FanPost

The Kevin O'Connor Era: The #9 Pick

Obviously this has no impact on the Jazz pick. The Jazz haven't picked #9 in the Kevin O'Connor era, and therefore O'Connor hasn't picked at #9 since joining the Jazz. This is a look at the guys that have gone at #9 in the past 10 years. Maybe it'll give us an idea of what sort of impact to expect from the player taken with the #9 pick in the future? I obviously can't comment on this for a fact, but I've read (DraftExpress maybe?) that this draft has 4 players up top (Wall, Turner, Cousins, Favors... I assume) and is really deep. That could play a role in what sort of impact to expect as well... that last draft that was this deep up top was probably 2003 (LBJ and crew)... every other draft has seemingly been 2 or 3 players deep up top, at best... and that #9 pick is well worth forgetting.

2000- Houston Rockets: C Joel Przybilla (Minnesota)

Przybilla ended up being traded on draft day to Milwaukee for the #15 pick (Jason Collier) and a future first rounder. While Przybilla is by no means an All-Star, he has proven to be a viable option off the bench when healthy, especially if you need someone to alter shots on the defensive end. The question is, is that acceptable for the #9 pick? This is what the Jazz need though, it seems... would it be good or bad if its what the Jazz end up with at #9? Optimism level: Lukewarm

 

2001- Detroit Pistons: SF Rodney White (UNC-Charlotte)

Who?? Exactly. He spent all of 4 seasons in the league, doing all of nothing. As they say, "high risk, high reward" in the lottery, and going with a freshman from a small school presents a high risk. The Pistons gambled, and they lost. The Jazz definitely can't lose here after saving the pick for years instead of trading it for an impact player. Optimism level: Pessimistic

 

2002- Phoenix Suns: F/C Amare Stoudemire (High school)

You might've heard of this guy. He's one of the better bigs in the league, and has developed into a true force. It took a bit of time, obviously... high school to NBA is never an easy jump... but its worked out well for the Suns, even if there were concerns about him leaving and all that jazz. Talk about a big impact late in the lottery. If the Jazz get someone like this, there'll be dancing on the streets in SLC. Optimism level: Soaring

 

2003- New York Knicks: PF Michael Sweetney (Georgetown)

Oh man. The deepest draft up top in years (LBJ, Bosh, Wade, Darko Milicic love, etc.) and the #9 pick is a huge, huge bust. (Also, note the school... the Jazz are being linked to a big from this school this time around.) He blew it big time in both New York & Chicago. I think it had something to do with his weight getting out of control. 4 picks in, and we're at 50-50 between acceptable & bust. Ouch. The Jazz need to avoid drafting this type of player; they need help. Optimism level: See-sawing between positive & negative.

 

2004- Philadelphia 76ers: SF Andre Iguodala (Arizona)

Iguodala was a nice pick up for the Sixers, and has performed well even after Iverson left. He's the Sixers go-to-guy, which is more than the Jazz are looking for now. Picking up the next Iguodala (in terms of impact, not style of play) would be a huge steal for the Jazz. Optimism level: Cautiously optimistic

 

2005- Golden State Warriors: C Ike Diogu (Arizona State)

Golden State went with a big here. Diogu wasn't exactly what they needed though, and he hasn't really had a huge impact after leaving the Warriors either. They had the right idea (they've been looking for a big for years), but had the wrong guy. The Jazz need a big, but they also need him to have an instant impact. Optimism level: See-sawing again

 

2006- Golden State Warriors: C Patrick O'Bryant (Bradley)

And they're at it again. The Warriors went big for the 2nd straight year, and blew it for the 2nd straight year. O'Bryant became the highest pick to be sent down to the D-League... after shooting up draft boards with an impressive March Madness tourney. He's since bounced around, and can now often be found on Twitter. High risk, high reward... will the Jazz take such a gamble? Optimism level: Slightly pessimistic

 

2007- Chicago Bulls: C Joakim Noah (Florida)

It took a couple seasons, but Noah finally exploded. He became a defensive force for the Bulls this season, and finally became the big they needed (after Tyrus Thomas, Aaron Gray and others failed). The Jazz could definitely use a Noah-clone... or maybe a trade for Noah instead? Optimism level: Hopeful

 

2008- Charlotte Bobcats: PG DJ Augustin (Texas)

He's been fighting with Raymond Felton (taken 2 picks after Deron Williams in 2005) for playing time, and has largely been on the losing end. That said, it might still be too early to tell, though he's played  well enough when given the time. The Jazz don't really need a PG though, but someone to come in and compete with a starter for playing time (hopefully improving the games of both players) wouldn't be bad. Optimism level: Moderately high

 

2009- Toronto Raptors: SF DeMar DeRozan (USC)

Definitely too early to call here, though he's looked impressive in 1 season of NBA play. Look for him to get more time (and most likely impress) in upcoming seasons. Optimism level: Slightly optimistic

 

That's right. I, UtesFan89 and lead pessimist on this blog, am in fact somewhat optimistic about the impact we could get from the #9 pick, if they draft well. Of course, this comes down to scouting and drafting and all that, but there are guys that will be available that can have a positive impact. It is just up to the Jazz to find the right guys.

Looking at the numbers though... in 10 years, there have been 6 bigs, 3 wings and 1 PG drafted at #9. 3 of the 6 bigs have been successful picks (as in, they've been in the league long enough to be considered successful... yes, using this criteria Jarron Collins has been successful in the league). 1 of the wings has, with another 1 up in the air. And the PG is still up in the air. That adds up to 4 out of 8, with 2 still undecided (but looking good). Not a brilliant ratio (50%), but not bad for picks that are normally high risk. Position doesn't seem to have an impact.

The 1 high schooler picked at #9 has turned out really well, but thats not an option for O'Connor. Small school prospects, meanwhile, have not panned out (0 for 2, though both were really high risk/reward guys), while "big" school guys have resulted in good picks 3 out of 5 times (with the 2 undecided). Small sample sizes, obviously, but young guys from small schools aren't panning out.

Using this (plus the fact the O'Connor has never drafted a sophomore in the 1st round), you can scratch a couple guys off the "target" list. Oh, and the whole "attitude" issue... do we need another Fesenko who won't pay attention to the coach? (Obviously, this all means absolutely nothing, but its still interesting to see.)

  • Greg Monroe: Sophomore. Plus the Michael Sweetney/Georgetown factor.
  • Hassan Whiteside: Small school freshman. Plus questions about attitude.
  • Gordon Hayward: Small school sophomore.
  • Al-Farouq Aminu: Sophomore

I know the Whiteside fanbase seems to be growing, and while his blocks/game are enticing, high risk/reward players have one huge issue. The Jazz are seemingly 1 or 2 players away from being true contenders (or maybe thats just me being overly optimistic)... even knowing that the team has a lot of free agents to worry about right now. If high risk/reward pans out, the Jazz are good. But if not, the Jazz have wasted a pick (one they could definitely have traded before the season for an impact player) and moved no closer to getting the guy they need to get over the hump. So while the high reward will catch eyes, is it really worth the risk? While it'd be nice, maybe a 'safer' pick (college junior/senior that isn't really overflowing with potential to grow) would fit the team better? You know what you're getting, and the Jazz have enough that they can try to pick and choose certain things and chase after them (defensive presence, etc.), even if they go after 'boring' players instead of those with ridiculous upside.

Or maybe I'm just losing it?

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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