It’s crunch time.

In one week, the 2023 NBA draft will be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and the Utah Jazz will be on the clock with the No. 9 pick — the team’s highest selection in nearly a decade.

Out of six major mock drafts, three — ESPN, The Associated Press, and SB Nation — have Utah selecting 6-foot-9, 210-pound UCF forward Taylor Hendricks at No. 9.

In his freshman season at UCF, Hendricks averaged 15.1 points, 7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 0.9 steals.

He shot nearly 48% from the field and nearly 40% from 3-point range, showing good efficiency, and was a good defender while showing off his athleticism throughout the season.

Hendricks was the only player in the NCAA to make 60 or more 3-pointers, record 55 or more blocks and score 35 or more dunks, per UCF.

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“Taylor had a truly remarkable year and we’re excited for the next step in his basketball career,” said UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins in a press release.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for him and such a special moment. I’ve said it before, there was not one bad day coaching Taylor. He’s a great teammate and a hard worker. He was a joy to coach and was one of the most coachable players I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. My staff and I thank him for everything he contributed to our program this season.”

Deseret News Jazz beat writer Sarah Todd has a full scouting report on Hendricks, along with four other players Utah could realistically select at No. 9.

Here’s who the final round of mock drafts are projecting the Jazz to select with the No. 9 pick.


The Athletic — Ausar Thompson

Position: Guard/Forward.
School: Overtime Elite.
Height/weight: 6-foot-7, 215 pounds.

What they’re saying: “Thompson is an elite athlete who impacts the game in many ways. He’s a strong defender who flies around in help as a good rim protector and playmaker in passing lanes. He’s a strong, technical on-ball defender. Offensively, he can get out on the break and score, and in the half court, he’s a sharp cutter and driver of the basketball. His passing is maybe my favorite skill, especially as a secondary ballhandler. As a finisher, Thompson has a terrific package of touch finishes and layups in addition to above-the-rim athleticism. The guy Thompson reminds me of most is Andre Iguodala, even down to the shooting questions that Thompson will have to work through early in his career. My bet is Thompson is an impact player because of how well-rounded his game is.” — Sam Vecenie.

Bilal Coulibaly — The Ringer

Position: Guard/Forward.
School: Metropolitans 92 (France).
Height/weight: 6-foot-7, 230 pounds.
What they’re saying: “Superb measurements, a long wingspan, and a wide frame give him elite defensive upside. But he also brings grit and a consistent approach, actively contesting hard on closeouts, jumping passing lanes, and flying in to help in the paint as a shot blocker. Even at his young age, he’s got the strength to compete at the pro level as a defender who switches across positions.” — Kevin O’Connor.

Cason Wallace — Sporting News

Position: Guard.
School: Kentucky.
Height/weight: 6-foot-4, 193 pounds.
What they’re saying: “The Jazz could use a true point guard and Wallace is among the most reliable in this draft class. As a tenacious on-ball defender with sound decision-making as a passer and a growing scoring repertoire, Wallace would give Utah some much-needed stability in the backcourt as it rebuilds for the future.” — Kyle Irving.

ESPN, Associated Press, SB Nation — Taylor Hendricks

Position: Forward.
School: UCF.
Height/weight: 6-foot-8, 214 pounds.
What they’re saying: “The Jazz appear to be in a similar position as Indiana, seeking a gifted forward with defensive versatility to pair with leading scorer Lauri Markkanen, with the top two candidates being Hendricks and (Jarace) Walker. Filling that need with their first pick, and then focusing on adding backcourt depth with their second pick, makes sense considering the number of guards and wings expected to be available later in the draft. However, that plan could change if Black happens to fall here. He’s believed to be high on the team’s draft board. — Jonathan Givony.