The Utah Jazz selected Jeremy Evans as the #55th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. With that draft spot we see that he has a 21% chance of developing into a deep bench player, and a 64% chance of being a bust, or worse. But in terms of production, not draft spot, he's #16 in his draft class in career win shares. And that's with his limited minutes. If you adjust it for Win shares per 48 minutes he is #2, ahead of guys like Greg Monroe, Paul George, Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins, and John Wall. He does not play much. He does not play against starters. But when he does play, he plays hard and produces.
Going into his third season this is a make or break year for him . . . and the people who have jobs to train and better him. (Not the head coach, but some of the auxiliary support guys should be re-evaluated, some have been at their jobs longer than Tyrone Corbin has been at his.)
Some of our previous 'deep bench' guys would also only really play during garbage time - Kyrylo Fesenko is a prime example. But in his last two seasons with the Jazz he managed to play over 400 minutes each time. Last year Jeremy Evans played in only 217 total minutes in the regular season. And he played in 7.5 minutes per game. Which is a significant drop off from his ROOKIE year where he played in 463 total minutes, at a rate of 9.4 mpg. Also, as a rookie he played in 49 games. This last seas only 29 games. This is the opposite on court development curve for a player moving past his rookie season.
We just have too many bigs, sure. But even in the olden days of 12 man rosters the Jazz still found 779 total minutes (10.4 mpg) for a rookie bigman Eric Leckner. And that was back in '88-89 when we had Mark Eaton (starter), Thurl Bailey, Jose Ortiz, Mike, Brown, Marc Iavaroni (starter), and this Karl Malone guy (starter) all on the team. If we could still find minutes then why not now?
Oh, I guess the excuse is that Evans must just be a bad player, then. Right? His rebounding numbers are up, his assist numbers are up, his blocks numbers are way up, he fouls less, and turns the ball over less. The only thing that really went down (besides his playing time) was that his fg% went from 66.1 fg% as a rookie and plummeted to 64.3 fg% as a soph. I guess THAT's why he's not playing more.
I'm not expecting the Jazz development staff, coaches, and front office to turn into Rumpelstiltskin and make hay into gold. I am expecting them to SEE that they drafted an effective player, and make him into a guy who can get on the floor and/or see what he does well right now and get him on the floor if he's good enough. Frankly, for a player who has no shot, and who can't defend threes, or dribble the basketball - he was still a better option at the three last year than Josh Howard (who doesn't pass, and can't dribble, or shoot from outside . . . but we laud him for his rebounding. Well, Evans is a better rebounder and at least gets blocks too!).
But hey, I trust in the Jazz for drafting guys in the 2nd round. I'd love to develop the trust in the Jazz coaches for playing guys with upside too. Third year players need to have more skills than Evans, going into his third year, has. I guess it's the lockout's fault for this. Or Evans himself - he should have become a better player in college so we wouldn't have had a chance to draft him at #55. It's not up to the Jazz to make people better. That's what P3 is for. Amirite? Our coaches are great for quotes though.