In about 6-12 hours, anyone and everyone is going to be releasing their draft grades for each of the teams tonight. No need to wait that long for the Jazz draft grade. Consider this your scoring sheet at home when you're watching the draft take place. Remember, a lot of stuff isn't announced until after the first round or later, so there's a little hope later if you're not immediately impressed.
A+++++++++ (Done in Ralphie's teacher's voice)
The only way the Jazz score this high is if they get into the top 5 somehow tonight. While it's not likely, it's not impossible, so pretty much the same chance that we had at landing in the top 3 on lotto night.
The easiest way to get there seems to be through Philly who would of course want you to take Brand's contract as part of any deal. The Jazz would likely give up AK in return with of course the #9 pick. From there, you have your pick of anyone in the draft not named Wall. Would you go with Evans? Favors? Cousins? Anyone else with a last name ending with an s?
I'm not a GM mastermind but I don't see many other options if the Jazz want to move up and ensure they get their man. While a lot of trades work technically, there aren't trades that make sense with Minnesota or New Jersey. The only pieces we have to move that are of value are AK, Millsap, and CJ. None of them really fit into those plans for those teams.
Sacramento seems to have their mind set on Cousins so I don't see them trading out. After that, is it worth giving up a player and the 9 pick to move up 3 spots? The answer to that will likely depend on who's still available. The Jazz may have told those teams that if so and so is still on the board when you pick, we're interested in dealing. Then again, the Jazz probably haven't said a word.
Of course you have a lot of other teams that want to move up as well. Some of those teams have more to offer than the Jazz. There seems to be a real fight to get into the top 6 or 7 this season. So to not sound too much like a FO homer, if the Jazz don't move up, it's not because they didn't try, they just got outbid.
If they do pull something off, it's a huge day for the franchise.
There's really no straight A in this draft. The Jazz are just on the outside of the party it seems with the #9 pick. All the cool kids are 1-7. The Jazz are still going to get a very good player at #9. In a few years when we look back at this draft, we might even grade them an A.
But a B is what you get for doing as expected, right? If the Jazz pick at 9, they could land Greg Monroe, Xavier Henry, or Ed Davis. Those guys would all be a B in my book. They're not the game-changer that you're hoping for but you're going to be pretty happy with them.
I'm willing to give the Jazz a B+ if the Jazz were able to keep their #9 pick and also pick up a mid to late first-rounder. There are teams trying to free up cap space or that have a lot of picks that the Jazz might be able to buy/trade for.
They might also get a B+ if someone like Aminu were to fall to them.
Still, if the Jazz land here, given what we had to give up to get this pick 6 years ago, you have to be happy with that.
I don't have the information that the Jazz FO or other scouts have, but if the Jazz end up taking Cole Aldrich (who has been falling), Luke Babbitt, or Hayward at the #9, consider me disappointed. The latest reports have the Jazz being very high on Babbitt.
I will likely be proven wrong in a couple of years but for now, as far as expectations are concerned and the team's needs, I think any of these would be a just getting by type of pick which is what a C is. To have had such high hopes for this draft for the past couple of seasons,
Since last season, Aldrich has been inextricably tied to the Jazz. And from the same point last season, most Jazz fans have been saying, "No, no, no." It doesn't matter his skills, fans just don't want another stereotypical big, white center the Jazz have always had. He could be a Mark Eaton or even a serviceable Greg Ostertag-type player and still the plea would be, "No more white guys." Here's a list of white big men to play for the Jazz,
- Mark Eaton
- Greg Ostertag
- Ben Handlogten
- Curtis Borchardt
- Goran Suton (training camp and draft pick. He would have been signed if not for salary cap issues)
- Kosta Koufos
- Kyrylo Fensenko
- Tom Chambers
- Greg Foster
- Jarron Collins
- Todd Fuller
- Tom Gugliotta
- Marc Iavoroni
- Adam Keefe
- Larry Krystkowiak
- Pace Freakin' Mannion
- Mehmet Okur
- Kelly Tripucka
- And many, many more
You hear a lot about picking the best player available and the reason you always hear is because of Bowie over Jordan. Maybe the Jazz always keep taking the tall, white guy is that they still have regrets from 1980 when they took Darrel Griffith over Kevin McHale. The Golden Griff was a good player in his own right but it was Kevin McHale! Though there's no one left from that time still with the team, maybe it's been a clause passed down through sale of the team that they're no longer able to pass up promising white guys.
So call Jazz fans racist, but it's because they would rather have a black, yes black, athletic guy than another white center. Chew on that.
I really didn't mean to group the three white guys in this group either. They just so happened to be in my middle-of-the-pack guys left in the draft.
I've been trying to think what would constitute a D for the Jazz. A horrible or out of nowhere pick would certainly qualify. However, with as much hype as we've had for this pick, I think a bad pick would put the Jazz on the border of receiving an F. They would have to be doing so much makeup-work for me not to fail them. We're talking summer-school type of makeup work if they wanted to get a passing grade. I don't even know what that would be but it would certainly entail a lot of cleaning erasers, scraping gum off the bottom of desks and a 10,000 essay on why they blew the draft and how they're going to step down before the season starts. Then, and only then, would they get a D.
That said, they would probably get a D if they traded down far or tried to stockpile "assets." Really though, that's not going to happen. They're either going to trade up or get someone at the #9. I don't see the Jazz getting below a C in this draft.
While they're often criticized (that's not a bad thing), we have a very good FO. They've been hit and miss in drafts but have had more hits than misses. When we have drafted in the lotto, they've done very well. They're not going to blow this.
My guess at their final grade will be a solid B.