2023 Mock Draft 2.0: Spurs roll the dice, Hornets win Wembanyama sweepstakes

Brandon Miller - San Diego State v Alabama
Brandon Miller - San Diego State v Alabama / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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. UCF. . . Taylor Hendricks. 9. player. 118

When it comes to the Utah Jazz, a squad that was largely believed to end up being one of the worst teams in the league after trading their two cornerstone players, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, many don’t seem to know what to think. Walker Kessler, who seemingly fell into the team’s lap as an insignificant piece of the Rudy Gobert trade, is now all of a sudden a member of the All-Rookie 1st Team. Meanwhile, Lauri Markkanen won this season’s Most Improved Player award, Ochai Agbaji has shown some promising flashes, and Collin Sexton is there too. 

These things are all very positive developments no doubt, and I expect to see at least a couple of those players in Jazz uniforms for years to come, but I’m not concerned about roster fit right now if I’m a decision-maker in Utah’s front office. The Jazz are approaching Oklahoma City levels of draft compensation from trades with more picks possibly on the way in the next few years, so I’m going upside hunting. 

Taylor Hendricks, GG Jackson, Anthony Black, Keyonte George, Kobe Bufkin, Brice Sensabaugh, and others are all reasonable options at 9th overall, but in this case, Hendricks is likely the safest player of the bunch without compromising on upside. Like with Brandon Miller, NBA teams can’t really go wrong with size and shooting, particularly at this point in the draft.