Utah Jazz Draft History

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1st round Kosta Koufos (23rd overall)
2nd round Ante Tomic (44th overall)
2nd round Tadija Dragicevic (53rd overall) Notable players the Jazz passed on:
Nicolas Batum
George Hill
Mario Chalmers (2nd round)
DeAndre Jordan (2nd round)

Hindsight Analysis: It's way to soon to judge this draft. Kosta Koufos was supposed to be a lottery pick but somehow fell to the Jazz at 23 which should be considered a tremendous value pick. Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune can explain why he dropped to the Jazz at the 23rd pick. Koufos showed great signs of potential in his rookie year but the 19 year old 7 footer wasn't good enough yet to crack the Jazz rotation and spent time with the Flash. The players mentioned above all had better rookie seasons but we won't know for at least 2 to 3 years whether the Jazz got the best value out of their choice. The selection of the Euros in the 2nd round was the right choice whether they pan out or not. Nobody available at 44 and below made any kind of impact last season.


1st round Morris Almond (25th overall)
2nd round Kyrylo Fesenko (38th overall) acquired in draft day trade with Philadelphia for Herbert Hill Notable players the Jazz passed on:
Aaron Brooks
Carl Landry
Glen "Big Baby" Davis
Ramon Sessions (2nd round)

Hindsight Analysis: Expectations for this draft were low to begin with so there is no reason to call this draft a disappointment. Jazz management and fans got the guy they wanted at 25 in Morris Almond but for whatever reason the pick did not pan out and the Jazz decided not to pick up the team option on Almond's contract. Seeing Brooks, Landry and Davis play important roles for playoff teams causes you to look back and question whether Almond was the "best player available". The trade with Fesenko was worth the gamble since you only gave up Herbert Hill. The Jazz just picked up the team option on his contract so Fes will have one more year to make progress.


1st round Ronnie Brewer (14th overall)
2nd round Dee Brown (46th overall)
2nd round Paul Millsap (47th overall)
Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
Rajon Rondo
Leon Powe (2nd round)

Hindsight Analysis: You can make the argument that his may be the best Jazz draft of all-time when it comes to getting the most value out of their picks. In a draft thin on talent, they somehow managed to get two of the top ten players in this draft without picking in the top 10. Ronnie Brewer was an excellent pick at 14 and the only player picked below him with more value was Rajon Rondo but the Jazz already have a better star point guard. The selection of Paul Millsap was the steal of the draft and could end up being one of the greatest draft steals in NBA history if Millsap continues to develop at his current pace. Even Dee Brown was serviceable for one season. The only thing that could have made it better was taking Leon Powe instead of Brown but the Jazz had no need for another power forward. Great draft for the Utah Jazz.


1st round Deron Williams (3rd overall)
2nd round CJ Miles (34th overall)
2nd round Robert Whaley (51st overall)
Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
Chris Paul
Monta Ellis (2nd round)
Ryan Gomes(2nd round)
Marcin Gortat (2nd round)

Hindsight Analysis: The important thing to remember about this draft is the fact that the Jazz somehow moved up from 6th to 3rd in a trade with Portland. That fact alone makes this draft successful. Instead of deciding between Chris Paul or Deron Williams with the 3rd pick they would have had to choose between Martell Webster, Charlie Villanueva, or Channing Frye with the 6th pick. YIkes! It was the Jazz highest draft selection since 1983. Of course, the decision to take Deron Williams instead of Chris Paul will be debated until the end of time. But the bottom line is both teams got super star point guards who will dominate the position for the next decade. The Jazz also got great value in the 2nd round with the choice of CJ Miles. It has taken him a while to develop and he still has a ways to go but he is starting for a playoff team which nobody drafted below him can claim. Monta Ellis, Ryan Gomes, and Andray Blatche were still on the board when the Jazz took Miles. As for the selection of Robert Whaley (aka Bobby Williams), the Jazz would have received more value by drafting Marcin Gortat who is playing well for the Orlando Magic.


1st round Kris Humphries (14th overall)
1st round Kirk Snyder (16th overall) Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
Al Jefferson
Josh Smith
J.R. Smith
Jameer Nelson
Delonte West
Kevin Martin
Sasha Vujacic
Anderson Varejao
Chris Duhon
Trevor Ariza

Hindsight Analysis: If you're a Jazz fan this draft makes you sick! Best player available? You could have had Al Jefferson and Josh Smith. Or if you don't like Smith how about Kevin Martin. Plug those two players into the Jazz lineup today. Would they be better? The Jazz had two picks in a draft with this much talent and missed big on both. Five years later Kirk Snyder is out of the league and facing jail time while Humphries played just 29 games for a bad Toronto team. He has never played more than 70 games in a season during his 5 years in the league.


1st round Sasha Pavlovic (19th overall)
2nd round Mo Williams (47th overall) Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
Dahntay Jones
Boris Diaw
Travis Outlaw
Kendrick Perkins
Leandro Barbosa
Josh Howard
Jason Kapono (2nd round)
Luke Walton (2nd round)
Steve Blake (2nd round)
Za Za Pachulia (2nd round)
Kyle Korver (2nd round)
Matt Bonner (2nd round)

Hindsight Analysis: The Jazz had a nice draft and then let both players go before they had a chance to fulfill their promise, especially in the case of Williams. Look at the impressive list of players above. Tough to come away with nothing although Korver would become a Jazzman 5 years later in a trade. Despite struggling in the Eastern Conference finals in 2009, Mo Williams has developed into an all-star point guard alongside Lebron James in Cleveland.


1st round Curtis Borchardt (18th overall) 2nd round Jamal Sampson (traded to Milwaukee) Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
Tayshaun Prince
Nenad Krstic
John Salmons
Roger Mason
Dan Gadzuric
Carlos Boozer
Flip Murray
Matt Barnes
Darius Songaila
Rasual Butler
Luis Scola

Hindsight Analysis: Was this a bigger disaster than Lopez? I think so. They knew Borchardt's injury history as you can see from the draft highlight video above. The Jazz have proven over time that they never pass on a 7 footer when he is available and once again that philosophy failed them. The list of talent they could have had is impressive. Carlos Boozer worked out twice for them leading up to the draft but they passed on him. They made up for it 2 years later at a much heavier price.


1st round Raul Lopez (21st overall)
2nd round Jarron Collins (53rd overall) Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
Gerald Wallace
Samuel Dalembert
Jamal Tinsley
Tony Parker
Gilbert Arenas
Mehmet Okur

Hindsight Analysis: Jarron Collins was a great value in the 2nd round. As for the first round, this later turned out to be a missed opportunity. Just look at the names listed above in order of selection. They thought Lopez was the point guard of the future only to watch Parker and Arenas bloom into NBA All-stars. Lopez only played a year and a half before injuries forced him out of the league. The Spurs won titles with two guys that could have been Jazzmen (Parker and Ginobili). Of course, 28 other teams are saying the same thing. In defense of the Jazz, they needed to take a player who they could stash overseas because of salary cap problems.


1st round DeShawn Stevenson (23rd overall, from Miami) Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
Michael Redd (2nd round)

Hindsight Analysis: Considering no other team took a chance on Michael Redd in the 1st round, it's hard to blame the Jazz for wiffing on the future all-star. But Redd would have been the perfect shooting guard replacement for Jeff Hornacek. Stevenson was the first player the Jazz drafted who went from high school to the pros. The transition never worked out for both parties. Stevenson has since been serviceable with Orlando and now Washington.


1st round Quincy Lewis (19th overall via 76ers)
1st round Andrei Kirilenko (24th overall via Orlando)
1st round Scott Padgett (28th overall) Notable Players the Jazz passed on (Lewis):
Jeff Foster
Kenny Thomas
Devean George

Notable players the Jazz passed on (Kirilenko):

Notable players the Jazz passed on (Padgett):
Manu Ginobili
Gordan Giricek
Chris "Birdman" Anderson (undrafted)

Hindsight Analysis: The lack of success from Lewis and Padgett seems an afterthought after the Jazz made the steal of the draft and one of the best value picks in franchise history. Andrei's max salary has caused us to forget that he is a late first round pick. He has top 5 value in this draft. It does haunt Jazz fans that a guy named Manu Ginobili was still available when the Jazz selected Padgett with the 28th pick. Yes, Ginobili could have been a Jazzman. But again, the Jazz weren't the only team that missed on Ginobili.


1st round Nazr Muhammad (29th overall) traded to 76ers for future pick Notable Players the Jazz passed on (all 2nd round):
Rashard Lewis
Rafer Alston
Cuttino Mobley

Hindsight Analysis: Coming off their 2nd straight appearance in the NBA Finals, the Jazz didn't want to pay a guaranteed contract to a player who had no chance to earn playing time. This may have proven to be a mistake with a player like Rashard Lewis on the board. Even Cuttino Mobley would have been a tremendous value at 29th and could have been an interesting piece during the latter stages of the Stockton to Malone Era.


1st round Jacque Vaughn (27th overall) Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
Stephen Jackson (2nd round)

Hindsight Analysis: Jacque Vaughn was a good value at 27 after looking at the players following him. Jackson is the only one who has had more success than Vaughn and neither would have helped them in 97. The Jazz didn't need any help from the draft during their glorious run to the NBA Finals.


1st round Martin Muursepp (25th overall) traded to Miami for future first round pick
2nd round Shandon Anderson (54th overall) Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
Ben Wallace (undrafted) Chucky Atkins (undrafted)

Hindsight Analysis: Great draft for two reasons. One, they avoided a guaranteed contract for a late first rounder by trading Muursepp for a future first rounder. Then they turn around and get the steal of the draft in Shandon Anderson who played a key role in the two years they reached the NBA Finals. FYI, that Heat draft pick ended up being DeShawn Stevenson in 2000.


1st round Greg Ostertag (28th overall) Notable Players the Jazz passed on:

Hindsight Analysis: ‘Tag was an easy target for Jazz fans during the 10 years he spent in Utah because he could never live up to his massive contract. But looking back he was the best player available at 28th. This was a great pick and a great draft for the Jazz. They got tremendous value out of the 28th pick in the draft which is very rare.


2nd round Jamie Watson (47th overall) Notable Players the Jazz passed on:

Hindsight Analysis: The Jazz sent their first round pick to Philadelphia in the Jeff Hornacek trade. When you consider how weak this draft was it makes that trade look even better.


1st round Luther Wright (18th overall)
2nd round Bryon Russell (45th overall)
Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
Sam Cassell
Ervin Johnson
Chris Mills
2nd round Nick Van Exel
2nd round Gheorghe Muresan

Hindsight Analysis: The Jazz followed, by far, the WORST 1st round pick in franchise history with one of the BEST 2nd round picks in franchise history. We all know the sad story of Luther Wright while Bryon Russell played nine years for the Jazz and was a starter during their two trips to the NBA Finals. Russell was the first draft pick since Karl Malone to play more than 3 years with the club. 8 long years of bad drafts during the Stockton to Malone Era!


No picks Hindsight Analysis: Another draft during the Stockton to Malone era where the team failed to provide the two future Hall of Famers with the firepower they needed to compete for an NBA title.


1st round Eric Murdock (21st overall)
2nd round Isaac Austin (48th overall) Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
Rick Fox
2nd round Bobby Phills

Hindsight Analysis: This was a very weak draft. So the fact that the Jazz didn't get much value out of it doesn't seem so disappointing when you consider they picked 21st. Eric Murdock didn't last long in Utah. They could have had Bobby Phils who was a great player until his life was cut short in an auto accident. But overall you can't fault the Jazz and what they did because this draft overall was so terrible.


The Jazz traded their first round pick (23) to Sacramento
2nd round Walter Palmer Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
Tony Kukoc
Greg Foster (2nd round)
Antonio Davis (2nd round)
Cedric Ceballos (2nd round)

Hindsight Analysis: Another poor overall draft. Trading out of the 1st round wasn't a bad idea. The only player they missed on by trading out was Tony Kukoc who helped the Bulls beat the Jazz in their two appearances in the NBA Finals. He would have been a nice compliment to the roster. Palmer was a reach and it backfired. They could have drafted Antonio Davis or future Jazzman Greg Foster. Cedric Ceballos would have atleast provided some entertainment with his dunking prowess. Once again, another draft that didn't help the Jazz improve during the Stockton to Malone era.


1st round Blue Edwards (21st overall) Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
Vlade Divac
2nd round Cliff Robinson

Hindsight Analysis: This was weak draft. Blue Edwards really wasn't a bad pick at 21. He had a serviceable 10 year career but only spent 3 in a Jazz uniform. Divac and Robinson had very nice NBA careers and would have been a much better value than Edwards. This was the 4th straight draft that gave the Jazz nothing to compliment John Stockton and Karl Malone in their prime. Missed opportunities.


1st round Eric Leckner (17th overall) Notable players the Jazz passed on:
19 Rod Strickland
21 Mark Bryant
24 Brian Shaw
2nd round Vinny Del Negro
2nd round Steve Kerr

Hindsight Analysis: This was another terrible draft so you can't blame the Jazz for striking out with Leckner. But they could have found better value in taking Shaw who had a nice career and won rings with the Lakers. Steve Kerr was a Jazz killer with the Bulls Suns, and Spurs. Drafting him would have prevented that from happening.


1st round Jose Ortiz (15th overall) Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
18th Mark Jackson
22nd Reggie Lewis
6th round Sarunas Marciulionis

Hindsight Analysis: Mark Jackson went on to become the Rookie of the Year and is 2nd all time in assists. But John Stockton is first so the Jazz didn't need him. But they could have used Reggie Lewis who became an All-Star before his tragic death kept him from reaching his potential. he would have been a nice compliment to Stockton and Malone. Jose Ortiz played a total of 61 games in the NBA.


1st round Dell Curry (15th overall)
Notable Players the Jazz passed on:
24 Arvidas Sabonis
Second Round
1 Mark Price
3 Dennis Rodman
6 Nate McMillan
9 Kevin Duckworth
22 Jeff Hornacek

Hindsight Analysis: After two straight incredible picks, the Jazz draft fortunes took a turn for the worse in 1986. Dell Curry wasn't a bad value at 15th. He went on to play 16 seasons in the league and was one of the best three point shooters of his generation. But he only played one year for the Jazz. Keep in mind that we never saw Arvydas Sabonis in his prime. It was ten years before he finally played in the NBA. But if you look at the 2nd round values in this draft and consider the Jazz basically got nothing out of it, you would have to consider this a major disappointment.


1st round Karl Malone (13th overall) Notable Players the Jazz passed on:

Hindsight Analysis: You could argue that the Jazz got the best player in this draft with the 13th pick. For the second straight year the Jazz pulled off one of the best draft selections in NBA history. Malone and Stockton are two of the best 50 players in NBA history and the Jazz got them at 13 and 16 respectively. What a coup! This completed the best 1-2 combo in NBA history. This selection also gave us one of the [greatest fashion moments in Draft history.](javascript:nbaVideo(escape('http://broadband.nba.com/cc/playa.php)


(four members of the original dream team taken in this draft)
1st round John Stockton (16th overall) Here are the first 15 picks in order:

1 Houston Hakeem Olajuwon
2 Portland Sam Bowie
3 Chicago Michael Jordan
4 Dallas Sam Perkins
5 Philadelphia Charles Barkley
6 Washington Mel Turpin
7 San Antonio Alvin Robertson
8 LAC Lancaster Gordon
9 Kansas City Otis Thorpe
10 Philadelphia Leon Wood
11 Atlanta Kevin Willis
12*Cleveland Tim McCormick
13 Phoenix Jay Humphries
14 LAC Michael Cage
15 Dallas Terence Stansbury

Hindsight analysis: Mel Turpin? Lancaster Gordon? Terence Stansbury? Are you kidding me? Before John Stockton? If you did a re-draft today only Olajuwon, Jordan, and Barkley would go ahead of Stockton and you could argue that Stockton could go ahead of Barkley.


1st round Thurl Bailey (7th overall)
3rd round Bobby Hansen Notable players the Jazz passed on:
8th Antoine Carr
9th Dale Ellis
10th Jeff Malone
11th Derek Harper
14th Clyde Drexler
2nd round Doc Rivers
5th round Manute Bol
6th round Sedale Threatt

Hindsight analysis: It's hard to believe that the Jazz could have had Clyde Drexler in the 1983 draft. But for personal reasons, I'm glad Thurl Bailey was their choice. Everyone loves "Big T". But when the pick was made fans were not happy and booed as you can see by watching the Jazz draft highlight from 1983. They wanted Antoine Carr instead. Both the fans and franchise missed on Clyde Drexler but Thurl had some great years in Utah and ironically has become one of the most beloved players in franchise history.


1st round Dominique Wilkins (3rd overall-traded to Atlanta for John Drew, Freeman Williams and cash)
4th round Mark Eaton Notable players the Jazz passed on:

Hindsight Analysis: The Wilkins trade is considered one of the most lopsided in NBA history and looks bad on paper. But at the time the Jazz needed the cash to stay in town and ‘nique wasn't gonna sign with the Jazz anyway. The drafting of Mark Eaton was one of the greatest steals in NBA draft history. He was a 1989 All-Star, he retired as the all time NBA leader in blocked shots and his number hangs from the rafters of Energy Solutions Arena. Not bad for a 4th round pick.


1st round Danny Schayes (13th overall)
2nd round Howard Wood (4th in round 2) Notable Players the Jazz passed on
1st round Larry Nance (20th overall)
2nd round Eddie Johnson (6th in round 2)
2nd round Danny Ainge (8th in round 2)

Hindsight Analysis: This just might be the worst draft in Franchise history. Can you imagine Larry Nance and Danny Ainge in a Jazz uniform in the ‘80's. This angers me. And if you don't remember Larry Nance watch this. Schayes played 18 years in the league but only 132 games with the Jazz after they traded him to Denver in 1983.


1st round Darrell Griffith (2nd overall) Notable Players the Jazz passed on
1st round Kevin McHale (3rd overall)

Hindsight analysis: Darrell Griffith was a great player. If you need proof watch this video. He was called Dr. Dunkenstein for a reason and his jersey hanging from the Energy Solutions Arena rafters is well deserved. Injuries cut his career short. But Kevin McHale may have been the better value pick. McHale was a dominant inside presence and is now a member of the basketball Hall of Fame.

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Jeremiah Jensen Sports Anchor/Reporter


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