FanPost

Why the Jazz Should Not (Necessarily) Draft a Point Guard

It's no surprise the Jazz struggle at the point guard position. Burks has done a nice job filling in, but he's not a PG, nor should he be. He's a shooter, a cutter, someone who can create his own shot. I'd much rather let him be that player, not the quarterback of the offense. Nobody really seems to disagree with this. We also know we're pretty solid at other positions, with Hayward, Marvin, Kanter, Favors, and Evans all here next year, all being stable options at SF-C. With that, we assume we will use free agency to refill out bench at all those positions, likely bring back Carroll, maybe Foye, and various other backups, with the assumption being we will draft a PG. This is why names like Burke and Kabongo get bounced around on this site so much, but not much is said about other prospects at other positions. But is this the right way to go? It seems redundant to draft another player that one assumes is full of potential who would then be stuck behind one of the aforementioned players on the depth chart, but maybe that's not the way it would go.

When it comes to drafting, there are two basic schools of thought: draft based on need, or draft the best available. Both have their merits, since drafting for needs makes sure you don't run into a logjam at one position (sound familiar?), but opens you up to passing over talent. We all know the story of Portland going for Sam Bowie instead of Michael Jordan because they didn't need a shooting guard. That was a mistake. Hilariously, they then made the exact same mistake taking Oden over Durant, so Portland has no idea what they're doing. Anyway, this brings me to my opinion - you should never draft based solely on need. It helps make bad decisions. Even if it creates a backlog of players, it at least gives you leverage for trades, or flexibility in offseasons (which is where we will be soon). Jazz management seems to think similarly, often stating they take the best available when they're drafting. Take a look at mock drafts from around the interwebs, and you'll see very few who have us taking a PG (likely Burke in that 12-18 range), but instead drafting between SG-PF. At first I scoffed, but quickly changed my thinking. Why would we draft Burke (or any PG) ahead of where he's valued? We wouldn't, plain and simple. It's bad business. We would do one of two things; either trade down in the draft or draft the best available and then trade that. Draft day trades are fun, and something the Spurs often played around with when Lindsay was there. That's an option, but even then, I would only do that if it made sense for the player we ended up drafting at our slot. For instance, if we drafted a PF, or a SG/SF with a skill set very similar to Burks or Hayward, respectively, I would look to trade him. If, however, we had a chance to get a defensive SG/SF, a big, backup quality C, or a 3-point shooter, it might be smart to keep them.

Now I love Demarre Carroll, but whether or not he returns next season depends a lot on what happens draft night and how free agency plays out. Let's be honest, he's not a great player. He hustles, which we all appreciate immensely, but his actual impact on games is murky. For someone with limited offense, he doesn't have the defensive ability of someone like Bowen or Battier. He can't shoot the three like they could either. One nice thing is his price though. Should we use our cap space really well, being to squeeze him in for a relatively low price is a good option. That being said, should the best available player at our spot be a defense-first player, it would be foolish not to draft him (and probably start him). Same could be said for Randy Foye and the possibility of drafting a shooter. To some extent, Alec Burks could become trade bait if we're able to draft someone like Oladipo. Not to mention we still need a backup center, and there are a handful of decent seven-foot imports available, none of which are expected to be starter quality now, or maybe ever. Drafting a tall, lengthy backup C (either a shot blocker or a shooter) would help the bench like crazy. Point blank, you draft the best available. Chances are you can do something with it. The Spurs are masters at it, and we got one of their guys who saw it all happen. Draft picks (as I've explained in posts before) are a gamble anyway, eliminating picks just because they aren't the position you're looking for lowers your odds even more.

So what to do with point guard then? While there may not be any big name free agents this summer, there are a good amount of b-range point guards. Calderon, Robinson, Jack, Barbosa, and Telfair are all unrestricted, not to mention all the restricted PGs we could make a run for. Brandon Jennings and Tyreke Evans come to mind. There are options, and while drafting a PG is definitely one of them, I think we should take our blinders off and draft a point guard just because we want a point guard may be a huge mistake.

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

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