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Utah Jazz mock draft roundup: Who’s available at No. 10?

The Jazz fell two spots in the draft lottery, but still think there will be a player they want at No. 10.

Tennessee guard Dalton Knecht (3) drives against Wofford guard Corey Tripp (10) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

The Utah Jazz learned their fate Sunday in the NBA’s draft lottery: They’re down two slots from where they expected to be.

So after prepping for No. 8, how does owning the No. 10 pick instead change the player the Jazz might get?

Jazz management says it doesn’t, really.

“We’ve been studying the draft already for the eighth pick, and there’s a lot of players there that we like,” Jazz vice president of player personnel Bart Taylor said. “I think there will still be a good player at 10, so we’re not too worried about it.”

But which players will still be there? More than perhaps ever before, the draft picture is opaque. Now, and even through draft day, the Jazz will likely have little idea as to who will actually be available when NBA commissioner Adam Silver puts Utah on the clock.

With that in mind, let’s see how a few draft experts see the draft shaking up, and who the Jazz might end up with at No. 10.

ESPN & NBADraft.net: Ron Holland, G League Ignite

Ron Holland was once viewed as the likely No. 1 overall pick in this class. Then, he led the G League Ignite to a 2-32 record on the season — scoring 20 points per game, but doing it on abysmal efficiency with a huge number of missed shots and turnovers.

But ESPN and NBADraft.net see Ron Holland as a good fit on the Jazz anyway. Jonathan Givony, ESPN’s lead draft expert, feels Holland would be a good fit because Keyonte George and Collin Sexton would be able to lessen Holland’s scoring load, turning him into more of a helpful role player. There, Holland would represent a value play because of his “competitiveness, defensive versatility and aggressiveness,” Givony wrote.

USAToday & Bleacher Report: Dalton Knecht, Tennessee

Syracuse forward Maliq Brown (1) and Tennessee guard Dalton Knecht (3) go for a rebound during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Unlike most lottery picks these days, Dalton Knecht is a senior, already 23 years old. But unlike most seniors, Knecht looks likely to be able to fit in a lineup right away, thanks to his ability to score from everywhere. He has a terrific shot, and is a good finisher at 6-foot-6, too. The questions come on the defensive side, where Knecht was frequently targeted.

USAToday notes that the Jazz ranked 22nd in the NBA in 3-point percentage, and could use a shooter of Knecht’s class. Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman feels that “later in the lottery, teams may start to value certainty over upside,” writing that “Dalton Knecht is perceived as one of the surest bets on the board.”

SBNation & Yahoo: Cody Williams, Colorado

Colorado forward Cody Williams, right, shoots in front of Richmond center Neal Quinn (32) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Cody Williams is the younger brother of Oklahoma City star Jalen Williams, but didn’t have the freshman season his brother did. At Colorado, he showed the ability to fit into team basketball with a smart nose for making the right pass, but simply wasn’t aggressive in shooting the ball. He only had 41 3-point attempts all year long. Nor was he a great driver. Injuries may have stifled him somewhat, though.

SBNation’s Ricky O’Donnell feels Williams needs to go to a “patient team with a clear developmental plan,” where “he should have a high enough skill level to turn into a good NBA wing eventually.”

The Ringer: Stephon Castle, UConn

UConn guard Stephon Castle (5) shoots the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)

Now a national champion, Castle impressed observers this year by stepping into Connecticut as a freshman and not looking to star, but rather to do all of the little things correctly. He’s a terrific defender, a smart playmaker, and can change a game with his hard work on the court. On the downside ... he’s an improving shooter, but certainly not a good one right now.

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor felt that Castle would make a “perfect complement” next to Keyonte George, thanks to his “defense-first abilities.” “Castle needs to improve as a shooter but brings just about everything else the Jazz could use next to George,” O’Connor continued.

This would be considered an unexpected fall for Castle, however — all of the other mock drafts predicted Castle would be selected before No. 10.

CBSSports.com: Isaiah Collier, USC

Southern California guard Isaiah Collier reacts after being fouled during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Seton Hall, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Collier was another player that, at one point this year, was considered a potential No. 1 pick. The guard had a hot start in early play with USC, but then struggled to run that team with, you guessed it, missed shots and turnovers. His playmaking isn’t considered top-tier, either.

Kyle Boone from CBSSports says Collier reminds him of another Jazz guard: Collin Sexton. “His motor runs hot and he adds an element of explosiveness that makes it difficult for teams to defend,” Boone writes.

The Athletic: Rob Dillingham, Kentucky

Kentucky's Rob Dillingham (0) shoots while defended by Miami's AJ Casey (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

Rob Dillingham was maybe the NCAA’s brightest teenage scorer last year. He’s fast, and can use that speed in both the half court and transition. He can shoot very well, especially for someone who turned 19 during the course of the season. The big question mark: He might be the worst defender in the class, standing at only 6-1 with bad fundamentals to boot.

Still, The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie feels Dillingham’s upside and scoring chops make sense on Utah’s roster. “Dillingham’s electricity with the ball in his hands, mixed with Keyonte George’s shot making, would be a very fun offensive combo for coach Will Hardy,” Vecenie writes.


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