Editor’s note: Second in a three-part series examining what players the Utah Jazz might select in the 2024 NBA draft.

In the 2024 NBA draft, the Utah Jazz have two first-round picks — No. 10 and No. 29 — and one second-round pick — No. 32. In the event that the Jazz don’t make a deal that sends away the 29th pick, there will be a number of high-upside players left on the board for them to choose from.

But this draft is a little harder to predict than some of the more recent drafts. Some players that teams have ranked in the teens in the draft are ranked in the 20s or 30s by another team. And there are some players that are top five for some teams while being ranked around 20 for others.

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With that in mind, I know that my ranking these players for a 29th pick might vary from where you’ve seen them slotted elsewhere — that’s fine; this draft is weird. But, with the combined knowledge of what the Jazz like, who they’ve had in for workouts, what the team needs and the time I’ve spent learning about the different prospects, here are five players I think the Jazz should target with the No. 29 pick:

Tristan Da Silva | Colorado | senior | 6 feet, 8.25 inches

Right of the top I have to say that I’ve seen Tristan Da Silva projected to go anywhere from 15 to 30 in the draft, and if it were me making the decisions, I would definitely consider this guy a lottery pick. So, there is a definite chance that he won’t be there at 29 and the Jazz would have to move up a little bit to get him (could package the 29th and 32nd pick), which I am advocating that they do.

Every year, there are players that just stand out as guys that can come in right away and contribute because they are smart and tested and just make the right decisions without being too flashy. Last year, that player, for me, was Jaime Jaquez Jr. This year, Da Silva has Jaime Jaquez Jr. written all over him.

Jaquez was a four-year player who was picked 18th overall and there were many who thought he’d be a rotational player but not much else because of his age and “lack of athleticism.” You are going to read in other places that Da Silva is not athletic and he’s not explosive and that, because he is 23, he isn’t as good a pick as some of the other players, but I would be willing to bet that Da Silva will have a long NBA career despite the naysayers.

Originally from Germany, Da Silva followed the path his older brother took, deciding to come play college in the U.S. rather than continue with international play. His brother Oscar played at Stanford before going undrafted and deciding to return overseas in 2021 (he currently plays for FC Barcelona). But Tristan will be drafted and for very good reason.

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His shot form is smooth and easy and he hit 39.5% of his 3s during his senior season at Colorado; he is also great without the ball in his hands, finding moments to cut or slash or push defenders in transition. But by far his most valuable asset is his playmaking. He is an incredible decision-maker. He can make any pass, has great court vision and seems like he sees plays one step ahead of the defense at all times.

Defensively, it’s a little harder to see exactly what he’ll be like in the NBA. He was a great transition shot blocker in college and was really good at getting into lanes as a help defender, but he won’t be used in the front court at the NBA level as much as he was in college. But he is versatile and will still be a handful in switching schemes.

It was actually difficult for me to leave Da Silva off the list of players the Jazz should target with the 10th pick. I would be absolutely shocked if he fell below 22 in the draft, but he’s one of my favorite players in this class and he seems like he’s ready to be on an NBA roster and would probably be in his prime right as the Jazz were ready to start competing in the playoffs, so I think he’s worth thinking about when considering moving up in the draft.

Oso Ighodaro | Marquette | senior | 6 feet, 9.5 inches

There are quite a few players who were big enough in college to play center full time who are going to have to adapt to playing power forward in the NBA and not all of the players are going to be able to make that adjustment, but Oso Ighodaro seems like he has a really good chance while also being the perfect small-ball five.

He’s a really versatile defender and a great passer who is always passing up good opportunities for great ones. He knows how to draw a defense in for the perfect kick-out pass to a shooter and because he has such good touch on hook shots and floaters, it is going to be necessary that defenses pay attention to him inside.

He’s also an excellent lob threat with a lot of strength at the rim (reminds me of Aaron Gordon sometimes). The problem is that right now we don’t know if there’s a 3-point shooter in there anywhere. But his passing and creation and IQ with the ball in his hands might make up for the fact that he doesn’t have an outside game.

Kyshawn George | Miami | freshman | 6 feet, 7 inches

If the Oklahoma City Thunder can have Jalen Williams and Jaylin Williams, then the Jazz can have Keyonte George and Kyshawn George.

The Jazz were really impressed with George at the combine, both in his showing during drills and in their interview with him. And after digging into some of Miami’s tape, I can understand what they see.

George’s outside game is beautiful. He shot 40.8% at Miami and did it on pull-ups, spot-ups, step-backs, you name it. He has a silky release and even though sometimes his release seems a little slow, he can speed it up when need be. His length lets him shoot over closeouts and he’s smart about creating space in different situations.

I’ve seen some people say that he isn’t explosive and doesn’t have NBA speed, but I think that George might actually use pace and athleticism in a really smart way. It seems like he speeds up or slows down in order to draw fouls or create the best passing situation, and he doesn’t leap above the rim unless he really needs to. Those seem like incredibly valuable attributes for such a young player to have.

I’m a little surprised that George is projected as a late first-round pick when considering his accuracy as a passer and the potential versatility as a defender, so he could end up being a real steal for whatever team ends up taking him.

Kevin McCullar Jr. | Kansas | senior | 6 feet, 5.25 inches

If effort and decision-making are things that really interest you (I’m looking at you, Will Hardy), then Kevin McCullar Jr. is the perfect prospect.

He is a hard-nosed defender who is seemingly always in position even when he’s sneaking over in help or in isolation. His defense at the point of attack is as good as his off-ball defense and he seems to have the size to be a really switchable perimeter defender at the next level.

He doesn’t have the most polished scoring game and has made some adjustments over the last couple of years that have seemed to benefit him in that regard, but he is such a high-IQ player with the ball in his hands and he is really unselfish, so it makes up for the fact that he’s not always looking to score.

There are a lot of times when looking at draft prospects that scoring and efficiency are really important and highlighted for good reason. But every team needs players that do all the other stuff. I’m not saying that McCullar can’t score; he absolutely can. But he shines at everything else he does.

Kansas's Kevin McCullar Jr. brings the ball up the court against Houston on Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Houston. The Jazz could nab McCullar Jr. with the 29th pick.
Kansas's Kevin McCullar Jr. brings the ball up the court against Houston on Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Houston. The Jazz could nab McCullar Jr. with the 29th pick. | David J. Phillip, Associated Press

Ryan Dunn | Virginia | sophomore | 6 feet, 6.25 inches

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Comments

Let’s continue talking about defensive upside with Ryan Dunn.

You might look at his 3-point shooting numbers in college and think that there’s just no hope for him as a perimeter player. But, I would ask you to look at Herb Jones, who barely shot the ball at all at Alabama, but was a lockdown defender and then opened up his 3-point game once he was in the NBA. Jones is the perfect comp for Dunn and it’s what NBA front offices will hope that he turns into when it comes to his offensive game.

Dunn very well might be the best defensive player in the 2024 draft. So why is he projected to be a late first-round or early second-round pick? Mostly it’s because of his lack of an offensive game. He doesn’t shoot well, he doesn’t create for himself and he doesn’t really have much going on unless he’s slashing or at the rim.

With the 29th pick, I would be willing to take a chance and believe that he can grow offensively, knowing that he’s going to absolutely be able to translate his defensive game to the NBA.

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