NBA Mock Draft Pick #9 -- Myles Turner, Center, Texas
The Hornets have agreed to trade the ninth pick in the draft to the Utah Jazz. The Hornets receive Trevor Booker, the rights to Ante Tomic, a 2016 first round pick (Utah), a 2017 first round pick (via GSW), and a 2018 first round pick (via OKC). The Jazz receive the ninth pick and Lance Stephenson.
SB Nation's Jazz blog, SLC Dunk, explains the pick:
With the #9 pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz select Myles Turner, from Texas. The Jazz are in a funny situation; not quite a bubble Western Conference playoff team, but still not a team that wants to be in the lottery for much longer. Utah has many assets; primarily a ton of future picks (5 firsts and 11 seconds in the next four drafts). However, Utah would rather be in the second round of the playoffs within the next four seasons, and not be still relying on the draft. A failure to do that could influence players like Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert to Deron Williams their way out of town. Winning solves a lot of problems. And this trade helps the Jazz move towards winning a little sooner.
In a perfect world one of the top two Jazz targets would have still been on the board at #9, but Mario Hezonja and Kristaps Porzingis went early. While Stanley Johnson is probably the best player available, the Jazz need depth inside; especially after trading away the only other big on the roster (6'8 Trevor Booker) and one of their Euro-n-stash prospects (the 7'2 Ante Tomic) to Charlotte.
Myles Turner appears to be one of the best, last bigmen standing. The 19 year old (Texas - FR) isn't anything beyond raw at this point. Though the Jazz are only looking for a back-up here who will be behind two guys playing 30+ mpg. In Utah he will be challenged while still being allowed to grow at his own pace. There just aren't a lot of bigmen with 7'4 wingspans who can rebound like a beast, protect the rim, and hit spot up threes. If he is able to reach some of his potential he will be worth the short term cost.
Oh, and a wing rotation of Hayward, Alec Burks, Lance Stephenson, Rodney Hood, Dante Exum, and Elijah Millsap? Not bad.
SB Nation's Hornets blog, At The Hive, explains the trade:
The Charlotte Hornets considered staying in the NBA Draft, but after reviewing the available prospects and evaluating their current roster, decided a trade is in their best interest. The Hornets' core is mostly under 25 years old, and adding more youth (especially after adding Noah Vonleh, the youngest player in the draft last season and 2012's youngest player, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) is not ideal as the team continues to push toward the playoffs.
While the Hornets entertained multiple trade offers, they ultimately decided the Utah Jazz's offer best fit what they want to do. The Stephenson signing didn't work out for the Hornets, and they even tried to move him a few times last season. Moving Stephenson gives them some financial flexibility in free agency and a clearer identity moving forward. The acquisition of Trevor Booker gives them an injection of shooting on the cheap, and Ante Tomic, currently a free agent in Europe, is a 7'2" center with a passing game the Hornets missed after Josh McRoberts left for Miami.
However, the acquisition of three first round draft picks is what made the Hornets choose this deal. While each of the picks look to fall in the 20-30 range, it gives the Hornets tremendous flexibility in the long run. They could flip the picks for a better player, or carefully add pieces that complement their budding playoff team. It's a win-win situation.
1) Minnesota Timberwolves: KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS
2) Los Angeles Lakers: JAHLIL OKAFOR
3) Phoenix Suns (via Philadelphia 76ers): D'ANGELO RUSSELL
4) New York Knicks: JUSTISE WINSLOW
5) Orlando Magic: WILLIE CAULEY-STEIN
6) Philadelphia 76ers (via Sacramento Kings): MARIO HEZONJA
7) Denver Nuggets: EMMANUEL MUDIAY
8) Boston Celtics (via Detroit Pistons): KRISTAPS PORZINGIS
9) Utah Jazz (via Charlotte Hornets): MYLES TURNER
10) Miami Heat
11) Indiana Pacers
12) Utah Jazz
13) Phoenix Suns
15) Atlanta Hawks
16) Boston Celtics
17) Milwaukee Bucks
18) Houston Rockets
20) Toronto Raptors
21) Dallas Mavericks
22) Chicago Bulls
27) Los Angeles Lakers
28) Boston Celtics
29) Brooklyn Nets