The Downbeat #1057 - Busts, Projects, and Home Runs

I chose this picture, because it looks like Jefferson is half the size of Lopez. Perspective. - USA TODAY Sports

The Downbeat #1057 - Fresh Hot Jazz news and thoughts

As usual, Dennis Lindsey gave an interesting interview to 1280 the Zone on Friday. Here was the highlight for me:

I feel really good about where we are at with 14, 21, and 46. We have the ability to move up, if we want to move up, which is unusual at this date and there's very good reasons why we may stand pat, and just select the 3. I think as we go through it and we decide the right thing to do is to trade back or trade out we'll have those possibilities as well.

This is the reason why the Jazz will and should work out and/or interview just about every prospect from this draft. This is why guys that are projected to be possible top 5 or 10 picks, will work out for Utah, like Cody Zeller is today.

I don't often endorse podcasts, but I may have said how much I enjoy listening to them while I run or lift weights or clean the kitchen or whatever. Bill Simmons does a regular podcast called the BS Report, as you may know, and no matter what your feelings for Simmons, this podcast with Miami Heat and ESPN correspondent Brian Windhorst, was super interesting. I thought there were some especially interesting things discussed about James Harden and how Sam Presti probably outsmarted himself to the detriment of the Thunder.

But what I would like some of you to take away and consider, is how much Restricted Free Agency benefits the team, not the player. There is incentive for a player not to have to test free agency and receive an offer from another team. This means that there is also some incentive for teams to want their players to test free agency. Just take a look at the difference in James Harden and Roy Hibbert's maximum contracts, for example.

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This all has a lot to do with the Jazz and their upcoming negotiations with Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors this summer. The Jazz have the power, and I think it will help them keep Hayward and Favors on favorable deals, even if it doesn't happen until next summer, no matter what we may imagine those two think about the Jazz.

If you are wondering who the Jazz are going to draft on June 27th, you don't need to wonder any longer. The Jazz have always used a guide to make their draft choices and if you look at the clues for historical precedence, it's pretty easy to see who they will select.

The Jazz have often had their eyes set on the NCAA champion runner ups. I think they like that those players will be able to carry their teams to the championship game, but who will have a chip on their shoulders from coming up short in the title game. This is why they selected Deron Williams and Gordon Hayward. So the Jazz are obviously going to draft Trey Burke.

But the Jazz have also shown an inclination to draft lesser known foreign prospects who take the Nike Hoop Summit by storm, like they did with Enes Kanter. So the Jazz are most likely going to draft Dennis Schroeder. You'll know the Jazz are keying in on Schroeder when you hear a report that the Jazz and Schroeder are at odds after a workout.

However the Jazz have also shown an inclination to draft the best player that falls to them and fills a need, just like they did with Kosta Koufos and Eric Maynor and Morris Almond. So the Jazz are definitely taking Shabazz Muhammad when he falls to 14. Although, in a few years, the Jazz will have to trade him away to lighten some of the financial burdens of signing Al Jefferson to a large contract this summer. History has a way of repeating itself.

So although the Jazz tend to be a very tight lipped group, there are hints and tendencies that let you know exactly who they will draft. Just gotta know what you are looking for.

In an unrelated note, I am hoping to get together with some of the other slcdunk writers so that we can recreate this shot of the three main Salt Lake Tribune Jazz beat writers:

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Take a break. Play a game. Lets us know how you did in the comments. If you beat me, I'll buy you lunch sometime. I got 31 of 38.

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1st Round Draft Picks of the Utah Jazz

I have a personal exercise that I do, where I remember what my life and my ideals and beliefs were 2 years before and compare them to the current time. It's really eye opening and often gives me perspective. I think it's important to always remember that at any given point in time, some of our view points are misguided, underdeveloped, or else just plain wrong. I believe this is true of any knowledge or beliefs, whether ideological, scientific, or mathematical. I won't get into specifics, but there are a number of concepts on this blog that get spouted off as fact and accepted as common knowledge, that are blatantly incorrect, in my opinion.

It isn't our fault. Life and knowledge are always changing and information is being collected at a record rate. For instance, look at this current Miami Heat team and the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team that won 70 games. Both great teams and both top 2 offenses of their respective seasons. Only 19% of the Bulls' shots were 3 pointers, compared to Miami who uses 28% of their shots behind the arc. It's a different time with different rules and strategies. We will know more about the NBA and basketball and curing cancer and how to raise our kids or how to sell a security system or how to communicate across the world 2 or 5 or 10 years from now.

WIth all that said, consider this: right now, something between 10 and 80% of the things you think you know and understand perfectly about competing for a championship, or about the NBA, are misguided, underdeveloped, or flat out wrong. That includes me. That includes anyone reading this blog today. Maybe, just maybe, with that thought, we can all set our beliefs and positions a little less permanently and take more time to listen and consider other facts and ideas. This isn't a lecture by any means. Just a thought. It applies to so much of Jazz fandom on this blog, and in social media and in the upcoming draft and in the upcoming 5 years. I'm excited. I think it'll turn out to be a great time to be a Jazz fan. In the words of Kevin O'Connor, let's reevaluate in 2 years.

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