sergei Monia
Notable No. 23 NBA Draft picks
2002 • Tayshaun Prince
1997 • Bobby Jackson
1985 • A.C. Green
1976 • Alex English
1975 • World B. Free