After 12+ hours, I've been able to watch some video and gather some thoughts on the our two latest Jazz men.
I was never high on Enes Kanter. As Clark pointed out before, he's awfully similar to Carlos Boozer in that he rebounds well and has a good offensive game yet lacks on D. His post-draft interviews though assured me that he would be no Boozer.
That's not what bothered me though. The lack of playing against quality opponents since high school is what is worrisome. He's had quite a few workouts for teams though, something I'm not privy to. Even if I was, I'm no expert or even amateur talent evaluater. By all accounts, several teams were trying to move up to get him and he impressed everyone.
His would-be coach at Kentucky, John Calipari, stated that Kanter would have been the #1 pick in the draft had he been able to play last season in college. Unfortunately we never got that.
When you're picking a future cornerstone or core player of a rebuilding franchise with the #3 pick, the lack of games against college-level or comparable talent since high school was worrisome to me. There have been straight from high school to the pros players that have had success, but they've had other-wordly talent and skill. Kanter could have that. But since I have no way of knowing that outside of a Nike Hoops Summit game highlights and a workout video (where he never misses!), I had no way to put my mind at ease.
But I'm fine with it now. I'm in the you can never have too many bigs camp. We've clamored about getting bigger and more athletic for as long as I've started blogging. We have that now with two young, near 7-footers. While this will likely lead to one of the existing bigs getting moved out, most other teams are in need of more size. They're valuable trading chips. Even those that could be considered busts have usefulness in trades because everyone thinks they can turn a big man around and everyone loves size.
What sucks the most is that we're going to have to wait a long time before we can start seeing Kanter develop with the team. The players will still have workouts together, but with the lockout, it's going to rob us and the rest of the league of this development time.
Hoepfully Kanter becomes everything that he's supposed to be.
And how can you not like the UnderKanter? Try to. You can't.
As far as Alec Burks goes, he should be a fine compliment to the team. Other than an athletic big man, we've clamored for a scorer. It would be nice if he could develop some range in his shot, but he's a scorer nonetheless. He can create his own shot, get to the rim, and handle the ball. Ronnie Brewer's name came up almost as soon as Burks was picked. He's not Brewer.
Ronnie couldn't create his own shot like Burks can. He got a lot of his looks from cuts and dunks. We all know that even his mid-range jumper never improved. Burks isn't on Brewer's level defensively, but he has some great length and is a good rebounder.
He'll be a good scoring asset off the bench. Last year we had SWARM but we didn't really have a go-to guy or scorer. CJ was the primary scoring option on that second team and could get it going with a mix of jumpers and drives. Burks adds to that and may become better in that regard. He has to become better.
I thought the Jazz would have gone with a more defensive pick at 12 given their mantra of improving the defense, but maybe this signals the return of AK?
I'm excited to see what Burks can become. Hopefully he has a better fate than Morris Almond.
Overall, I'm satisfied with the draft. We didn't have Kahn be Kahn as I expected. He actually worked out some pretty good deals - the best one being that he didn't move the #2 pick. If we would have landed Williams, I would have considered anything we got at 12 to be gravy.
The most surprising aspect of the draft last night to me was that the Jazz weren't able to pull off any trades. There's no doubt that they were trying, but there's an obvious need to move someone in the front court now. There were also rumors at the trade deadline that Raja Bell could be moved at the draft. So that's why it surprised me.
Now a trade could still happen, but with the lockout coming, any transactions have to be completed before then. Since a PG wasn't drafted, are they exploring options in that regard? There are also some pretty highly touted PGs coming out next year.
My feeling is that something gets done before the lockout. My reasoning, which could be way off, is that if there is a season or part of a season, there's not going to be any time to trade before things get going. There will be but my assumption is that the Jazz would want to go into training camp with the team they plan on having for now and the future. And the future is already here, so why wait? If there's a good deal that comes along, they'll move on it soon.
Before any trades go down though, we should get a resolution on CJ Miles here shortly. The Jazz have until June 30th to pick up his $3.7M option for next season. I don't see why they don't at this point. One, with a lockout his paid salary becomes less. Two, even with the drafting of Burks, he still has a position on the team. While Burks and Hayward are the future, there's still a bit of the now to contend with and Miles still fits into the system. Finally, if there are trades next season, he could be an attractive chip. His deal would be expiring provided they don't extend him. He's also still a young, athletic scorer. There would be teams interested in acquiring him.