COMMENTARY | After years of selecting quality players -- including a couple of Hall of Famers -- the Utah Jazz have proven to be one of the best drafting teams in the league.
But they haven't always gotten it right.
Here are five of their biggest mistakes:
5. Raul Lopez, 2001
Looking for an heir to John Stockton, the Jazz used their 2001 first-round pick on Raul Lopez (No. 24).
Though the Spaniard wasn't a bad player (he averaged a solid 6.5 points and 3.8 assists in 18.9 minutes per contest as a backup), Utah could've had Frenchman Tony Parker (No. 28). Deaux!
4. Curtis Borchardt, 2002
In 2002, the Jazz sought Stanford center Curtis Borchardt and wound up acquiring him by trading their 19th and 47th picks, Ryan Humphrey and Jamal Sampson, to the Orlando Magic. Unfortunately for Utah, the injury-prone Borchardt was only able to play in 83 NBA games.
Players the Jazz could've drafted instead: Tayshaun Prince (No. 23), Nenad Krstic (No. 24), Carlos Boozer (No. 34), and Luis Scola (No. 55).
3. Dominique Wilkins, 1982
Dominique Wilkins turned out to be a great selection, just not for Utah. He burned the Jazz when he forced team officials to trade him to the Atlanta Hawks for John Drew, Freeman Williams, and cash in what is now known as one of the most lopsided deals in NBA history.
2. Kris Humphries, Kirk Snyder, and Pavel Podkolzin, 2004
In 2004, the Jazz passed on Al Jefferson (No. 15), Josh Smith (No. 17), and Kevin Martin (No. 26) to select Kris Humphries (No. 14), Kirk Snyder (No. 16), and Pavel Podkolzin (No. 21).
Yep, Utah went 0-for-3 that summer.
Snyder and Podkolzin lasted just four and two years in the league, respectively, and while Humphries is still around, he's been more E! than Y! Sports.
1. Luther Wright, 1993
Twenty years ago, the Jazz put their faith in Luther Wright, a 7-foot-2, 275-pound center who was supposed to replace two-time Defensive Player of the Year Mark Eaton and help John Stockton and Karl Malone make a run at a title(s). However, due to personal problems, Wright never made it through his rookie season.
And because he converted his contract into an annuity, the franchise is still paying off his $5 million deal today.
Jared Bray, a graduate of Brigham Young University's broadcast journalism program, has followed the Utah Jazz since 2008, when he covered the team as a sports correspondent for KBYU-TV's Daily News at Noon.
- Sports & Recreation
- Utah Jazz
- Curtis Borchardt
- Kris Humphries
- Dominique Wilkins
- Kirk Snyder
- John Stockton