The NBA draft is nearly here.

On Thursday night, 58 players will find out which NBA franchise they will play for, or at the very least which franchise will hold their rights.

The Utah Jazz have no shortage of draft picks this year, with No. 9, No. 16 and No. 28 in the first round.

Projections as to whom the Jazz will select with those picks are everywhere. You can find them at ESPN, The Athletic, The Ringer, Sporting News, The Associated Press, SB Nation and more.

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Most of the projections — aka mock drafts — pay especial attention to the Jazz’s lottery pick at No. 9.

There isn’t a whole lot of consensus as to whom the Jazz will select at No. 9, although UCF forward Taylor Hendricks name has been mentioned more than anyone else.

Which means Utah most likely won’t select him.

Since 2004, mock drafts have routinely struggled to project Jazz lottery picks.

Mock drafts are, of course, not an exact science. There are numerous ways a team can go in the draft, and that is before you take into account trades.

But also, experts have struggled for years to understand what the Jazz are looking for when they pick in the lottery.

Take 2016, the last time the Jazz entered the draft with a lottery pick. The Jazz had the No. 12 pick in that draft and projections were all over the place, with Utah “selecting” Dejounte Murray, Deyonta Davis, Jakob Poeltl, Marquese Chriss and Furkan Korkmaz, to name a few.

What did the Jazz do? Traded the pick (Taurean Prince) to the Atlanta Hawks.

In 2015 Utah also had the No. 12 pick and you will recognize many of names the Jazz were expected to select. Guys like Myles Turner, Devin Booker, Willie Cauley-Stein, Frank Kaminsky, Stanley Johnson and Sam Dekker.

The Jazz selected Trey Lyles.

In 2014, the Jazz had the No. 5 pick in the draft and just about every projection had them taking Noah Vonleh. Vonleh ended up going No. 9 in the draft, while Utah took Dante Exum (a pick that still haunts many Jazz fans today).

But wait, there’s more.

In 2013 the Jazz had the No. 13 selection and most mock drafts had Shane Larkin headed to Salt Lake City, though there was a CJ McCollum projection, along with Jamaal Franklin and Shabazz Muhammad.

The Jazz ultimately took Muhammad, but didn’t keep him long, trading him to Minnesota, acquiring No. 9 pick Trey Burke in the process.

In 2011 the Jazz had a pair of lottery picks — No. 3 and No. 12 — Enes Kanter (now Enes Freedom) ended up the pick at No. 3, but the Jazz were projected to select, among others, Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker and Jonas Valanciunas.

With the No. 12 pick Utah took Alec Burks, when most every mock draft had Florida State’s Chris Singleton headed to Salt Lake City, with a couple of Jimmer Fredette picks.

In 2010, Utah had the No. 9 pick and almost every projection had the team going with a big man, be it Cole Aldrich, Ekpe Udoh or Ed Davis.

The Jazz instead took Gordon Hayward.

In 2006, with the No. 14 pick, Utah took Ronnie Brewer when most thought J.J. Redick would end up in Utah.

Mock drafts were somewhat accurate in 2005, when the Jazz took Deron Williams with the No. 3 pick, though Gerald Green and Chris Paul were bandied about, too.

Sergei Monia was expected to be the Jazz’s selection in 2004, but Utah instead went with Kris Humphries.

None of this is to say that mock drafts don’t serve a purpose. They are a source of much-needed entertainment for fans between the end of the NBA season and the draft itself, and serve to educate the masses on a multitude of prospects, many of whom fans likely wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise.

Based off past history, though, don’t expect to hear the Jazz take Hendricks, Cason Wallace, Bilal Coulibaly or Ausar Thompson — all of whom are the most recent draft projections for Utah — on Thursday.

It is just as likely, if not more so, that the Jazz will move up in the draft, a desired player will fall into their lap or some other trade will materialize.

Projected Utah Jazz draft lottery picks over the years


Projected Jazz pick

Bleacher Report — Dejounte Murray

CBS Sports — Deyonta Davis

ESPN — Jakob Poeltl

NBC Sports — Marquese Chriss

Draft Express — Furkan Korkmaz

Actual Jazz pick

Taurean Prince (traded to Atlanta Hawks)


Projected Jazz pick

Bleacher Report — Myles Turner

NBA Draft Room — Stanley Johnson

NBC Sports — Myles Turner

SBNation — Frank Kaminsky

SLAM — Sam Dekker

CBS Sports — Stanley Johnson

Sports Illustrated — Willie Cauley-Stein

Draft Express — Devin Booker

Actual Jazz pick

Trey Lyles


Projected Jazz pick

Bleacher Report — Noah Vonleh

NBA Draft Room — Noah Vonleh

SBNation — Noah Vonleh

USA Today — Noah Vonleh

ESPN — Noah Vonleh

Actual Jazz pick

Dante Exum


Projected Jazz pick

Bleacher Report — Shane Larkin

USA Today — Shane Larkin — Shane Larkin

SBNation — C.J. McCollum

CBS Sports — Shane Larkin

Sports Illustrated — Jamaal Franklin

ESPN — Shabazz Muhammad

Actual Jazz pick

Shabazz Muhammad (traded to Minnesota for Trey Burke)

2011 (No. 3)

Projected Jazz pick

Bleacher Report — Kemba Walker

SBNation — Enes Freedom (Kanter) — Jonas Valanciunas 

Athlon Sports — Brandon Knight

ESPN — Brandon Knight

Actual Jazz pick

Enes Freedom (Kanter)

2011 (No. 12)

Projected Jazz pick

Athlon Sports — Chris Singleton — Jimmer Fredette

SBNation — Jimmer Fredette

Bleacher Report — Chris Singleton

ESPN — Chris Singleton

Actual Jazz pick

Alex Burks


Projected Jazz pick

Bleacher Report — Cole Aldrich

The Hoop Doctors — Cole Aldrich

SBNation — Ed Davis

ESPN The Magazine — Ekpe Udoh — Cole Aldrich

Actual Jazz pick

Gordon Hayward


Projected Jazz pick — Cedric Simmons

MyNBADraft — J.J. Redick

Inside Hoops — J.J. Redick

Hoops Hype — J.J. Redick

NBA Wire — Mouhamed Sene

Actual Jazz pick

Ronnie Brewer


Projected Jazz pick

CBS Sports — Deron Williams

The Oklahoman — Gerald Green

The Draft Review — Chris Paul

The Basketball Forum — Deron Williams

Actual Jazz pick

Deron Williams


Projected Jazz pick — Sergei Monia

Lines — Kris Humphries

Basketball Forum — Sergei Monia

247 Sports — Sergei Monia

Actual Jazz pick

Kris Humphries