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Jazz select Udoka Azubuike with No. 27 overall pick in 2020 NBA Draft

The Utah Jazz have picked Udoka Azubuike with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. We break down what it means.

Kansas Jayhawks center Udoka Azubuike (35) celebrates the victory against the Baylor Bears at Ferrell Center. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz had the 27th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and selected Kansas C Udoka Azubuike on Wednesday night virtually from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. They lost a thrilling seven-game series to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the last season’s playoffs but have the pieces necessary to compete for a title.

The Jazz traded down to No. 27 after a deal with the Knicks earlier Wednesday, per reports. Utah rolled the dice by trading for Mike Conley to pair with Donovan Mitchell in the backcourt. It has a premiere rim protector in Rudy Gobert and Bojan Bogdanovicis set to return to the team after missing the NBA’s restart because of a wrist injury. The Jazz have quality role players, so it could be difficult for Udoka Azubuike to establish himself as an impact player early.

First-round Pick Analysis

The Jazz addressed their frontcourt with the selection of Udoka Azubuike late in the first round. Azubuike should be able to get some solid backup minutes as Utah reportedly traded backup center Tony Bradley and a pick to the Detroit Pistons.

Azubuike gives the Jazz a center, who can play on both ends of the floor. Last season at Kansas, he averaged a career-high 13.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks in 27.7 minutes per game. The 7-foot, 270 lb. big man also shot well from field at 74.8 percent and the free-throw line at 74.8 percent.

Lastly, in regards to his defense, Azubuike had a 26.9 defensive rebounding percentage and 10.9 block percentage. He also posted a career-high 82.9 defensive rating (DRtg) to help anchor the Jayhawks’ defense.