Situational Drafting Or BPA?

Really, when it comes down to it, you have 3 options in the draft. The first is to trade out, either for future picks or for a veteran player. Given that the Jazz have decided to let a fan announce the pick, I don't see them doing this... it would just be a huge blow it seems to let a fan announce it, and then trade out. Plus, if they wanted to trade the pick, they would have done it a while ago. Also, I haven't done enough research to see who the Jazz could possibly acquire with #9... though a bunch of PGs might be in play if the Jazz are interested. Its the other 2 options that I'm thinking about here.

Option 1- Draft the best player available (BPA), regardless of position

Option 2- Draft based on what the team needs

Now, obviously, BPA is completely dependent on how the team feels about the guys they've scouted, their potential, and all that jazz. Team need is dependent on, amongst other things, what the Jazz brass feels is going to happen this off-season. The Jazz have their fair share of "big" free agents (based on the rotations from last year)... Carlos Boozer, Wesley Matthews, Kyle Korver & Kyrylo Fesenko (okay, maybe not... but bare with me). Who do they think will be back? Who are they counting out?

Best-Player Available

If you go BPA, thats irrelevant of course. You make a list of your top 9, figure out if anyone is worth trading up for (or if you could get them by trading down and picking up more assets) and go from there. That would give you something like (and here, I'm putting the top 5 as I'd have them followed by what seems to be the top couple for the Jazz):

  1. John Wall
  2. DeMarcus Cousins
  3. Derrick Favors
  4. Evan Turner
  5. Wesley Johnson
  6. Greg Monroe
  7. Al-Farouq Aminu
  8. Ed Davis
  9. Xavier Henry
  10. Luke Babbitt

So as you sit at 9, you cross the names off your list as they go. When you get to #9, at least 2 guys are guaranteed to be there, more if something unexpected happens (Clippers taking Hayward, Pistons reaching for a big with Monroe/Cousins gone, the Warriors being themselves, etc). The other option, of course, is to trade. Trade down if you don't think Henry/Babbitt are worth #9 and everyone else is gone. Or trade up if...

well, lets turn to twitter for a second...

RT @chadfordinsider

Another strong workout for Cousins in NJ today vs. Favors. He shot the lights out again. From what I gather it's now a toss-up in NJ @ 3

....

Seeing Favors drop out of top three could be interesting for Jazz, who scouted him extensively.

The first tweet comes via Chad Ford (obviously), the second from Ross Siler (of the SL Trib). Now, getting into the top 3 would be super difficult. Maybe, just maybe, you could pull off an Elton Brand + #2 for Andrei Kirilenko + #9 deal. Then you get your choice of Turner, Favors and Cousins to take who you want (I'd go with either Cousins or Favors). If you can get that deal, you at least have to consider it (yes, even with the loss of AK). At best, you get an impact big and Elton Brand resurrects his career a la Zach Randolph in Memphis. More likely, you get an impact big in the draft and replace 1 bad contract with another (while also losing Boozer). Worth the gamble?

Or you trade up elsewhere. If Favors falls past #3, then you get to 4 (Minnesota). They're not a team in desperate need of a big (already have Love and Jefferson). I'm not sure what it'd take to move up... but teams are trying. Detroit and Houston are both trying to move up to #4, maybe the Jazz should try to get up there as well? Favors or Cousins. (This is all completely hypothetical of course... I still don't see Favors falling past 3.) But snagging Favors would be huge.

The other option is trading up to 5 (Sacto) or 6 (Golden State)... this is dependent on what the Kings do... and trying to nab Monroe, who seems to be atop the Jazz board but won't be there at #9. I don't know what it'd cost to move up to any of those spots, and the Jazz aren't exactly overflowing in tradable assets (CJ, AK, #9... anything else?).

The Jazz could also look at trading down. They've worked a couple of mid-1st rounders (Larry Sanders, Craig Brackins, Gani Lawal, Damion James, Dominique Jones) and could reasonably trade down (picking up more picks or a veteran player?) from #9 and still get someone they like.

But yeah, BPA... you take the guy atop your list. If you don't trade up/down, chances are that 1 of Ed Davis, Al-Farouq Aminu, Xavier Henry and Luke Babbitt (or Paul George or Ekpe Udoh) will be there for you. In fact, if not... you party, because that means one of the top-5 has fallen to you. But barring that shocking scenario, you just take the guy that falls to you. Everyone (save me) seems to be super high on Ed Davis (this analysis is super-high on him, and well worth a read). If he's not there, Aminu is an athletic wing/big (again, I'm not high on him as a fit for the Jazz, but whatever). Unrelated note: that analysis is super-high on James Anderson. Count me in.

If the Jazz go this method (and don't trade), you can expect to see one of Ed Davis, Al-Farouq Aminu, Xavier Henry & Luke Babbitt (or Paul George or whichever SF tops their board) at #9.

Situational Drafting (AKA: Need-based drafting)

This type of drafting is based on trying to fill needs first, even if it means taking a slight reach. The Jazz have a couple of needs, but they're fairly dependent on what will happen in the offseason. Will Boozer be back? What about Korver? Matthews? How do they foresee Okur's recovery going? Will AK be traded? There's various scenarios to consider, all of which could cause slight alterations in the draft board. Of course, this is completely dependent on how KOC and the rest of the brass see the rest of the offseason going.

Still, it seems like the top 6 of the draft board is set (the top 5, plus Monroe). If one of them falls to #9, the Jazz will grab them. After that though, there are possibilities.

1- Boozer leaves: Simple enough. The Jazz think Boozer will be gone, and don't think they'll get anything in return

  1. Ed Davis
  2. Patrick Patterson
  3. Ekpe Udoh
  4. Cole Aldrich
  5. Hassan Whiteside

Personally, I'd put Patterson over Davis, but it doesn't seem like the Jazz brass have that same thought. Udoh is more of an AK-replacement, it seems, but he's a "big" (just like Davis), so he's on the list. Aldrich and Whiteside are centers, but could help make up for the loss of Boozer (and be better presences defensively).

2- Boozer stays/Korver goes: I'm assuming this means Korver is gone due to a lack of cap space.

  1. Xavier Henry
  2. Luke Babbitt
  3. Paul George
  4. Gordon Hayward

If Boozer and Millsap are back, the need for a big decreases immensely. With Korver gone though, you need a shooter. Henry is more of a 2-guard, the other guys are all SFs. That might be enough to push Babbitt ahead of Henry on the list even. I don't know if George would be above or below Hayward on this list. I suppose Aminu could also be on the list, but he's not much of a shooter so I left him off.

3- Kirilenko is traded: I don't know what the Jazz would get in return, or who'd take him. But still.

  1. Ed Davis
  2. Al-Farouq Aminu
  3. Ekpe Udoh
  4. Hassan Whiteside

All 4 guys are guys that could make similar contributions to AK defensively. Davis is a "big" who'll never be much of a post force, it seems. Davis, Udoh & Whiteside will block shots. Aminu will be a nuisance defensively, but will make you cringe whenever he takes a jumper. If you can trade AK, these guys could make for a cheap replacement.

4- Trade up: This is covered above.

  1. DeMarcus Cousins
  2. Derrick Favors
  3. Greg Monroe
  4. Al-Farouq Aminu

All 4 guys are reaches to be available at 9. Favors & Cousins are top-5 or top-6 guys (or higher); the Jazz would have to rocket up the board for either of them. They're known to be in love with Monroe, who seems to fit the system well. He'll be gone between #5 and #7... all 3 picks could potentially be in play. Aminu could go at #5, he could go #8, he could fall to the Jazz. Its unknown. But if they really love him, they might be willing to trade up to make sure they get him. (Note: the Jazz never worked out Cousins or Favors.)

5- Matthews gone: The long shot possibility that they can't bring Matthews back.

  1. Xavier Henry
  2. Avery Bradley
  3. James Anderson

All 3 guys could be slight reaches at #9, based on recent mock drafts. Henry is a solid shooter, but lacks a bit on the defensive end. That said, he's 18 and his big knock defensively seems to be that occasionally he doesn't try hard. I'm sure that'll come. Especially under Sloan. Bradley is on the shorter end (6'3), but goes all out defensively. He might be limited to defending PGs due to his size, but he's a SG at heart... he plays best off-ball, and when he has the ball, he's looking to score first. His jumper isn't as solid as you might want. Anderson brings it both as a jump-shooter and defensively (he could become a lockdown defender on the wing). He's lower down on the draft boards for some reason... the Jazz could probably trade down a bit and still snag him. (Note: the Jazz never worked out Anderson)

6- Trade down: The Jazz could potentially trade down (or acquire a 2nd first rounder), based on workouts.

  1. Larry Sanders
  2. Dominique Jones
  3. Gani Lawal
  4. Craig Brackins
  5. Damion James
  6. Jerome Randle

I'd love to add James Anderson to this list, but I'll avoid for the time being. All 6 of these guys were worked out by the Jazz... none of them is likely to be a lottery pick. Jones went as far as to claim he'd heard the Jazz were looking at acquiring another 1st rounder. Sanders, Lawal & Brackins are bigs. Brackins doesn't do much in the paint. Jones is a 2-guard, James is a SF, and Randle is a 2nd-round PG. I wouldn't mind Randle in the 2nd round if the Jazz are fine with their bigs/wings rotations.

7- Okur done: If the Jazz feel that Okur's injury is going to more or less make him un-useful.

  1. Cole Aldrich
  2. Hassan Whiteside
  3. Ekpe Udoh
  4. Patrick Patterson

Obviously, you have to hope this isn't the case. But a jump-shooting big man who already seemed to be getting closer to the end, now coming off of an injury... its not exactly looking promising. If you want a jump-shooting guy, Whiteside might be your guy. Plus he blocks enough shots to make up for Boozer getting blocked every time down the court. But there are concerns about his attitude. Aldrich will show up defensively, but isn't the offensive replacement for Okur (I don't think any of these guys are). Udoh, I've covered above... he's more of an AK replacement than an Okur replacement. Patterson is on the shorter end, but is a team player. And while he's not a superstar, he's more like a jack-of-all-trades.

So, there are plenty of options for the Jazz. Obviously, the chances the Jazz have just one of these situations is a bit unlikely... it could take some mixing and matching (for example, if Matthews and Boozer are both expected to leave, how does Henry fit into the board that is present for scenario 1?, etc).

Now its up to the Jazz. Do they want to go BPA? Or do they want to go based on need? If they go simply based on positional need (not looking at what they bring to the table), you get something like

PG- No need

SG- Xavier Henry, Avery Bradley

SF- Al-Farouq Aminu, Luke Babbitt, Paul George, Gordon Hayward

PF- Ed Davis, Patrick Patterson, Ekpe Udoh

C- Cole Aldrich, Hassan Whiteside

The Jazz can sort them as they see fit, that's how I'd do it by position... then you just look and realize you need a big (maybe 2) and potentially a wing. And then you take BPA at that position.

Well, I tried to this without putting too much bias into this (obviously I failed a bit by throwing in James Anderson). There are a lot of ways to go for the Jazz... and they seem to have the misfortune of picking #9 in a draft in which there seem to be 7 or 8 "top" prospects and then a whole conglomeration of guys that could go from #9 to #20... any reach would be a slight one. Guys are all over the draft board... which seems to make going BPA very hard unless one of the top guys falls. Luckily for the Jazz, they seem to have a couple of needs (for example... a big defensive presence) that could be filled by guys (Aldrich, Whiteside)... the question is, is taking one of those guys over "potential" that other guys (Davis, etc.) worth it for the Jazz? We'll see soon enough.

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