Top 10 Prospects for the Utah Jazz: Players #5-#1
Updated: Nov 21, 2018
In just two days, The Utah Jazz will make their selection for the 2018 NBA Draft. They concluded their pre-draft workouts Sunday and have since been working tirelessly to construct their draft board ahead of draft night.
We got started on our draft board last week, when we shared our #10 - #6 prospects. Check out the bottom half of our list HERE, in case you missed it. This week, we'll share our top 5 selections for The Utah Jazz, relative to their draft position.
We've determined the Jazz should target a do-it-all prospect: someone who can do a bit of everything and may not have one elite skill. This list of our top five features many players who fit this mold, however, we've identified some prospects who have elite skill potential. Continue reading for our top 5 prospects for the 2018 NBA Draft.
#5 - Moritz Wagner
21 yrs, 6’ 11”, 240 lbs
14.6 pts, 7.1 rbs, 0.8 asts
39.4 3FG%, 4.1 3PA, 25.9 USG%
Mo is able to run both the PnR and PnP very well. He is comfortable setting the screen and makes quick decisions and commits to them well.
Mo has a pump fake to his game that helps him take advantage of the defender as soon as he gets the ball. He is very capable at driving to the basket. He has a good handle for a center and uses his feet well. He isn’t a great post up player, rather, uses his quickness and craftiness to get to the hoop.
Part of the reason the pump fake is such a threat and why he can get to the hoop is his perimeter shooting ability. He’s very comfortable pulling up in rhythm or out of the triple threat. He is a great stretch 4 or 5...unsure which.
Mo isn’t a good defensive player. He has his moments and oft times has good technique, but he isn’t a good defender. His PnR defense is the most suspect as he isn’t quite sure how best to switch, hedge, drop back, etc., on the pick and roll.
Shot selection, particularly when he drives to the hoop but doesn’t get all the way there, is suspect. He settles for crazy hook shots or off balance layups that just don’t convert.
Upon trading Trey Lyles, Dennis Lindsey said he knew he’d have to find another guy who could do what Trey does: play the stretch 4. I don’t know if Wagner can play the 4, maybe just the 5. But I watch him and am reminded of Kevin Love back at UCLA. Similar style, similar body types. He won’t be Kevin Love (he won’t be a multi-time All-Star or perennial starter), but maybe the ideal backup 4 or 5.
#4 - Donte DiVincenzo
21 yrs, 6’ 5”, 200 lbs
13.4 pts, 4.8 rbs, 3.5 asts
40.1 3FG%, 5.3 3PA, 22.4 USG%
Donte wasn’t the primary ball handler or lead guard at Villanova, but he routinely lead the fastbreak. He is extremely fast and aggressive in getting out in transition. He is very comfortable passing the ball after putting pressure on the defense.
Donte doesn’t have the smoothest stroke but he shoots the ball well from the perimeter. He’s comfortable with taking multiple attempts from deep. He may not adjust quickly to the above the break three but he can be a great corner three shooter.
When the shot isn’t available or there is a weakness in the defensive rotation, Donte is very comfortable with attacking defensive closeouts. He’s able to get all the way to the rim thanks to his athleticism and is comfortable with rotating the ball.
Donte could be classified as a streaky shooting, in the sense that his shot selection can get iffy and he can make it hard on himself. He doesn’t create his own shot well, rather flourishes as the ball moves and takes advantage of the defense.
Although Donte can get all the way to the hoop, on some occasions that he is unable to and there isn’t a clear second option, he tends to shoot mid-range shots and floaters that aren’t efficient.
Donte is a good prospect with a high floor. He is the epitome of a do-it-all prospect: he can team defend, shoot, handle, and pass. I see him fitting right into our second unit and helping to lead the fast breaks. The concern is age and the lack of potential development. However, the Jazz have proven to develop older prospects so...who knows!
#3 - Dzanan Musa
19 yrs, 6’ 8”, 195 lbs
10.5 pts, 3.2 rbs, 0.9 asts
36.4 3FG%, 3.4 3PA, N/A USG%
Dzanan is a scorer. That’s his thing and he does it well. He shoots well from the outside and shoots a lot for his limited minutes (around 20 per game). He shoots off the bounce, catch and shoot, and in the midrange. He gets to the rim and to the free throw line at a good rate!
Dzanan is long, tall, an athletic. When he gets to the rim, he can finish over others. He’s not very strong right now and can’t finish through contact but his athleticism forces contact and foul calls.
Dzanan handles the ball a lot in isolation situations and his handle is quite good, giving him the ability to beat defenders off the dribble or create space.
Most of the film shows him shooting or driving himself out of pick and roll situations. Very seldom are there highlights of him passing to the roll man or looking for a corner shooter. This could be an area of development.
There isn’t much film on his defense. What little was available show him losing defensive position. Whether that is due to disinterest, defensive game plan, etc., is unclear. He has the tools to contest well and stay in position.
One of the big lessons from the Houston Rockets series is that isolation offense is going to be at a premium in the next few years. A prospect like Dzanan has the tools to succeed in this area. He needs to learn how to create for others but his perimeter shot should translate fairly quickly. Although his lack of strength may hold him back for some time, he has the potential to be a steal in this draft.
#2 - Elie Okobo
20 yrs, 6’ 2”, 180 lbs
12.9 pts, 2.8 rbs, 4.8 asts
39.4 3FG%, 4.7 3PA, N/A USG%
Elie is a killer from all over the court. He is very good from three point range but is also effective shooting mid range jumpers off of screens and isolation situations. He takes a lot of shots off the dribble. It’s unsure how much he plays off ball and makes catch and shoot shots.
In the pick and roll, Elie is very comfortable shooting shots, driving to the paint, or making the pass to the big man or corner shooter. He loves playing with the ball in his hands and making decisions.
Elie can create his own shot. He’s got good handles, good speed, and can shoot very well. It remains to be seen how many of these skills will translate to the NBA level.
Elie is small. There’s no other way around it. Although he retains good defensive position and contests shots well, his height can get overmatched on defense. It will also be interesting to see how much of his offense suffers as he competes against big wing defenders.
Elie is crafty and quick. He does not appear to be an elite athlete. He uses skills to get to and finish at the rim. At the NBA level, this may not be enough and he may suffer from a lack of athleticism.
Elie has the potential to be a great third/fourth guard in our rotation. Being able to bounce back and forth between the one and the two with Donovan, Ricky, and even Dante (assuming he is re-signed) will fit his profile perfect. He can create for himself and others, and may be good enough defensively to stick to the game plan.
#1 - Kevin Huerter
19 yrs, 6’ 7”, 190 lbs
14.8 pts, 5 rbs, 3.4 asts
41.7 3FG%, 5.5 3PA, 21.5 USG%
Kevin is an incredible perimeter shooter. It’s not just how many he shoots or how many he makes, he is consistently shooting well from four feet beyond the college three point line. He shoots well in catch and shoot, as well as off the bounce situations...all from three point range.
Kevin is able to contest shots well on defense. His long frame and arms give him good defensive presence as he contests shots in the paint and on the perimeter.
In pick and roll situations, he is comfortable making the right plays. He shoots when the defender goes under the screen, he’ll find the roll guy, and even has made the correct pass to the corner after breaking the paint.
Despite contesting shots well, he does get beaten a lot off the dribble and is unable to retain defensive position. In isolation situations he won’t be able to hold his own without some improvement.
On offense, Kevin is unable to create his own shot in isolation situations. He isn’t able to beat the defender off the dribble and doesn’t have the handles or moves to get himself some room all on his own.
Kevin’s abilities from the perimeter are so strong that he will benefit from and help current Utah Jazz guards. Although he can’t retain defensive position right now, he can use his long frame to run guys off the three point line and into Rudy, which is our defensive game plan anyways. I see his shot translating almost immediately and his main struggle adjusting to the speed of the NBA game. He is the one prospect who can contribute immediately and has the potential for vast improvement.