Some guy named James Taft Fredette worked out for the Jazz yesterday. From his interview, he seems like a nice guy. I don't know much about his game, but I don't get the feeling that the Jazz are all that interested in him anyway.
In seriousness, Jimmer Fredette has brought out the most venomous debate I have seen since I said we should trade Al Jefferson. And that was like 2 weeks ago, so it's been awhile. But maybe we should just wait until the draft to debate his value to the team. I have a feeling that the Jazz are going to draft Brandon Knight and pass on Jimmer, so all of our debates might be for naught. So take heart, SurlyMae, and come back to us. Don't let Jimmer supporters run you out of the blog.
Honestly, no matter who the Jazz draft a week from today, some portion of Jazz fans are going to be disappointed. There are a group of Kanter supporters and Vesely supporters and there's one Biyombo supporter. I get the feeling that using the 3rd pick on Brandon Knight would disappoint the least amount of Jazz fans. I haven't seen the word "safe" used more often than with Knight at the 3.
But no matter who the Jazz pick this year, you need to remember that it could be worse. From FreeDarko's The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History:
"Back in the day, there was no set number of rounds for the NBA draft. Team executives could basicaly keep drafting players as long as they wanted. The 1958 draft, for example, went 17 rounds, but the last 4 rounds consisted of only one pick per round, all by the Cincinnati Royals.
Before the draft went to 2 rounds in 1998, GMs often used the later rounds to amuse themselves. In 1977 the Jazz drafted Lusia Harris in the 7th round with the 137th pick. A three-time All-American at Delta State University and a member of the 1976 Olympic team, she was the first and only woman selected in the NBA draft. She was pregnant at the time."
Speaking of The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History, I am going to possibly break SLCDunk ground and give a little book critique. I finished the book last night and enjoyed it. The book is a compiled work of several writers most of who collaborated to bring us the FreeDarko website for several years. The writing can be overly ambitious at times, but the information is almost always interesting and the artwork in the book is unique, clever and stunning. I recommend it especially for young NBA fans, who would like a little more context and history to understand the pro game.
For instance, I knew that Drazen Petrovic was a pioneer of Europeans playing well in the NBA, but until I read this book, I didn't realize that in his 5th and 6th years in the league, right before his unfortunate, death, Petrovic averaged better than 20 points a game, while shooting better than 50% from the field. That's impressive stuff from a 6-5 guard who was trying to break down stereotypes of European ball players that existed at the time. There's lots of great info, facts and food for thought in the book. It's a quick read and I would recommend it to any NBA fan, casual or hardcore.
Moni brought up yesterday in the downbeat that the Jazz should feel at fault for the possible underdevelopment of Al Jefferson's game in the flex offense. I think Al Jefferson can and should improve over the summer, although there is always a limit to people's ability to get faster or stronger or taller, etc. That is why the Jazz have lately worked out agreements with the P3 complex in Santa Barbara, California to help the players become more efficient in their physical improvements. From his tweets, we know that Gordon Hayward has been there working out this summer. And from this Deseret News article, we know that Big Al at least planned on gathering his teammates their this summer. He probably still will. But I know that Kevin O'Connor mentioned that he expected Jefferson to go to the complex and specifically improve his vertical leap, his lateral quickness and overall conditioning. I think that would help Jefferson help the Jazz more than anything Karl Malone could teach him in a one on one session. But I am defending the Jazz, because I know that they have a lot of tools available to help the Jazz players and they expect them to use those tools to better themselves. i might be wrong, but the team was willing to help Deron Williams meet with John Stockton one summer, but I think it was Deron who had to show the desire to do so. But for me, if the players are or aren't improving over the summer, it is on them, and no one else.
The info is outdated a bit, but I found a site that shows some of the workouts the Jazz players are doing at the P3 to improve their physical abilities.
I hadn't heard anything about a draft party happening, but there will be one at the Energy Solutions Arena again this year. It might be a good year to go, because I just have a feeling the Jazz are going to do something interesting. For those of you wondering why the Jazz haven't traded down, multiple reports have stated that the Jazz are certainly listening to offers for the 3rd pick. I'm sure that Kevin O'Connor will do anything "that will improve the team." The interesting thing will be if Minnesota botches things and drafts Enes Kanter. Then you know that the offers for the 3rd pick will dramatically increase as teams will try to trade up to get Derrick Williams. Would the Jazz draft Williams or be too tempted by the offers that will surely come? Like I said, this is going to be the most dramatic draft night for the Jazz in several years, if not of all time. Only 7 days left.