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Ranking the best draft picks in Utah Jazz history

Published: Thursday, July 24 2014 9:18 p.m. MDT

1. Karl Malone Next List » 19 of 19 « Prev
Associated Press
Malone was easily the best player on the board when the Jazz drafted him with the 13th overall pick in the 1985 draft for the simple fact that he was the best player in the entire draft. He spent the first 18 years of his career with the Jazz before playing one final season with the Los Angeles Lakers in search of an illusive championship ring. The 14-time All-Star was one of the most impressive power forwards in league history. He could score, rebound and even was a great passer out of the post. One of his most impressive statistical seasons came with the Jazz in 1996-97 when he averaged 27.4 points on 55 percent shooting, 9.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 82 games to earned the NBA MVP award for the first of two times.

For his career, he averaged 25 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 1,476 games (1,471 starts). For his dominant play on the floor, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

Jay Yeomans is a courier by day and a freelance writer by night. He is the creator and lead writer of the website jmoneysports.com. Contact him at jmoney34@hotmail.com. Twitter: @jmoneysports



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Morgan Duel
Taylorsville, UT

Wow only two really good players in all those picks. Who are the Jazz Scouts?

fowersjl
Farmington, Utah

Where is Hornacek?

Cinci Man
FT MITCHELL, KY

Jeff Hornacek was drafted by the Phoenix Suns, not Utah. This is a great list.

tom2
Jerome, ID

It wasn't an illusive championship ring, it was elusive.

Balan
South Jordan, Utah

No Thurl Bailey - you're kidding me right?

AltaHawkFan
Sandy, UT

Definitely Thurl should be high on the list. I'd also put Darrell Griffith above Bryon Russell. Blue Edwards and Dell Curry should be on the list before Bobby Hansen for sure.

briantimothy
AF, UT

and Karl Malone as a perennial all star whiner... I'll leave it at that

Flashback
Kearns, UT

1. Stockton. 2. Malone (he wouldn't have been near as good without Stockton feeding him the ball). 3. Griffith (way better career stats). 4. Thurl Bailey (7th overall pick, long career). After these guys no one else matters. Having Wilkins on the list is stupid. He never played for the Jazz. I'm surprised Jose Ortiz isn't on this uninformed list. After all he was the best player available then.

Whomever put this list together has no clue.

Weberboy
Fruit Heights, UT

The list only needed to be 1-10.

Brillopad
Sandy, UT

Not have Thurl Bailey on the list is a joke, he is in the top 10 and Darrell Griffith should be in the top 5.

Feisty
Pleasant View, UT

Hey guys - Stockton to Malone should have been a tie. You can't have one without the other. Right?

General
Alpine, UT

For all of us new Utah fans, who did the Jazz get in the trade Dominique Wilkins?

Jmoney34
Sandy, UT

General
The Jazz got Freeman Williams and John Drew in the trade for 'Nique.

SanDimasHighSchoolFootballRules
Parowan, UT

It's obvious this writer did not see Darrell Griffith play. 10th!?! Really? Absurd.

elvon
Brigham City, UT

Ok Jay, the word is Elusive not Illusive. By the way, Stockton should have been listed as #1 and Malone #2.

ECR
Burke, VA

How can you possibly put Dominique Wilkens as even in the top 20 when he didn't play, correct that, didn't want to play for the Jazz and never put on a uniform. A good draft strategy would have known that fact before the pick was made.

And to leave Thurl Bailey off the list entirely, let alone leaving him out of the top five is almost criminal. Stockton, Malone, Griffith, others were great picks but think about Jazz history and remember whose presence turned the franchise from the perennial cellar dweller to a playoff team. It was the 1984 season, Thurl's first. Who write's this stuff, anyway?

ECR
Burke, VA

How can you possibly place the Dominique Wilkens pick even in the top twenty? He never played for, correct that, never wanted to play for the Jazz and never put on a uniform. An informed staff would have known that fact before they wasted the pick.

And Brillopad is exactly right. How can you leave Thurl Bailey off the list all together, let alone off the top ten. Stockton, Malone, Griffith, others, were great but who was it that sparked the turnaround from being a perennial cellar dweller to a regular playoff team? It was 1984, Thurl's first season. He alone is responsible for everything after that. Who write's this stuff, anyway?

Magna Ute Fan
Magna, UT

General- I heard a Jazz insider on the radio awhile back who said that picking and then trading Dominique was a pivotal move for the Jazz. One, because he didn't want to come here. But even more important, the team was barely staying alive financially. The most importnat thing the Jazz got out of the trade was a pile a CASH to help keep the team afloat.

Incidentally, the insider (sorry I can't remember who it was,) also said the Hawks paid the Jazz about a million more than the Jazz asked them for. I guess Ted Turner had an honest heart.

Mountain Bird
West Jordan, UT

After drafting Thurl Baily the Jazz finally made the playoffs. Terrible oversight to not include Big T. Should be top 5 at least.

On an unrelated note, I've yet to see a prettier jump shot than the Golden Griff.

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