The Utah Jazz gets a big pick in The Ringer's 2024 Mock Draft but is it the right pick?

The Utah Jazz are selected second in The Ringer's 2024 Mock Draft but did they get the right guy?
Illinois v Connecticut
Illinois v Connecticut / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz tanked this season away for one reason, to procure their 2024 first-round draft pick with the hopes of landing a major player in the NBA Draft. The Utah Jazz made a bold choice in doing so, as it easily could've backfired (and it still might) but as of right now, the Jazz are as near of a lock as you can get to retain their pick. This isn't like the NFL, however, where you know where you're going to be picking as soon as the season ends for you. In the NBA, if you don't make the playoffs, you enter the draft lottery.

ping-pongAnd anything can happen in the NBA Draft Lottery. The Jazz will have to hope the literal ping-pong balls fall in their favor to retain the pick. If it falls outside of the Top 10, it goes to the Oklahoma City Thunder and if it stays at 10 or earlier, it goes to the Jazz. The Jazz have a great chance of retaining their pick and now have about 20% of landing in the Top 4.

If that happens, the Jazz would likely have the pick of the litter, so to speak, being able to basically take any rookie they want.

The Ringer kept that knowledge in mind and when they developed their most recent mock draft, they had the Jazz taking a player at 2nd overall. Honestly, the Jazz are bad enough to warrant that selection, so we're fine with it. We're not completely fine with who they selected for the Jazz.

See, there isn't a universal draft order this year. We've seen names like Reed Sheppard, Zaccharie Risacher and Tidjane Salaun go first overall in a lot of mock drafts. This time, The Ringer has French star Alex Sarr going first overall to the Toronto Raptors. We're not sure that's who we'd pick but to each their own.

For the Jazz, however, The Ringer has them taking Stephon Castle out of UConn. Castle could be a great addition to a lot of teams, but we're not feeling it, mostly for one reason; he can't shoot. He's 6'6 guard/forward, that can't shoot. He's a 26% three-point shooter, and we're left wondering why Castle? Why is it that in the NBA, we justify the practice of taking guys who aren't actually good at the sport so high?

Castle is a good defender, but he turns the ball over 2:1, and a lot of his defensive upside can be credited to how good the entire team is. He's not exactly somehow who has the tools to thrive in the NBA, let alone as the 2nd overall pick. Sure, second-round, take a flyer on a guy with great defense. We're all about that.

But if the Jazz gets the second-overall pick, they better take the best shooter available. The Jazz don't need guys who can't shoot. They need perimeter defense, which Castle provides, and three-point shooting, which he doesn't. Justifying that he could be a superstar, as the Ringer does if he can develop the one thing he should already have (a jump shot) is a reason not to draft him.

"Oh, he could be really good!"

"So, he isn't already?"

"No, but he could be!"

There's a risk with every player, but you don't draft for potential, you draft for talent. Give us Reed, or Dalton Knecht, someone who can play the perimeter in the modern NBA. They may not turn into the biggest stars of the NBA, but they can turn into good starters with the right coaching.