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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

Ranking the best draft picks in Utah Jazz history

By Jay Yeomans, For the Deseret News

Published: Fri, July 25 8:07 a.m. MDT

 Dominique Wilkins, left, of the University of Georgia and Terry Cummings, right, of the DePaul University, join National Basketball Association Commissioner Larry O'Brien Tuesday, June 29, 1982 in New York after they were chosen in the NBA Draft. Wilkins, the third pick overall, went to the Utah Jazz and Cummings, the second pick in the first round of the draft, will go to the San Diego Clippers.

Dominique Wilkins, left, of the University of Georgia and Terry Cummings, right, of the DePaul University, join National Basketball Association Commissioner Larry O'Brien Tuesday, June 29, 1982 in New York after they were chosen in the NBA Draft. Wilkins, the third pick overall, went to the Utah Jazz and Cummings, the second pick in the first round of the draft, will go to the San Diego Clippers.

(Marty Lederhandler, Associated Press)

The Las Vegas Summer League has come to an end for the Utah Jazz after plenty of excitement and even a few big-time plays. Two players who had solid showings were 2014 first-round picks Dante Exum and Rodney Hood. Exum showed off his quickness while Hood displayed the ability to stretch the defense with his outside jumper. Even though neither player performed at the top of their game the entire time, they showed enough to get Jazz fans amped up for what is to come in the upcoming season.

Since the Jazz are a small-market team, it is of the utmost importance for them to make good decisions in the draft. While it seems that the selections of Exum and Hood were good ones, only time will tell if they were the right picks. After all, Summer League success doesn't always carry over to the regular season. Some guys play fantastic in the summer but flame out when facing the best players in the world. Jazz fans are hoping that the front office made the right choice with both selections and they will be great players throughout their respective careers.

Even though the draft is far from a guarantee, the Jazz have found plenty of success with their picks in the past. This list is a ranking of the best of those picks since the Jazz arrived in Utah.

These rankings are based on numerous factors. The most important are if the player was the best possible pick left on the board and how the player produced in the NBA. Because of the first reason, there are some surprise players that make the list for the simple fact that the Jazz made the best possible choice for who was available.

It is important to note that just because a player is higher on the list doesn't mean he is (or was) a better player. It just means the Jazz made a better pick.

Here is the ranking of the best decisions that Utah has ever made in the draft.

Recommended
1. eagle
Provo, UT,
July 25, 2014

Karl Malone and John Stockton. Malone dropped down and was a no-brainer. Stockton was a gutsy pick and wildly unpopular by the uneducated Jazz fans of the time. So I would have to give Frank Layden credit and say Stockton...