The NBA Draft Lottery is less than a week away, and we now know who will represent the Utah Jazz on stage in Secaucus:
Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey will represent the team on stage during NBA Draft Lottery on May 19 http://t.co/KSZjN3pHHX pic.twitter.com/3GYhT1JQ4L— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) May 12, 2015
To be honest, there's not a lot of hope for the Jazz to break into the top 3. (About a 2.5% chance.) The overwhelming likelihood is that the Jazz will pick at number 12, where their record dictates. Still, there's always a chance. I mean, he probably won't get caught doing this, at least.
(That's Moni's gif, by the way. Because she's amazing.)
Mock drafts might be premature, since the lottery hasn't happened yet, but with the Jazz all but locked in, here's ESPN's Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton talking about what to do at 12:
Pelton: This one's pretty obvious. The Jazz went 19-10 after the All-Star break despite getting the league's worst production in terms of my wins above replacement player stat (WARP) from their point guards. Dante Exum has the potential to solve that, but one way or another Utah needs better production from its point guards.
Ford: No, no, no, Kevin. No more point guards in Utah. Exum is their future. I think he has the potential to be the best player on their roster. Don't give them any ideas. He's 19. He just transitioned from Australian high-school basketball to the NBA. He'll make a huge leap this season. If anything, it's the backup point guard position that they need to solve. But more importantly, I think the Jazz are one of the few teams in the lottery that are really set with excellent young players at each position on the floor. Exum at point guard, Alec Burks at shooting guard, Gordon Hayward at small forward, Derrick Favors at power forward and Rudy Gobert at center. And I love Rodney Hood coming off the bench. I think that gives them the space to take the best player available, regardless of position. In my Grade: A Mock Draft, that was UCLA's Kevon Looney. I also think he's a great fit as a backup for both Favors and Hayward. He's young and not really ready, but I love his long-term potential.
Pelton: I don't disagree with taking the best player available, but I would argue that taking a point guard doesn't necessarily mean burying Exum. Among other things, it's not yet clear that point guard is his best position since Exum has the size to play shooting guard. But unless they go for one of my favorites like Jones or Utah's Delon Wright, the best player available probably will be Looney. Kaminsky could be a fit here, too. Coach Quin Snyder has been looking for a big man to stretch the floor, and Kaminsky could slot comfortably into a three-player rotation in the frontcourt, playing alongside both Favors and Gobert.
I can see both points of view here. Without question, the Jazz's biggest obstacle to a better win-loss record is improving play at point guard. But they've taken point guards with lottery picks in the last two drafts, and Dante Exum is still the heir apparent, whether he's capable of playing 2-guard or not. I don't expect to see the Jazz address the backcourt with the 12th pick.
Both Ford and Pelton mention UCLA's Kevon Looney here -- Ford has been predicting the Jazz to draft him for weeks -- so I suppose we should get more familiar with him. Here's DraftExpress's scouting report.
FanPosts! Here's your trio for the week:
marvin_is_joe on the Jazz's aforementioned point-guard problem:
Back to Trey Burke, whom was the 12-13 Naismith College player of the year, AP College Player of the year and the John Wooden Player of the year winner. I believe that is what Utah saw and more specifically what Dennis Lyndsey wanted on his team as a floor leader. Burke has the mentality to always improve, work harder to get better and do what the team needs for the win. I think that is a trait that teams want in all their players and ultimately can extend careers. Burke had no problems coming off the bench for Quinn Snyder this year.
That confidence trait not only boosts locker room morale but also allows for game winners. I have heard alot about how it takes a PG longer to develop. I don't know if statistically its 100% true but numbers do show it looks to be more of an occurrence amongst PG's than any other position. I have been wanting to write about this for over a year and many comparison players have gone through my mind. I will show Burkes stats and compare to players and then show my findings.
bjtninetynine on a hypothetical team of current and former Jazzmen:
I watch former Jazz players and often think, "Man! I wish we still had them." So, I started tinkering with salary data and started putting some combinations together. I'm curious who people would pick to be on a team for a single season comprised of former Utah Jazz players since the 06-07 Western Conference Finals run who are still in the league for 2014-15. I think it would be fair to keep the team from going over the salary cap ($63,065,000). Assume we are going to use 2014-15 salary data (exception for Fes) and a roster of at most 15 players. This is very hypothetical, but I thought it could be interesting to see what combinations people come up with.
And Beeblebrox42 gives some offseason predictions:
Like at the trade deadline, a lot of point guards will move.
There aren't very many point guards projected to go in the first round, so I'm thinking that a lot of teams will look to trade for a point at the draft. Here's where I think the Jazz may get involved. We have 3 point guards on the roster that we could potentially move, and all of them are on team friendly deals. It's unlikely that Exum gets traded, but Burke or Cotton could be packaged with some picks for either a player or pick.
Thanks, everyone! You all nailed it.
Basketball Insiders' Steve Kyler featured the Jazz in a piece on Tuesday, including a video interview with our Prince of Threes, Rodney Hood. The article itself doesn't really say anything you don't already know, because you are SLC Dunk readers and are therefore smart and attractive and successful in life. But the interview's worth a watch:
I love the way Rodney talks about how hands-on Quin Snyder is. He even refers to him as "like an assistant coach, when it comes to working with you every day." Remember, this is the first NBA coach Rodney's had, and his previous head coach was Duke's Mike Krzyzewski. Hood almost makes it sound like he didn't expect the "head" coach to be as involved in on-court practice as Snyder is. Interesting.
And of course, I love that Rodney's already in the gym. His injury problems held him back from what could have been an All-Rookie-caliber season, but his potential is huge. I can't wait to see him continue to improve.
The Sixers introduced revamped logos today, including a certain Franklin fellow:
The 76ers’ new logos are out, and DRIBBLIN’ BEN FRANKLIN IS ALIVE: http://t.co/KOgc2XJpcT pic.twitter.com/Ws350kMeh5— SB Nation (@SBNation) May 12, 2015
Of course, @DJJazzyJody was not to be outdone:
I'm excited for the Utah Jazz to introduce their secondary logo: Bouncin' Brigham. pic.twitter.com/510Rb5WcNo— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) May 12, 2015