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Utah Jazz 2014 Draft Preview

Draft picks: 1st round (5th overall, 23rd overall), 2nd round (35th overall)

By Jim Brighters, NBA Editor

(SportsNetwork.com) - For the second year in a row, the Utah Jazz will have two first-round selections and they could use them both.

The Jazz were one of the league's worst teams last season, so any means of improvement would be welcome.

Utah has a good young nucleus, but the team's best player, Gordon Hayward, can walk away. He emerged as a very capable shooting guard, so that might be where Utah looks at No. 5.

Australia's Dante Exum could slide to the Jazz at five. He can play shooting guard, although he's primarily a point, and suiting up alongside Trey Burke might make a formidable back court.

The Jazz love Duke's Jabari Parker, a devout Mormon. However, to guarantee Parker in a trade, the Jazz might have to pony up the fifth pick, 23rd pick and stud forward Derrick Favors.

That's steep.

If Exum goes before five, the Jazz could have their pick between Indiana's Noah Vonleh and Arizona's Aaron Gordon. Both are freak athletes, but Vonleh is a better shooter.

At pick 23, shooting would help Utah, assuming Hayward heads out of town. P.J. Hairston and Rodney Hood would both be great fits. Truthfully, Utah needs bodies so badly, it can easily go the best-player-available route to provide needed depth.

Quin Snyder assumes head coaching duties from Ty Corbin and everyone involved knows this rebuilding project won't happen quickly. The Jazz are on a good path. Again, there is substantial talent there, but the Jazz need more of it to become relevant once again.

Under Contract: F Derrick Favors; C Enes Kanter; G Trey Burke; G Alec Burks; C Rudy Gobert; F Jeremy Evans; G John Lucas; G Diante Garrett; F Malcolm Thomas

Free Agents: F Richard Jefferson; F Marvin Williams; F Brandon Rush; G Gordon Hayward

Recent Draft History: 2013: Shabazz Muhammad (14), Gorgui Dieng (21), Erick Green (46)

2012: Kevin Murphy (47)

2011: Enes Kanter (3), Alec Burks (12)

2010: Gordon Hayward (9), Jeremy Evans (55)

2009: Eric Maynor (20), Goran Suton (50)

06/18 18:17:24 ET

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