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Taylor Hendricks Selected by Utah Jazz With 9th Pick of the NBA Draft

Hendricks is the first UCF Basketball player selected in the lottery

Derek Warden

Former UCF Knights forward Taylor Hendricks made history Thursday night, becoming the first UCF Knight every to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.

Hendricks went to the Utah Jazz with the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft.

A 6-9 forward with a 7-1 wingspan out of Calvary Christian Academy in Ormond Beach, Hendricks played just one season at UCF, but led the Knights in multiple categories, including scoring (15.1 points per game), rebounds (7.0 rebounds per game), shooting (47.8% from the field), and blocks (1.7 per game). He also hit 39.4% from the 3-point line, which was second on the team.


Hendricks joins a Jazz team that finished 37-45 last season, 12th out of 15 teams in the Western Conference and 5 games back of the last play-in spot.

The Jazz currently have former Gonzaga Bulldog Kelly Olynyk (now 32 years old) as their starting power forward, with 17-year veteran Rudy Gay (now 36 years old) coming off the bench. However, Olynyk (who is due $12.2M next season) and Gay (~$6.5M) both are on contracts that expire after the 2023-24 season.

Hendricks, meanwhile, is slated to make approximately $4.6 million in his rookie season, per the NBA Rookie Salary Scale on Spotrac. So it would make financial and basketball sense for Utah to work Hendricks into the rotation at the 4 over the course of this coming season while moving off of the aging and expensive Olynyk and Gay.

Hendricks became the third Knight in history to be selected in the NBA Draft, joining Bennie Shaw and Jermaine Taylor.

Taylor was selected by Washington in the second round with the 32nd overall pick in 2009 while Shaw was taken in the 9th round by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1976 NBA Draft.

Hendricks technically is not the first former UCF Knight to go in the first round. Joey Graham played at UCF from 2000-2002 (alongside his twin brother Stephen) but transferred to Oklahoma State, where he played from 2003-2005 before being drafted by the Toronto Raptors with the #16 overall pick. However, since Graham did not conclude his college career at UCF, he’s not actually the first UCF Knight to go in the first round.

This story has been updated.