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Utah Jazz Draft History: 1974 - 2012

In the last month or so, I noticed 82games.com came out with their own draft analysis, ranking each team's drafting performance over a number of decades. Roland Beech is making a series out of it with many different parts dedicated toward analyzing the history of the draft. A lot of interesting data was and can be generated from it, and you can find it here: Part 2.

According to the Part 1 of Roland Beech's draft history analysis, the following players should have the given percentage of being a role player or better.

Kanter 100% (85% of being a "star")

Favors 100% (85% of being a "star")

Hayward 75% (30% of being a "star")

Burks 60% (5% of being a "star")

#14 Pick 70% (25% of being a "star")

#21 Pick 70% (10% of being a "star")

#55 Jeremy Evans 14% (0% of being a "star", and a 50% of DNP)

I thought I would take my own look at Utah's draft record. One of the facts about the draft I never knew before was the draft use to have 10 rounds, as opposed to the current 2. So there were players being drafted at 190, and Utah's own Mark Eaton was actually drafted in the 4th round (72nd pick) in 1982. So by whatever means, many of the players drafted prior to 1988 never actually made the team that drafted them. This may be common knowledge to many readers, but I was born in 1984 and didn't start watching NBA basketball until 1996. The data in the charts provided then is just the data of those players drafted who actually made the cut and have game stats for some amount of time.

Another note about the data (retrieved from basketball-reference.com) is that the NBA stats listed for each player did not necessarily occur while playing for the Utah Jazz. One case to pay attention to is Dominique Wilkins, who was the 3rd pick in his class, drafted by Utah who then traded him months later for two guys I've never heard of before. So while Wilkins may have some of the most impressive player performance data, none of that was achieved in a Utah Jazz jersey

Utah Jazz Draft Record Spreadsheet (google document)

So there are a few interesting things to note about what this data can reveal. In the charts below, players highlighted in blue are currently on the team; players highlighted in gray played during the Deron Williams era when they were making runs in the playoffs; and players highlighted in green played on the '96/'97 and '97/'98 teams.

1. After John Stockton and Karl Malone, Jeremy Evans has the next highest Win Share per 48 minutes (remember these are only the players drafted by Utah, and some of them didn't stay with Utah like Wilkins). This is excluding Carl Kirkpatrick since he only played in 2 games as a Jazz man. I also know that Evans' sample size (games, mpg) are not comparable to the other guys in this portion of the list, but anything I can find to morally justify Evans getting more playing time is a-okay with me. In case you didn't know, Evans reached 12 feet 7.5 inches at P3 the other day, which I think is a record (Dwight Howard reached only 12' 6".) You can see Evans jumping here and Howard jumping here.

Utahjazzdrafttopws48_medium

via lh4.googleusercontent.com

2. While Stockton and Malone were drafted in 1984 and 1985, four other main guys to help them to their '96/'97 and '97/'98 Championship runs weren't drafted until 1993 (Russell) to 1997 (Vaughn). So it took a number of years before their best possible team could be realized, and this isn't including intangible like knowing to make a trade for Jeff Hornacek who was a 2nd round draft pick (46th overall). Kevin Murphy should feel like he has a lot to live up to.

Utahjazzchampteam_medium

via lh4.googleusercontent.com

3. Of all the top draft picks Utah has ever had, look at who's there. And of those top draft picks, 3 of them are currently on the team. And that is not including #3 draft pick Derrick Favors and #2 draft pick Marvin Williams. According to draft picks, Utah should be considered loaded with who is on their payroll currently. Utah currently has, from different drafts, picks 2, 3, 3, 9, and 12 under contract through next season with a #14 and #21 on the way. This next seasons roster could be one of the lowest-average-draft-number rosters Utah has ever had.

Utahjazztopdraftpicks_medium

via lh4.googleusercontent.com

4. Three point shooting of all players drafted by the Utah Jazz. Again, interesting to see who's in their top 20. As another note, of the 85 players Utah drafted who stayed in the league, only 52 of them have 3-point shooting %'s, while some were drafted during a time when the 3-point line did not exist.

Utahjazzdraft3p_medium

via lh5.googleusercontent.com

I think that's it. Nothing else to really discern from this data right now. I'm also only going off what I could readily copy-and-paste from basketball-reference.com, so while it would've been nice to have had some other data (PER, DRtg, accolades, etc.), I didn't seek out any extra columns to add. If anything, I hope this data tells us that the front office should be able to cook up a pretty good team from the draft picks accrued over the past few years.

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

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