NBA Draft rumors: Jazz could target Bilal Coulibaly with No. 9 pick
The majority of speculation around the Utah Jazz and the No. 9 pick has been focused on point guards: Anthony Black, Cason Wallace, Jalen Hood-Schifino, and so forth. The Jazz have several talented scorers on the roster and in the backcourt, but no true floor general to set up the offense and regularly initiate actions.
According to Rafael Barlowe of NBA Big Board, the Jazz may take a different, unexpected route with the No. 9 pick.
"“While it’s assumed the Jazz will address their need for a point guard with their first of three picks in the 2023 NBA draft, there are rumblings the Jazz may target France’s Bilal Couliblay at No. 9 and select a point guard with the 16th pick they acquired from Minnesota in the Rudy Gobert blockbuster trade last summer. “"
Bilal Coulibaly‘s name has been picking up momentum all season, but his recent elevated performance level in the French playoffs has sent talent evaluators into a frenzy. The 18-year-old is one of the youngest players on the board. At 6-foot-6, he’s profiles as a dominant wing defender who can guard across the positional spectrum and generate productive chaos with his length and energy.
The Jazz do need a point guard, but perimeter defense was another glaring weakness last season. Coulibaly has a ways to go, but he could be the top perimeter defender from this draft when all is said and done. Plus, he’s no slouch offensively: his 3-point shot is respectable and he’s showing more and more upside with bursty drives to the rim.
Currently the No. 14 prospect on the FanSided board, Coulibaly is a viable sleeper candidate for a team like Utah with multiple first-round picks to burn and a patient timeline.