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The Downbeat #1075: Footprints Edition

And when the Jazz looked back there were no footprints. Big Al had walked away.

Harry How

Many have assumed this might happen but it is looking like more of a reality. Marc Stein reported this yesterday on twitter:

We have been guessing this could be the outcome with Dennis Lindsey's "lean and strategic" comments about this upcoming season. Whatever you may say about Al Jefferson the player during his Jazz stint he dealt with this era with grace. He understood he was a stopgap between Jazz eras, but he never acted like it. He treated this organization with respect and with a reverence that Karl Malone would appreciate. Al seems to be taking the news pretty well, though.

David Locke invited Kevin Pelton and Chad Ford to do a pretty massive podcast. It can be found here. Here are some of the notes that I took from it.

  • Kevin Pelton's WARP projections first didn't account for prior years of play. It was predicated predominately of the player's most recent season. That soon proved to be the downfall of a few projections. Now it weighs freshman and sophomore years a lot more. Those years have a huge effect on NBA success he says.
  • If Kevin Pelton was the GM of the Utah Jazz he'd select Lucas Nogueira (Bebe) with the 14th pick. You can find his scouting report here. You'll here Lucas refered to as Bebe in case you are confused on who Bebe is.
  • A strong indicator of future success for big men is steal rate.
  • A strong indicator of future success for guards is rebound rate.
  • Almost all of the star point guards in the NBA were above average rebounders in college.
  • Kevin Pelton, if he had to trade up to get a player, said he'd trade up for Cody Zeller. If he slips out of the top 10 he's a great value.
  • Kevin Pelton believes Andre Roberson will be the biggest steal.
  • Kevin Pelton says it's almost impossible to project Gobert and Ledo.
  • Chad Ford says mock drafts completely unpredictable. He says if he's honest most teams have only narrowed down their picks to 3-5 players and are STILL fielding trade offers.
  • Chad Ford talks about how the game film and statistics are important, but the interviews are a very big part. It's a small locker room.
  • Chad Ford says it's more of a toss up between Carter-Williams and Otto Porter than some fans think.
  • Last year the whole draft in 2012 got messed up because no one knew what the Bobcats were doing with the #2 pick. This year no one even knows who is going #1. We don't even know if the teams #2-#5 want to even keep their picks. This will be a fun and suspenseful year with the draft.
  • Ford says #14 and #21 could get you to #10 or possibly #7. #7 is the highest those picks could get you.
  • Ford says #14 and Burks could get them higher into the top 5.
  • Ford says the Jazz don't love the point guards in the draft enough to trade up for one of them.
  • Ford says he doesn't love any of the point guards in this draft. They're intriguing, he says, but not enough to get excited about any one of them.
  • Ford says he has a hard time with Trey Burke. But he says if a player is short and not athletic they will struggle mightily in the NBA. Compares him to Mo Williams.
  • Compares CJ McCollum to Randy Foye.
  • Ford goes on to say that Victor Oladipo is the only player in this draft that cannot fail. He says he's a better Tony Allen. That's his floor.
  • Ford says that one of McCollum, Burke, or Carter-Williams will be available to Utah at #14.
  • Ford says the Jazz should figure out a way to trade up before Dallas if they want to leave with a PG.
  • Ford agrees with Kevin Pelton that Lucas Nogueira is probably the guy for the Jazz at 14 if no top tier PGs drop to them.
  • Ford: You gotta take the best player in 3 years. Not the best player today.
  • Ford: I like Canaan a lot.
  • Ford says Canaan's age is working against him. Won't be a starter. Could be a good backup PG.
  • Ford says Nate Wolters is intriguing because of his size. Worried about his ability to defend at the NBA level.
  • Ford says Rudy Gobert is like an alien. (I can vouch for that. He's huge.)

It's looking like there might have been a lot more contention in the locker room between Paul Millsap and Tyrone Corbin than previously thought.

I know that Paul Millsap looked as though he gave up through have the season. This really is a chicken and the egg kind of argument. Did Paul Millsap quit on the team then Ty Corbin got into it with him? Or did Ty Corbin get into it with Paul Millsap then Paul lost his passion for the rest of the year? Whatever it is for it to get special mention means that this is not just one little tiff. This is something that went from being an exception to chronic. Earl Watson is just the sidenote in this story. But so far the list of ex-Jazzmen who left disgruntled with Ty Corbin grows. It now comprises:

  1. Devin Harris
  2. Raja Bell
  3. Paul Millsap
  4. CJ Miles
  5. Earl Watson
Before anyone digs into Paul Millsap this is the same player than played behind Carlos Boozer without so much as a peep. This is the same individual who gave his whole heart and soul for the Jazz while Boozer infamously announced he was opting out WHILE he was rehabbing from surgery. This is the same Paul Millsap that worked every offseason to add another dimension to his game. If you asked him to jump he'd say how high then add a jumper to it. I'm more apt to give Paul Millsap, who has a track record of meeting the needs of the team, the benefit of the doubt than Tyrone Corbin who's list of miffed players grows by the year. Hopefully all involved can learn from this and with the mentorship of Jerry Sloan this becomes a mute point next season.

Photoshop Contest!!!

What does Gordon Hayward's 2011 Honda Accord look like now?

Do you have an NBA Draft tradition?

My NBA Draft tradition is a party in which I invite all my hoop buddies. I religiously wear my lucky Jazz hat and my wife wears her Jazz shirt. Taco Bell taco box is required. (Shameless Taco Bell plug. Taco Bell, send me some free tacos.) There are two TVs going side by side. One is the draft the other is NBA2K. Also we play pink the bleached blonde hair on the Fesenko. Okay that last part is a lie but if any of you do play that game at your party I will feature you in my next downbeat.