Entering Thursday night’s draft, many didn’t know what to expect from the Utah Jazz. Many reports suggested the team was looking to trade up in the draft to select Anthony Black from Arkansas. Undoubtedly, either the Jazz failed to find a trade partner to make the move or made the decision to stand pat at No. 9.
Nonetheless, Utah managed to land one of the most talented prospects in the draft with the ninth overall selection.
Utah Jazz select Taylor Hendricks with the No. 9 pick
Draft Grade: A-
Danny Ainge added to his reputation for selecting high-potential wings with the selection of UCF’s Taylor Hendricks. The 6-foot-9 playmaker averaged 15.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 34 games with the Knights. With his ability to score at will, the wing’s versatility could allow him to translate his game to the NBA sooner rather than later.
Many expected the Jazz to select their point guard of the future at No. 9, but Ainge and company decided to bolster the front court alongside Lauri Markkanen with their first pick of the draft/.
If Hendricks and Markkanen can make it work, the new young duo has the potential to be a big problem for the rest of the league for years to come. Nonetheless, like all young draft picks, the new Jazz forward will have plenty of room to develop his game. Fortunately for him and Utah fans, the Jazz have a Gregg Poppovich disciple in Will Hardy available to develop the new draftees.
If Hendricks can grow into the player the Jazz front office hopes he can, he could be yet another solid pick for an Utah team that has a history of finding gems through the draft. Only time will tell, but for now, all eyes are on Hendricks and the Jazz in the Summer League.