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Down The Stretch We Come - The Downbeat - #514

It seems like we've been talking about this draft forever and then some. Even then, we still have three days until draft night. If you're sick of it now, just remember that in a few weeks, you'll be craving for it fortnightly.

We will get some closure this week though. After all of the speculation and rumors, we'll know who will be a Jazz man, Jimmer's fate, and who may be leaving the team. So consume as much of this as you can to prepare yourself for the NBA drought that's coming up

2011 NBA draft: Teams targeting Jimmer Fredette with potential trades - ESPN - Insider
But the draft exodus may go even further into the first round. Sources say that the Charlotte Bobcats (9), Milwaukee Bucks (10) and Golden State Warriors (11) are also open to moving their pick. In this case the interest is all pretty specific. The Knicks, and a handful of other teams, are trying to get ahead of the Jazz. The target? BYU's Jimmer Fredette.

The Cavs have Brandon Knight and Enes Kanter in on Monday. If Knight wows, could it persuade Cleveland to draft Derrick Williams No. 1 and Knight at No. 4. On the flip side, if Kanter wows, could the Cavs feel better about taking Kyrie Irving No. 1? The Utah Jazz had Jordan Hamilton, Chris Singleton, Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris and Tyler Honeycutt in on Sunday and have Alec Burks and Klay Thompson in on Monday. This workout is for the 12th pick in the draft. The team has a need at the wing and virtually anyone of these players could be the pick here. We've had Singleton here for weeks as the pick and still think he's the favorite if the Jazz go with a guard at the No. 3 pick. Singleton's defensive abilities make him an ideal replacement for Andrei Kirilenko.

2011 NBA draft: How Draft Rater ranks the prospects - ESPN - (Insider)
Fortunately, I've seen all three at the Hoop Summit the past two seasons. Biyombo has scouts worried because he can't shoot at all, but he's a dominating defensive force in the paint; at the absolute worst he's going to be better than Ekpe Udoh. I slotted him 11th on my board, behind all the players the Draft Rater is really gung-ho about. He's going to be a rotation player based on defense and rebounding alone; the question is if he can finish enough plays at the basket to start. Kanter is sort of the anti-Biyombo; He's not much of an athlete and will be suspect at the defensive end, but has such a high skill level offensively that he's going to score relatively easily. A good comparable might be fellow Turk Mehmet Okur, except Kanter is probably more skilled with the ball.

2011 NBA Mock Draft: It's Draft Week, And We've Reached Panic Mode -
Our final 2011 NBA Mock Draft before the actual NBA Draft going down on Thursday night.

Top 10 NBA Draft Busts
The 2011 NBA Draft is upon us. In it’s honor we teamed up with Milton Un to create The NBA Top Ten Draft Busts infographic. Milton put together the amazing...

Basketball Prospectus | The Clipboard: Fredette vs. Redick
One of the biggest difference between Redick and Fredette is the way that they were used. Both in college and in the pros, Redick has always been a guy working off of the basketball. Fredette was a ballhandler who used a lot of possessions and created his own offense as much as the offense created for him, if not more. While Fredette is going to handle the ball in the pros, if he can adjust to that Redick role, working off of screens off the ball, spotting up and knocking down jumpers, teams will find playing time for him if he can play at least a little bit of defense

While the NBA D-League will go on despite a lockout in the NBA, the Utah Flash will not. The Daily Herald reported over the weekend that the Flash are going on hiatus citing financial difficulties as the primary reason,

According to the team source, the Flash lost nearly three million dollars since they began operations. The Flash were on track to break even last year but didn't collect money from a major sponsor and ended up losing about $200,000.

The team is now up for sale for a cool $2.5M. There's roughly that many people along the Wasatch Front. Maybe we can get everyone to put in $1 for every person in their family and purchase the team?

Of course the biggest obstacle wouldn't be buying the team, it would be to keep the team running and funding day to day operations. As it was mentioned in the article, the D-League model isn't exactly conducive to making money.

According to Ridiculous Upside, the Flash were run by a very competent management team and ranked second in the league in attendance. If you're not able to stay in the game that way, how exactly will future owners make it work? One possible way would be for an NBA team to buy them as others have done. The Jazz didn't want to do that though.

Good luck to the Flash or whatever the future incarnation looks like.

I don't know if there's anyone who isn't a Jeremy Evans fan. He's an interesting player in that I don't think anyone has any ridiculous projections for him yet they don't see him as overrated either. He's properly rated I would say.

In addition to improving his basketball skills, the biggest thing everyone has stated is that he needs to put on some weight. He's doing just that according to Brian T. Smith,

Adding muscle weight: That's always good to hear. I'm looking a little bigger and hopefully a little stronger. Just continue to work this offseason. Hopefully get a little bigger.

Corbin on Evans adding muscle weight: The offseason is star[t]ing to show now. He's a pretty serious kid about getting better.

The Jazz players that have worked out at P3 have come back with more muscle bulk and better conditioned. It will be interesting to see Evans in person after this summer and compare. He stated after the season that he was going to try to move to the SF position. He doesn't need a lot of mass if he's going to play there but it will help his game.

Forgive me, but it looks like comments I made led to Jerry Sloan retiring and Deron Williams getting traded. As pointed out by @scrantoncity33, I made the following statement in my blurb in the season preview in Basketball Prospectus,

Though it will likely take a lifetime of convincing, and perhaps Jerry Sloan's retirement, I'm here to tell you that the Jazz is not a half-court, pickand-roll team.

I had completely forgotten what I wrote for them and had to go look it up. Couple that with the "No closer to a trade edition" Downbeat and I inadvertently derailed the season. I think I'm a blogging X-men. I need someone to help me control this power.

Monday poll...