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Best selection in every selection

Highlights

  • The Utah Jazz face a tough road ahead in the crowded West, with limited draft control until 2029.
  • The Jazz will add more talent through free agency and draft picks while focusing on perimeter scoring and defense.
  • Prospects like Knecht, Dunn and Jones show promise, but also come with risks and potential opportunities.


The Utah Jazz are between a rock and a hard place.

Lauri Markkanen has emerged as their centerpiece for the future, but even the Finnish sharpshooter's rise to stardom may not be enough to compete in the highly competitive Western Conference. To rub salt in the wound is that they have no control over most of their picks until 2029. The outlook for Utah's potential postseason success is extremely slim.

There are some glimmers of hope to hold on to. With Utah having one of the top slots during the upcoming free agency, it will have additional opportunities to acquire more talent. Another opportunity for them to strengthen their roster is the upcoming NBA Draft, where they have three picks.

Let's say they decide to keep their pick rather than use it in potential trade scenarios. It's not the class with the most franchise players, but there are some interesting options to consider.



10th choice – Dalton Knecht, G

Consistent and efficient perimeter scoring was a problem for Utah in the 2023-24 regular season. Other than Markkanen, they had no other figure that could be consistently relied on to score effective points.

Jordan Clarkson was more of an inefficient volume scorer (17.1 PPG, 41.3 FG%) who fit best as the sixth man, while Collin Sexton didn't have the punch needed to provide distance for the Jazz.

Enter Dalton Knecht.

Dalton Knecht’s Stats – Tennessee (2023-24)
category Stat
G 36
PPG 21.7
FG% 45.8%
self-propelled gun 0.7
3PA 6.5
3PT% 39.7
Height Weight 6-6/197 lbs


If we were to compare Knecht's college three-point attempt average to the current Jazz squad, he would already have the second-best number – right behind Markkanen! – despite playing fewer minutes. He is not afraid to let it fly and shoots it at long range. He will be an NBA starter from day one.

Knecht has the size to play immediately as a sophomore in the NBA, and he expects to fit well with Markkanen and Utah's diverse guards. Given his age and physical abilities, the upside is limited, but the worst-case scenario is that you get a player who fits into the current roster and will undeniably perform well alongside your franchise star.

29th pick – Ryan Dunn, SF

Ryan DunnVirginia


With Knecht's shooting helping to bolster Utah's offense, the Jazz need someone to help bolster their defense. They had the worst defense in the league (120.4 defensive rating, 120.5 points allowed per game) despite having one of the league's best shot blockers in Walker Kessler. Your perimeter defense needs additional parts.

This is where Ryan Dunn comes into play.

Ryan Dunn’s Stats – Virginia (2023-24)
category Stat
G 34
PPG 8.1
role playing game 6.9
self-propelled gun 1.3
BPG 2.3
Height Weight 6-8/208 lbs


Dunn may be lacking offensively, but he brings a lot to the table defensively. He is a physical winger who gives Utah the versatility they want to use him in their various lineups. He fits as a three and can try to play alongside Markkanen and John Collins, or if you want to play small, he has the option to play as a small ball four. Utah would be lucky if Dunn, at 29 years old, found a way to fall into their lap.

32nd pick – Dillon Jones, SF

The second round is a good opportunity to take a swing with high risk and potentially high reward prospects. Unless signing Bronny James means retaining his father's services as well, Utah would be better off taking a chance on Dillon Jones.


Dillon Jones' Stats – Weber State (2023-24)
category Stat
G 31
PPG 8/20
role playing game 9.8
APG 5.2
self-propelled gun 2.0
Height Weight 6-6/235 lbs

Jones is a polarizing candidate who has excelled for Weber State. He has the physical skills of a modern NBA winger, but his decisions on both ends of the court can determine his impact on a team.


There's a danger in trusting Jones with a lot of minutes right away; They would probably draft him and expect him to be more of a spark plug off the bench at first. If he develops well in the future, the reward for Utah could be huge.

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