The NBA Draft is always an exciting night. The prelude to it is the NBA Draft lottery. That is going down tonight during the halftime of tonight's Miami Heat / Indiana Pacers game (Eastern Conference Finals Game 2, on ESPN). The Utah Jazz are going to be sending Miller Family scion Bryan Miller to represent the team. You know him as the President of Miller Inspiration. Many of you may have never heard of him before a few weeks ago, let alone know much about him.
What we do know is that the Utah Jazz used to never be in the lottery before, but in the last decade or so our team has almost lived on the outskirts of it, but it seems like we're looking at buying a timeshare in Lotto land now. And what we also know is that the lotto hasn't been that great to the team. This is a handy breakdown of all the information you need:
|Season Results||Top 3||Lotto||Net||Lotto Pick||Jazz career averages|
As you can see, well, the one time the team REALLY had a good shot at a great pick the team dropped to 6th. The Jazz had to trade back UP to the #3 spot to get D-Will. That was a trade that happened before the NBA Draft started so technically he's our pick through and through.
Kris was supposed to be a 'bonus' pick. We were a good team that was rebuilding and had a solid future ahead of them. His rookie year had him on a team that also had Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer, and Mehmet Okur. He's a solid rebounder and garbage man, but most known for his highly publicized marriage and divorce to a hobbit (NSFW - swearing). As far as "bonus" picks are supposed to go the Jazz drafted poorly, as they also at the #16 that year and used it on Kirk Snyder. I will argue that Kris has produced at an adequate level as an NBA veteran, but as a young player he wasn't doing much to deserve being called and selected in the lotto.
Deron was all that, and a bag of chips . . . in Utah. Rookie team member, All-Star, All-NBA player, Skills contest winner, and Olympian. (Wait, why is skills contest better than All-NBA? Oh yeah, he won his section Playstation 3s) He was much better than the pick we HAD and traded to the Portland Trail Blazers -- they got Martell Webster.
Ronnie B played fantastically despite his limitations, and was a starter for many games with the Jazz. He seems to have had the opposite career arc of Hump though, and thus we see that the fates of #14 picks are varied and unpredictable. Brewer was useful and dynamic early, but his post-Jazz career has been forgettable.
Gordon was/is/maybe will never be "The Precious". He was the product of great Isiah Thomas GMing, and was the unprotected New York Knicks pick that many teams tried to get their hands on. The team was already a playoff team when the pick became available to Utah, so this was another "bonus" type of lotto pick. It was much lower than Jazz fans had hoped it would be when the Knicks were laughingstocks of the league. (I honestly thought it would be a Top 5 pick) Hayward has been a good player for the team, though his shot comes and goes every year. As far as 9th picks in the draft go, he was one of the better selections in the past 30 years.
Enes and Alec were the realities of what Kris and Kirk were supposed to be, years ago. Kanter wasn't our pick, but we got him in the D-Will trade, and it jumped up three spots. Alec was a #12, and has been good-bad-horrible-great at times. Kanter, a #3, hasn't quite produced like a #3 is expected to. But he was drafted on potential, not on production. Time will tell what the future holds for these two players . . . but right now I think that Kanter can reach the average for a #3 pick's production, and I feel like Burks can surpass the average production for a #12 pick.
'Bazz was drafted with the intent to complete a trade that was made earlier in the draft night period for Trey Burke. It was a package deal for Gorgui Dieng and Muhammad for Burke. I'm happy with this trade, and I'm happy with Trey. This was a good use of assets to trade for a distinct need. The Jazz didn't need to pick another bigman for the third year in a row, and did not need to shift the log-jam to the SF spot on a team that already had so many wings.
What about this year? Well, the Jazz are more likely than not to finish with a lower pick than to keep their current #4 seed.
Time will tell how good the players we get in the NBA Draft will be, but if history is any indication -- the Jazz are sadly due for an upset.