Utah Jazz: 3 draft prospects who could make instant impact as Jazzmen

Potential Utah Jazz draft prospect Sharife Cooper (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Potential Utah Jazz draft prospect Sharife Cooper (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports) /

Despite a dominant season, the Utah Jazz will look to add to the firepower.

The Utah Jazz franchise is on pace to secure the top record in the NBA for the first time in 23 years, with the last time being in 1998. Although these Jazzmen are on top of the basketball world, there is a possibility Utah can get even better via the 2021 NBA Draft.

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Chances are the franchise’s lone pick will be either 29th or 30th overall. However, this year’s draft class seems deeper than in recent years. There are some talents who could go as early as the lottery in other classes but are now falling on mock drafts to the middle or bottom of the first round. This works extremely well in Utah’s favor.

With the Jazz continuing to exceed expectations this season, if they are able to land any of these three prospects, then even more success may be awaiting next season…

Utah Jazz draft prospect No.1: Joel Ayayi

Looking at the Utah Jazz roster, it’s clear to see some areas for improvement. Besides Mike Conley, who is now 33 years old and will be a free agent this summer, there is no other proven pure point guard on the roster. Taking that into consideration and factoring in where Utah’s pick will be, Joel Ayayi could be one of the best options available.

The 21-year-old was a member of the Gonzaga team that nearly went undefeated this past season, until losing to Baylor in the title game. Ayayi didn’t play his best game against the Bears, as he only finished with eight points and two rebounds, but he provides much more on the court.

During his third and final college season, the 6-foot-5 perimeter weapon averaged 12.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game while shooting an efficient 57.5 percent from the field.

Ayayi also proved that he does show up during times that matter, as he had the best game of his college career in the Final Four against UCLA. The French hoopster — same as current All-Star Jazz center Rudy Gobert — finished with 22 points, six rebounds, and two steals, on an impressive 75.0 percent shooting from the field.

Most importantly, his playstyle fits everything that the Utah Jazz stand for. Although Ayayi isn’t an out-of-this-world defender, he does a great job on defense at being fueled by his fundamentals and energy. He is exceptional at racking up steals, as this past season he had two games with four takeaways.

Add all these strengths together, and it equals an ideal prospect for what head coach Quin Snyder has built. Joel Ayayi might not be one of the most hyped-up prospects in the draft, but he definitely can make an impact right away. The same goes for this next fella…