Less than two weeks remain before the NFL draft, but there’s another draft just over two months away that will have major local storylines.
That would be the NBA draft on June 23. The Utah Jazz will be selecting in the lottery, and University of Utah big man Jakob Poeltl is expected to be chosen in the first 14 picks.
Having missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year by one game, the Jazz had a fortuitous finish to the season in terms of lottery odds.
Entering the final night of the season, Utah still had a shot at the playoffs, and would have been slotted 15th or 16th in the draft had it made it. Instead, the Jazz moved into the top 14, then saw the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards win while they lost, allowing them to finish with the 12th-worst record in the league at 40-42.
Lottery order won’t be officially determined until May 17, but the Jazz will likely pick at No. 12 for the second consecutive year.
They will have a 2.5 percent chance of getting a top three pick in the draft, with a 0.7 percent chance of snagging the top slot. If they don’t get one of the top three selections, they’ll pick 12th.
With its starting lineup seemingly set for next season, it’s quite wide open as to what type of player Utah might choose, a fact that’s reflected in the bevy of mock drafts that have been published thus far.
Here’s a rundown of who different media outlets have the Jazz selecting in their mock drafts:
Basketball Insiders: Vanderbilt guard Wade Baldwin
Sporting News: Marquette forward Henry Ellenson
Bleacher Report: Michigan State wing Denzel Valentine
ESPN Insider’s Chad Ford: Turkish wing Furkan Korkmaz
While prognostications about Utah are all over the place, they’re more firm about where Poeltl might end up.
CBS Sports, Basketball Insiders, NBADraft.net, HoopsHype.com and ESPN Insider are all projecting that the big man from Austria will be selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 10th overall pick.
Incidentally, Runnin’ Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak played five seasons for the Bucks (1987-1992) and was their head coach from March 2007 to April 2008.
DraftExpress projects Poeltl will be taken eighth by the Sacramento Kings, while Sporting News thinks he’ll go ninth to the Toronto Raptors and Bleacher Report pegs him to go 13th to the Phoenix Suns.
Ryan McDonald is a sports reporter at DeseretNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanwmcdonald.