Jazz select Jayhawks’ Udoka Azubuike with No. 27 pick in NBA Draft

Udoka Azubuike averaged 12.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 87 career games at Kansas.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz selected Kansas center Udoka Azubuike with the No. 27 pick of the NBA draft Wednesday night.

Azubuike, a 7-footer from Nigeria, gives Utah a rim protector and interior defender who can be a backup center to spell Rudy Gobert. He is also an accurate shooter around the basket.

During his four-year career with the Jayhawks, Azubuike set an NCAA record with a .749 career field goal percentage. He averaged 12.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks in 87 career games at Kansas.

Azubuike’s selection came as a minor surprise. The Jazz were widely expected to target a defender on the wing or a power forward who could play on the perimeter with their first-round pick.

Utah acquired the No. 27 pick and No. 38 pick from New York on Wednesday morning, sending the No. 23 pick and the rights to Ante Tomic to the Knicks.

Tomic, a 7-foot-2 center from Croatia, never appeared in a game for the Jazz since being selected in the second round of the 2008 NBA draft.