With the 2013 NBA draft drawing closer, the draft day intrigue will begin with the first pick.
There is still no consensus number one, and 2013 could be one of the most unpredictable drafts in recent memory.
The Jazz hold picks No. 14, 21 and 46, and with at least eight players from last year's roster hitting free agency, it's unlikely that the draft will solve all the issues the team wants to address.
Some of the more pressing concerns (outside shooting, point guard), however, could be effectively resolved if the Jazz nail down the right prospects.
Here is the first round of the Deseret News 2013 mock NBA draft.
At 6-10 with a 7-4 wingspan, Nerlens has exceptional size and athletic ability. He is quick and nimble and has an above-average vertical leap, allowing him to be an impact player on both sides of the floor.
He may have possibly been the consensus number one overall pick had he not had a season-ending knee surgery earlier this year.
Cleveland has not tipped its hand in regards to who will be selected first overall, so Nerlens is by no means a slam dunk as the top pick. There has been speculation that the Cavs could select Alex Len or possibly Ben McLemore.
Although he had some academic and off-the-court issues while in school, McLemore, along with Nerlens Noel, is considered by most analysts to be a fairly safe pick in terms of athletic ability.
Although a bit undersized, he has outstanding athletic ability and has shown his speed and explosiveness in transition. He has great leaping ability and is very unselfish with the ball, although that can sometimes lead him taking a more passive, less aggressive approach.
He has ferric size and length for a small forward, showing steady improvement in his two years at Georgetown.
Porter helped himself most in the past year by improving his 3-point shooting substantially, from 23 percent as a freshman to 42 percent as a sophomore.
Bennett headlines a strong group of power forwards in this year's draft. He did a little bit of everything while at UNLV, and his versatility and athleticism will be beneficial to the team that drafts him.
He's a powerful and explosive leaper and possesses great quickness and body control, making him a difficult matchup for opposing big men.
After a strong defensive season as a sophomore, Oladipo dramatically improved his offensive production as a junior.
His defense is his strength — thanks in part to his energetic style of play, which overwhelms opposing ball handlers and give him the ability to make plays off of rebounds — blocked shots and steals.
As long as he continues to hone his offensive skill set, Oladipo could develop into a strong all a round player that would fit nicely in most systems.
Burke is widely considered to be one of the top point guards available. While not particularly impressive in any one statistically category, Burke has put up solid numbers across the board.
A 44.7 percent shooter in catch-and-shoot situations, his pull-up jump shot is perhaps his greatest asset, drawing comparisons with NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard.
He also showed his poise in high-pressure situations, leading Michigan through the NCAA tournament to a berth in the championship game.
Len's 7-1 frame and 7-4 wingspan certainly gives him the physical assets to be successful in the NBA, although surgery for a stress fracture in May has left him unable to fully workout for teams ahead of the draft.
His length allows him to be a dominant defender down low, although he tends to lose focus at times. He has shown flashes of brilliance on offense, though he was not on particularly well-coached teams leaving question marks as to his potential.
Carter-Williams is said to be the third best point guard in the 2013 NBA draft. He has a long and large body for a point guard, which makes him valuable on the defensive end of the court.
He is a talented facilitator, however he also has a high amount of turnovers. Most of his cough-ups come during pick-and-roll settings, as he is a much more efficient passer in the open court.
Carter-Williams is largely expected to be drafted between the No. 8 and No. 14 picks. Following his workout in Utah, Jazz vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin said he was impressed with the guard. However, he also said Carter-Williams will need to get in better shape and improve his shooting to be a strong point guard at the next level.
Caldwell-Pope's biggest weapon is his pull-up jumper with nearly half of his shots coming beyond the arc. He also handles the ball very well posting low turnover rates while with Georgia.
He also has the size and athleticism to be effective on defense and has shown his willingness to put effort in to his defense.
His biggest weakness is average finishing ability. If he continues to develop offensively and maintain his defensive focus, he will more than likely be effective in most NBA systems.
The Hoosiers will take a huge hit next season and the NBA team lucky enough to draft Zeller will have a valuable, mobile 7-footer.
Most teams could use a big man with the ability to run the floor and great footwork around the rim, all of which Zeller brings to the court. Throughout his sophomore season, the Indiana center improved his rebounding by 20 percent, which was looked at as one of his weaknesses following his outstanding freshman campaign.
This New Zealander has nabbed the "potential" tag from most NBA scouting services.
His free-throw shooting is low (44.3 percent), and he has a very weak jump shot. His combination of size and athleticism are what is appealing to professional teams.
He is great with his back to the basket as well as in transition, and certainly was no defensive liability down low.
C.J. McCollum is widely known for his ability to create offense through one-on-one play and using screens.
The offensive-minded player has a deadly jump shot, and his ability to effectively score from anywhere on the court makes him an offensive threat. Draft Express ranks him as the most efficient point guard in this year’s NBA Draft.
He is not known as a natural facilitator, however, with his skilled ball handling and knowledgeable understanding of basketball, he certainly has potential to boost his assists per game.
Muhammad is an offensive-minded, aggressive scorer.
With a strong build and 6-11 wingspan, he could be a successful power forward in the NBA. The majority of the time he scores on transition baskets and moving well off the ball. He is also a good spot-up shooter and can create opportunities for himself in the post.
Any team would likely benefit from acquiring a big man that likes to run and score in transition, however his lack of half-court offense might not fit with some systems in place.
Utah's interest in Larkin can be summed up in three words: athletic point guard.
Larkin impressed at the NBA combine. He registered a 3/4-court sprint time of 3.08 seconds and the second-highest maximum vertical jump ever recorded at the combine at 44 inches.
"I knew I could jump. I knew I was fast," Larkin told the Chicago Sun-Times after the combine. "I didn’t think the teams knew how high I could jump, how athletic I was or how much I can bench press. So just being able to show that even though I’m a smaller guy, I can play above the rim and I’m strong enough to battle the big guards is a good thing."
The Jazz have young, strong, athletic players with loads of upside at every position other than point guard. It's easy to see why Utah would take a serious look at any legitimate point guard that could drop down to No. 14, and multiple NBA Draft publications are projecting that Larkin will do just that.
Schroeder is considered one of the top prospects at guard this year. His catch-and-shoot percentage is terrific — some reports have it as high as 57 percent — and he impressed in earlier workouts with Portland. The Celtics are also highly interested in him and reportedly promised that they'd draft him at No. 16 if he were available, though he later disputed those reports.
Schroeder is an excellent ball-handler and passer. He is also particularly adept at blowing by defenders.
He has a tremendous wingspan — greater than 6-foot-7. Though young and very raw, Schroeder appears to have all the talent the Jazz could want in a point guard if they're willing to invest a few years to develop it.
If Schroeder, Miami's Shane Larkin, Louisville's Peyton Siva and NC State's Lorenzo Brown are all available at 14, the Jazz will have an interesting decision to make if they intend to pick a point guard. Most mock drafts have Schroeder available at that point in the draft, and some boards have him dropping into the 20s.
The general consensus is that if the Jazz don't draft Larkin, they will pick Schroeder.
As a shot creator, Ledo has shown the ability to score both by attacking the basket and by hitting perimeter shots. He is a superb scorer and well rounded offensively.
Defensively, Ledo has a ways to go to be effective. He has shown flashes of ability but at times shows frustration and lack of effort. With time and patience, he could develop into an adequate defender.
He had some character issues in college but has shown more maturity since the NBA combine.
Such efficiency was no fluke for Olynyk, who shot a ridiculous 62.9 percent from the field in 2012-13.
The lanky forward has a knack for contorting his body around the rim in traffic, as well as a feel as the big man in pick-and-roll sets.
Unlike many college big men, Olynyk had few issues in the foul-trouble department, yet another aspect of his game that makes him a safe, if unspectacular, prospect in the draft.
Most teams feel enforcers are an area you can't build up enough, and Dieng is one of the better ones in this year's draft.
The Big East Defensive Player of the Year, Dieng pounded the glass and opponents' shot attempts with equal ferocity for the eventual national champs.
Dieng would provide quality frontcourt insurance should Atlanta fail to land Dwight Howard in free agency.
The talent of Rice's father was a big reason Michigan made their NCAA tournament run in 1989, and much of it appears to be hereditary. NBA pedigree aside, Rice brings the swagger to match his talent — sometimes more.
Rice wasn't the marksman his dad was from deep (33 percent from 3-point range), but he hit more than 50 percent inside the arc and was a terror on the boards despite playing the wing.
His defensive versatility is another plus, but he'll need to convince a team he can perform similarly at the pro level despite his 6-5 frame.
During his college career at Michigan, Hardaway developed his 3-point shot. Last season he shot 37 percent from beyond the arc.
He is a talented spot-up shooter but lacks overall consistency. His percentage from two-point range dropped each season. His confidence in the 3-ball will help him make strides in the NBA.
Hardaway is a classic shooting guard and has the right build to continue on as an NBA 2-guard. He will likely make a good backup, with the potential to develop into a starter within a few years.
Plumlee is an athletic big man who moves well without the ball. This skill and increased court awareness will help him transition into the NBA.
The center is also extremely effective in the post and off pick-and-rolls. He is quick, coordinated and a powerful finisher at the rim.
Defensively, Plumlee has potential to be an outstanding post defender, as he is strong and knows how to use his large frame to prevent a good shot.
However, he will have to improve his speed while moving laterally in order to become an overall effective NBA defender. The Jazz would benefit from Plumlee's post play and ability to finish in the paint.
A solid player at power forward, Adetokunbo has shown his great potential and athletic ability while playing in Greece.
While not necessarily a spectacular player, he is solid in most aspects and his young age could give him more time to develop with an NBA team.
His lack of experience can sometimes be evident. He has rebounds stripped away from him occasionally and sometimes fails to finish strong at the basket.
Although he was born in Greece, his parents emigrated from Nigeria. Unlike the United States, being born in Greece does not guarantee citizenship — he has had issues getting a passport, which were only recently resolved, and could hurt his draft stock.
While not particularly explosive or gifted physically, Crabbe has shown quickness and a good ability to score in transition.
He has shown excellent technique with his shooting stroke and is very good in catch-and-shoot situations.
Crabbe's ball-handling skills leave some questions in his game. He has not shown great passing instincts and struggles to create off the dribble.
He sometimes lacks aggressiveness, although he has openly admitted that he can be passive and is working to fix that aspect of his game.
Brown is another promising candidate as the next great point guard. He is leaving college with three years under his belt and spent his college years primarily developing his skills as a passer and a facilitator.
Brown is strong in transition with a particular strength in forcing the defense to commit to one option, leaving the other open. He is an outstanding setup man — his assists-per-game statistic was sixth in the NCAA for 2012-13.
North Carolina State's two best wins in 2012-13 were against North Carolina and Duke. Following the game against the Blue Devils — one of which Brown was responsible for all 13 of NC State's assists — Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Brown was "magical with the ball" and that "no one gets the ball down the court faster in transition than Brown."
He is a large point guard, which is an asset for any team that wants to occasionally use him in the post. Unfortunately, most analysts aren't too high on his pick-and-roll skill set. He prefers leap-and-leaners, floaters and runners to spot up shooting.
Another late first-round possibility, Franklin offers the classic guard-that-played-like-a-big-man-in-college conundrum.
He crashed the boards like few others, but the last guy to do so with equal success in the pros was a dude by the name of Charles Barkley.
Still, Franklin added far more than rebounds, getting to the rack for points, dishing the rock and getting his share of steals and blocks in the process.
You can't teach height and Gobert comes loaded with it. That — plus a monstrous 7-foot-9 wingspan — leaves team-scouting crews a big impression, to say the least.
It's hard to ignore his pedestrian French league stats, though it's worth noting that Ricky Rubio, among other European league prospects, also failed to impress stats-wise in his days across the pond. More than anything, Euro/other league stats are less impressive due to the style of play, which is far more dependent on team offense and under-emphasizes star power.
If there's a team with an "Outside Shooting: Wanted" sign, chances are Snell can fill it with the same ease he fills the bucket from deep.
A catch-and-shoot guy with a stroke that leaves purists crying tears of joy, Snell could thrive as a weak-side role player in a movement-based offense.
Snell will need to prove he's got more fire than he showed in college, where passiveness appeared as often as his talent. Should he do that, he could be a steal for the team that snags him.
A strong showing at the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit has vaulted Jean-Charles up the draft boards.
He showed scouts his ability to do the little things and could be a promising role player for any team. He currently plays as a combo guard — his versatility and willingness to learn could have him develop into any number of roles or positions on the floor.
His youth and inexperience means he probably won’t have an immediate impact on the team that drafts him, but if paired with the right situation, he could develop into a solid player.
As far as paint protectors went, there weren't many better than Withey last year.
The San Diego product repeatedly hosted block parties while staying out of foul trouble —just 2.1 fouls per game in 2012-13.
Withey was also an efficient scorer when given the opportunity, hitting 58.2 percent of his attempts. He's also athletic for a big man, unafraid to take off for put-back jams or alley-oop passes.
He needs to hit the weight room, but Withey would provide a true big man's presence to the team that drafts him.
Mitchell is an athletic combo forward who has progressively gotten better at jump shooting over the course of his very short collegiate career, but is turnover-prone when driving to the basket. He is good in transition, a decent defender and very active without the ball.
Mitchell was academically ineligible for what would have been his freshman season, so his college career was delayed. He did well as a freshman, but took a step back as a sophomore, despite being tabbed as the Sun Belt's preseason conference player of the year.