So does anybody really have any idea how the draft is going to pan out? If you say that you do, I am going to call your bluff. I have spent the last several weeks trying to find a reliable source on these types of things and the truth is that most of the professional NBA mock drafters with inside sources, still can't get it very right. It's hard to believe and it will pain some of you to hear it, but ESPN's Chad Ford appears to have the most correct information, even if it takes him a long time to get it right.
For comparative purposes, let's see how close Ford was even just 4 days before the draft last year. Ford had only 5 of the 10 picks right and had the Jazz drafting Luke Babbitt. It wasn't until the morning of the draft that Ford had learned enough to get the top 8 picks just right. But even the morning of the draft, Ford had the Jazz taking Ed Davis of North Carolina. Jonathon Givony of DraftExpress.com also had the top 8 picks right, but his whole 1st round projection was less accurate the morning of the draft compared to Ford's.
If you were wondering, Ian Thomsen of SI is the only credible mock drafter I could find that guessed the Jazz would draft Gordon Hayward last year, but as you can tell from his other top 10 guesses, he really might as well have been throwing darts to prognosticate.
So why do I bring this all up? To prove that whatever you are seeing right now in mock drafts can't be relied upon. You already knew that. But history will tell us that one or two guys will fall out of the top 10 and someone will creep in. Not to mention the fact that no one seems to know what the Jazz are ever going to do. So while Brandon Knight or Enes Kanter seem like the obvious choices, be prepared for the Jazz to take someone you never expected. And be sure to boo that pick, if you are at the ESA draft party.
I can tell you about a player that most Jazz fans would boo if the Jazz drafted him 3rd overall: Bismack Biyombo. I won't plead my case about why the Jazz should draft Biyombo with the 3rd overall pick today, but I will tell you that his individual workout didn't bother me at all. As you can see in the video below, Biyombo really struggled in his individual workout, missing layups, jumpshots and free throws galore. Be prepared to be a bit embarrassed for the guy:
The reason the workout doesn't change my opinion is because the workout went about the way I would've expected. If you are drafting Bismack Biyombo for his offensive post moves and jumper, then I'm not sure you should be a GM. There is really nothing that Biyombo can show anyone in an individual workout that would be impressive other than his speed and body. It's like asking Jimmer Fredette to show you all his best dunks. Or asking Derrick Williams why he isn't the best player in this draft. Or asking Kanter or Vesely to teach you about the history of America. It just doesn't play to their strengths and is a poor barometer of what they can do for your team. By the end of the weekend, I will have a full writeup about why I think Biyombo is worthy of the 3rd overall pick. You can call me crazy, but also remember that David Locke just had two scouts on his podcast and both of them said that Biyombo is one of the most likely all-stars to come out of this draft. So I am not alone.
A few days ago Basketball John highlighted a ringing endorsement about Brandon Knight from his college coach John Calipari. But if Calipari were the GM for the Jazz he would select Enes Kanter. From the SLtrib:
"And I'll say it again: If it were me picking, I'm taking him (Kanter) No. 1. Because I was with him all year. No disrespect to the guard from Duke. The kid from Arizona: no disrespect. They're good. But this kid is the right size at this position at that age. And he's another one that would fit into what — the success Utah has had, in my opinion, has always been about the type of team they built and the type of people, and that's what it's been.
I personally wouldn't take anything Calipari had to say and I certainly wouldn't want him running my team. But I did find his endorsement of Kanter over Knight surprising.
Speaking of Brandon Knight, Brian T. Smith is reporting that Knight will not join Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette to work out for the Jazz on Wednesday. Instead Knight will work out for the Jazz on Thursday or Friday. I don't want to make to big a deal out of this. It could be scheduling. But if I am Knight, I am doing whatever I need to do to impress the Jazz. The Jazz are, afterall, his ceiling. So it could mean something, or nothing, but I don't want to hear anymore talk about how Kanter is hurting his stock by not working out against his competition or about how Knight really wants to come to the Jazz.
So if the Jazz make the playoffs next year and Golden State is one of the worst 7 teams, then the Jazz will have no 1st round draft picks in the deep 2012 draft, since our pick would go to Minnesota. So here is the open poll question: Assuming that Golden State keeps their top 7 pick and there is a 2011-12 season, would you rather have the Jazz go 42-40 and get swept in the first round of the playoffs as an 8th seed or go 25-57 and get a top 5 pick? Discuss in the comments.