With the twenty-third pick in the 2008 SBNation NBA Mock Draft, the Utah Jazz, represented by SLC Dunk, select ...
Jason Thompson, Center/Power Forward, Rider University. 6-11, 250 lbs.
SLC Dunk says:
The Jazz need someone other than Kirilenko that's not afraid to block and alter shots and can legitimately shut down the middle.
However, I cannot go with another center from Stanford. And I especially can't pick another lesser twin from Stanford.
And with players like Speights and possible Hibbert off the board, as they are in this mock draft, the Jazz should select Jason Thompson from Rider.
His biggest assets are his length, size, and ability to run the floor. And depending on what draft expert you believe, Thompson has the defensive game to go along with his ball handling and offensive skills. He has the ability to play center but can and will play the four. This becomes an even bigger reason to draft him as Carlos Boozer's status for the 2009-10 season is up in the air. He's got the ability to be a great rebounder and can run the floor to get some love from Deron Williams when he rewards the big man for playing D.
Of course to bang on the inside, he'll have to get bigger and stronger. Fortunately, adding on muscle and strength is one of the easier things to do in the NBA once you have the personal trainers and dietitians to help you out.
The other knock on him is that he played for Rider and didn't face the kind of high-level competition that others have. That may be the case, but recent drafts have shown (see Paul Millsap) that if you can rebound and play defense, those types of skills translate to the NBA very well.
This may seem like a draft that's not very important for the Jazz, but with the uncertainty of some of the current contracts, the pick here for Utah could play a big role in the next couple of years.
The Seattle Supersonics, represented by Ridiculous Upside, are on the clock.
The 2008 SB Nation Mock Draft so far:
1. Chicago Bulls- Blog-A-Bull: Derrick Rose
2. Miami Heat- Peninsula is Mightier: Michael Beasley
3. Minnesota Timberwolves- Canis Hoopus: OJ Mayo
4. Seattle Supersonics- Ridiculous Upside: Eric Gordon
5. Memphis Grizzlies- 3 Shades of Blue: Kevin Love
6. New York Knicks- Posting and Toasting: Russell Westbrook
7. Los Angeles Clippers- Clips Nation: Jerryd Bayless
8. Milwaukee Bucks- BrewHoop: Anthony Randolph
9. Charlotte Bobcats- Queen City Hoops: Joe Alexander
10. New Jersey Nets-Nets Daily: Brook Lopez
11. Indiana Pacers-Indy Cornrows: DJ Augustin
12. Sacramento Kings- Sactown Royalty: Marreese Speights
13. Portland Trailblazers-Blazers Edge: Brandon Rush
14. Golden State Warriors- Golden State of Mind: DeAndre Jordan
15. Phoenix Suns- Bright Side of the Sun: Danilo Gallinari
16. Philadelphia 76ers- Ridiculous Upside: Darrell Arthur
17. Toronto Raptors- The Dinosty: Chris Douglas Roberts
18. Washington Wizards- Bullets Forever: Roy Hibbert
19. Cleveland Cavaliers- Waiting For Next Year: Courtney Lee
20. Denver Nuggets- PickAxe and Roll: Mario Chalmers
21. New Jersey Nets- Nets Daily: Donte Green
22. Orlando Magic- Third Quarter Collapse: Kosta Koufos
23. Utah Jazz- SLC Dunk: Jason Thompson