The Utah Jazz are coming off their third straight NBA playoff appearance, and now they enter an important offseason as they try to continue to take another step forward in the Western Conference.
Quin Snyder’s squad was ousted by the Houston Rockets in the first round this season, but the Jazz have a solid nucleus in place that should allow them to once again be in playoff contention next season.
Of course, rather than just contend for a playoff spot, Utah is hoping that it can compete for an NBA title. To do that, it will require adding a few more pieces that fit the puzzle.
The Jazz will have an opportunity to do just that via free agency and the 2019 NBA Draft, with the latter offering several intriguing options for the franchise.
Here are three ideal fits who could be on the board with the No. 23 pick.
3. PJ Washington (PF, Kentucky)
All three players on this list have something in common, and it has to do with their overall versatility.
Washington surprised some people by choosing to return to Kentucky for his sophomore season, but in doing so, he was able to add even more elements to his already impressive skill set.
He’s the type of player who can do a little of everything, as his strength and size at 6-8 give him opportunities to contribute on both sides of the court.
Washington averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds during his final season with the Wildcats while also shooting 52.2 percent from the floor and 42.3 percent from 3-point range.
His improved shooting ability makes his offensive game very appealing, and if he can keep developing on the defensive side as well, he can be an asset for the Jazz.
2. Rui Hachimura (SF/PF, Gonzaga)
Here’s another versatile 6-8 forward who could play multiple positions in Utah.
Hachimura emerged as one of the nation’s top talents last season, as he and fellow teammate Brandon Clarke – who is also a projected first-rounder – formed a dominant frontcourt duo for the Zags.
With a 7-2 wingspan, Hachimura is able to affect the game in many ways, and it’s his offensive skill set that will likely allow him to contribute right away at the pro level.
He averaged 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season, and his efficient 59.1 percent shooting from the field showcased how difficult he can be to stop on that side of the court. His overall awareness and leadership was also on display at Gonzaga, and those types of intangibles should help him find plenty of success no matter where he lands.
Again, it’s no secret that NBA teams love a player who can thrive at multiple positions, and Hachimura certainly has the potential to do that.
1. Grant Williams (PF, Tennessee)
Williams wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school, but that didn’t seem to matter to much to him.
That’s because the 6-7 forward managed to transform himself into one of the best players in college basketball, which led to earning SEC Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons.
Simply put, Williams is a playmaker. He seems to always be in the right position to make a play, whether that’s on offense or defense. His jump shot has gotten better, and he has the strength to provide a ton of physicality in the paint.
Williams isn’t the most athletic player in the draft, and while improved, his ability to make shots consistently from the perimeter could decide how he fits into certain offensive systems.
But again, the theme of his career has been improvement, and it’s obvious that he has no issue honing his skills after going from 3-star recruit to First-Team All-American.
While Williams isn’t the flashiest player in the group, he may just be the perfect addition to the Jazz roster.