By now you've probably seen some of the links on the internet that list all the players who will be attending the NBA Draft combine that's in Chicago in (looks at calendar), CRAP ONLY A FEW DAYS FROM NOW! For those who don't know we'll be there. (We = SLC Dunk) And for those who forgot, we were there last year too. So using some of the knowledge from last year and incorporating the e-mails I've been getting from the NBA the last few days -- I can break some of it down for you.
The idea was to have a maximum of 75 players this combine, that easily breaks down to 15 players for each segment. That number of 75 is up from last season which was in the 50s. There are some high profile "no shows" this season, but that happens every draft cycle. Some players only have something to LOSE by showing up and measuring or playing or testing worse than expected. Last season I spent some time sitting next to Nerlens Noel who was just chilling, and it was a very awkward sit indeed. Guys show up there because there's more than just the two open days. And there's a lot of stuff that's not happening in front of our eyes. (Like the fabled tet-a-tet between Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin and Shabazz Muhammad last combine.) So I wouldn't be surprised if I saw some of the top guys there, just chilling.
Anyway, the other thing is that the 75 max list was to break things down by expected position. I've done that here, but there are some boo-boos.There are 15 point guards, but things thin out heavily when we get to the fours and fives. I feel like they'll still split it up because fours are increasingly asked to do more things than fives -- and the smaller 'class' size just means more attention in the actual drills.
|2||Marcus Smart||6.50||1||2||6||4||225||Oklahoma St|
|10||Jahii Carson||42.50||1||5||10||175||Arizona St|
|12||Xavier Thames||58.00||1||6||3||195||San Diego St|
|13||DeAndre Kane||58.57||1||2||6||4||200||Iowa St|
|14||Aaron Craft||68.75||1||6||2||190||Ohio St|
|15||Kendall Williams||72.60||1||6||4||185||New Mexico|
There are three point guards projected to go in the lotto, and six in the first round. And then there are a ton of them fighting for their lives for a chance to get drafted. Last year we saw the higher valued point guards screwing around, and the lower valued ones working their butts off, and being professionals. It's likely that we're going to see something of the same here. A guy like Aaron Craft may go undrafted, unless he is impressive this entire week and gains some more appreciation from teams. Another interesting point is going to be to see which drills Exum actually participates in. Guys could be gunning for him, and he may just show up to get measured, and not measure up against his peers.
|1||Gary Harris||10.50||2||6||4||210||Michigan St|
|5||P.J. Hairston||23.94||2||6||5||220||NBA DL|
|11||Markel Brown||47.00||2||6||3||190||Oklahoma St|
By my count there are 14 shooting guards out of this list -- but you may see some miscegenation between the points and wings depending on what the agents tell the organizers (agents are in full force here, calling half of the shots). For example you may see Russ bumped down to PG because of his size, though he's a SG by game.
Unlike the PGs, few of these players are in "Jazz pick range" (Top 5, Early 20s, and Mid 30s) (Not that I expect our pick range to be set in stone) -- but P.J. and Jodran A are in range for sure. I do know that many Jazz fans aren't against adding a Stauskas to the team, but it's only going to be available if the Jazz wheel and deal.
|4||Cleanthony Early||26.41||3||6||8||215||Wichita St|
|5||Glenn Robinson III||31.86||3||6||6||210||Michigan|
|7||LaQuinton Ross||41.44||3||6||8||225||Ohio St|
|9||Thanasis Antetokounmpo||51.90||3||6||5||210||NBA DL|
|10||Roy Devyn Marble||52.13||3||6||6||200||Iowa St|
|11||Melvin Ejim||56.50||3||6||6||220||Iowa St|
There are a few guys in Jazz pick range here, and I'm not going to be unhappy if the team somehow walks out of draft night with Grant, McDaniels, Early, Robinson III, or Daniels -- but none of them are really my favorites. I'm not entirely sure what the team could get out of one of these guys isn't worse than what the team could get through trades or free agency. I'm not that crazy about their upside -- but few late 1st rounders / early 2nd rounders have that.
N.B. Because no one has e-mailed me the actual class splits, we could see a Warren here, or maybe one of the taller guards)
|3||Adreian Payne||17.53||4||6||10||225||Michigan St|
|5||T.J. Warren||19.16||3||4||6||8||233||North Carolina St|
|9||James Michael McAdoo||49.82||4||6||9||223||North Carolina|
Power forward is where the Utah Jazz need to look the least to, with guys like Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter on the squad. Sadly, when the music stops the team may be forced into picking a guy like Randle if we drop to 5th. Randle isn't bad, but he's not going to dominate at the NBA level as a big with a wingspan that's less than 7' in length.
There are only 11 PFs here listed, but there are more PF/Cs in this combine, but I split them up because I suspect that they're still going to keep the 5 distinct drill classes.
|3||Johnny O'Bryant III||46.90||4||5||6||9||250||LSU|
|5||Jordan Bachynski||63.60||5||7||2||248||Arizona St|
|6||Alec Brown||75.00||5||7||1||212||Wisconsin Green Bay|
|7||Cameron Bairstow||77.00||4||5||6||8||212||New Mexico|
|8||Alex Kirk||83.50||5||7||0||250||New Mexico|
This is a very shallow group. I think the NBA goal of having 75 players are too big, especially with this list of guys available. Part of the problem is that more and more the bigs that fill out rosters in the NBA are Europeans -- and their Visa situation is tricky when a) Euro competition is still going on right now, and b) it's hard to get a "work visa" as an "amateur" to play for a week in Chicago. Six of the top 15 centers on my 150+ player bigboard are non-Americans. As a result, this is why I grouped the PF/Cs in this group as well.
As it stands, I don't think the Jazz would WANT to draft a center unless it was a "ya kinda have to" draft situation. A Joel Embiid guy? Yes. A Noah Vonleh guy (a 4/5)? Less so. I will go back to the Dee Brown rule if somehow Mitch is available with our early second rounder though. (Though, he just failed a drug test, so you never know).
One thing I found funny is the tragic Sim "SimCity" Bhullar situation. He's not NBA material, so he should stay in school for another one or two years, but somehow he got bad advice and declared for the draft and has an agent. In a situation where there are AT MOST 8 centers for this combine he couldn't get an invite. The big New Mexico St guy is probably going to end up as the tallest guy in the YMCA rec league with his poor decision making skills.
- Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Joel Embiid are all sitting out -- as they should
- Dario Saric (Croatia) couldn't get in right now anyway if he wanted to (thanks TSA), same deal with Clint Capela (Switzerland), Jusuf Nurkic (Bosnia), and Mario Hezonja (Croatia).
- Anyone with a really crazy name (I guess we live in a world now where "Cleanthony" and "Elfrid" are normal names... maybe I'm setting my bar too high?)
- ....and Mychal is swamped with work so he's not going to be coming this year.