For the first time ever, the Utah Jazz were part of the NBA's Draft Lottery on Sunday - sort of.
And the Jazz lost.Utah, should they choose to accept it, will get the final lottery pick for next month's draft, No. 13 overall. The Jazz haven't had a pick that early in the draft since 1985 - when they also had the 13th pick and chose Karl Malone.
Actually, the 13th pick as of now belongs to Orlando. But the Jazz, thanks to the Felton Spencer trade of two years ago, have the option of taking it away from the Magic. If they don't, the Jazz will automatically get Orlando's first-round pick next year.
Utah has until 10 days before the draft - June 14 - to tell the Magic and the league whether it will take the 13th pick or hold off until next year. In typical Jazz fashion, Scott Layden will not be in a rush to make a decision.
"We need to weigh our options and see who we think might be around at No. 13," said Layden.
The Jazz also need to consider where the Magic's pick will be next year. If Orlando makes the playoffs, a strong possibility since Penny Hardaway should be healthy, it won't be as good as 13th. If, however, the Magic go into the tank, miss the playoffs and win the lottery, it could be a much better pick than 13th.
So who might be around in the draft if the Jazz take the pick? One player expected to go around that level is well-known to Utah basketball fans.
Flash forward to June 24.
"And with the 13th pick, the Utah Jazz select Michael Doleac from the University of Utah."
Far-fetched? Not really.
Should the Jazz exercise the option, they may be in position to draft Doleac. The 6-foot-11, 269-pound center led the Utes to the NCAA championship game by averaging 16 points and seven rebounds.
NBA draft expert Chris Monter, a contributor to ESPNet SportsZone, currently projects Doleac as the 14th pick. That was before the NBA lottery, however, and is subject to change after teams learn exactly when they'll pick and who may be available as needs are addressed.
Others available at No. 13 may include forwards Robert "Tractor" Traylor (6-8, 300) of Michigan and Lamar Odom (6-9, 220) of Rhode Island; as well as guards Bonzi Wells (6-5, 210) of Ball State or Oregon State's Corey Benjamin (6-6, 200).
"There are 60 guys who could go in the first round," said NBA director of scouting Marty Blake. "There are no (Tim) Duncans, but guys like that only come along once every 10 years. It's a pretty good draft. I would love to pick between 15 and 35. Any one of these guys could pan out. This draft could wind up surprising some people. It's not bad."