The Utah Jazz had a pretty busy week, even if they didn't get to play a single game. As a team that missed the playoffs, they are headed to the NBA Draft with a pretty good pick. How good is their first pick? Well, after the results of the NBA Draft Lottery it's just barely out of the Top 10. Adding a player of that caliber will really help GM Dennis Lindsey shore up our bench, add a player with a new skill set, or afford him the flexibility to move up (or down) in this deep-ish draft. There may be some worthwhile guys still on the board when Utah is on the clock. Utah is also going to be on the dock, well, personally I hope they take a plane, but they are going to be playing some games on the beautiful Island of Hawai'i to start off their 2015-2016 preseason. That's awesome. Slightly more awesome than Gordon Hayward, professional athlete / professional eSports gamer who is now moving onto possibly being a professional Sports blogger. He broke down the NBA Playoffs and the Conference Finals. Sadly, that's about the only basketball thing he's doing right now as he, and every other single Jazz player, did not get enough votes to win any off-season awards, or even make any of the End of season teams. That's a downer, but it's motivation for some of our guys -- who can't wait to get back out there on the court. The soonest opportunity for you, the fan, to see that? Early July as the Utah Jazz summer league dates have been released, and the tickets are on sale NOW!
1. The NBA Draft Order is set
The Utah Jazz, a team that had a greater chance to have a team jump over them than a chance to move up, are picking #12 at the NBA Draft this June. Shums has the report here, but it's clear that this season our squad wasn't trying to maximize their draft position. The 12th spot hasn't been one where you get a lot of overt star players, truly, in recent history only the names Mike Woodson, Kelly Tripucka, Darrell Walker, John Williams, Muggsy Bogues, Harvey Grant, Mookie Blaylock, Greg Anthony, George Lynch, Cherokee Parks, Austin Croshere, Michael Doleac, Vladimir Radmanovic, Nick Collison, Thaddeus Young, Jason Thompson, Alec Burks, and Steven Adams ' names ring out. Some of these guys are career bench players, others are occasional starters, some have had big moments in the playoffs, but very rarely do you find a career starter at #12. In fact, you are more likely to find a future NBA head coach than a real player you can build around.
I do not believe that our current Jazz squad is looking for a savior at #12, thankfully. They have excellent scouts and can easily pick up a potential rotation player. There are players on the Jazz bench that they just didn't have last season. With a semi-deep draft it's possible that Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey is able to find someone to fill in a gap. Or, you know, use the lotto pick and some assets to move up for the guy he actually wants. He's done it before. It's likely that he will do it again if the opportunity does come up.
2. Back your bags!
The Utah Jazz will be playing two preseason games in Hawai'i against the Los Agenes Lakers. I can't wait to see all the Instagrams from some of our most furious social media participants (Trey Burke, Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors' wifey...). If you are a fan in that neck of the woods, holler. We'll try to get you tickets or something.
3. Gordon Hayward, the Basketball Analyst
The NBA Playoffs have advanced to the Conference Finals round, where the Golden State Warriors are up 2-0 on the Houston Rockets; and the Cleveland Cavaliers are up 1-0 on the Atlanta Hawks. There are a few Utah Jazz players who have made the playoff rosters of those four teams: Paul Millsap (ATL), Kyle Korver (ATL), DeMarre Carroll (ATL), Kendrick Perkins (CLE), and the irreplaceable Brandon Rush (GSW). One guy who is itching to return to the playoffs is Jazz star Gordon Hayward. It's evident. His fervor for it is so large that he even blogged about it. Here's his breakdown of the Eastern Conference Finals (ATL/CLE), and the Western Conference Finals (GSW/HOU). First of all, I think it's amazing that Gordon is even taking the time to do this. Second, can you imagine how crazy it would have been to read previous Jazz player's thoughts on other teams? Personally, I'd have loved to have read Greg Ostertag's thoughts on Conference Finals teams . . . the insight he could bring to the common man. Wow.
4. Jazz players are on the radar, but not on the End-of-Season Teams
While our guys (Jazz team and extended family members) have gotten some votes here or there, they've all been shut out of End of season awards.
- No one made the All-NBA 1st, 2nd, or 3rd team for the Jazz, but Paul Millsap (ATL, 70 votes, needed about 100 more to make the team), Gordon Hayward (UTA, 2), Kyle Korver (ATL, 2) got some votes.
- Also, none of our guys made the All-NBA Defensive 1st or 2nd team, Rudy Gobert (UTA, 54), DeMarre Carroll (ATL, 11), Paul Millsap (ATL, 8), and Wesley Matthews (POR, 3) all got some votes though.
- And, of course, no Utah guys made the All-Rookie 1st, or 2nd team either; however, Rodney Hood (54) was only about five votes off, Dante Exum (17), and Joe Ingles (2) also got votes.
The end of season awards drought continues for Jazz fans. However, by the reactions these players have given (and Derrick Favors who wasn't voted once for anything), that drought may not last much longer.
5. Utah Jazz Summer League schedule released
We can't wait to see our guys step out on the floor again. I bet some of them are itching to pick up where they last left off. Utah fans will get to see some of them pretty soon, and at home, as the
Rocky Mountain Revue Utah Jazz Summer League has announced their schedule and their times, places, dates, and prices for the events! Still, the best bet is the three day pass, which lets you watch six games for $15. If I was there, I would attend!
Previous Top Five Stories:
- March 28 - April 3: Hot Rod Hundley passes away; Grantland kills Enes Kanter and his comments on Utah; Australian Newspapers talk about Dante Exum; the Idaho Stampede have been purchased by the Utah Jazz and what does this mean for the future; and Rudy Gobert is a legit star according to the National basketball writers of America
- April 4 - April 10: DUKE wins the NCAA National Championship; Rodney Hood will play in summer league; National media think the Utah Jazz will make a run for the playoffs next season; Quin Snyder interviews + Moni = awesome; some national writers don't think the Thunder want Enes Kanter back
- April 11 - April 17: Utah Jazz players could make some noise with some end of season awards; Rocky Mountain Revue dates and teams; Bryce Cotton 's awesome oop; Gary Briggs retires; Locker Clean Out exit interviews
- April 18 - April 24: Rudy Gobert's reaction to placing 5th in DPOY; Alec Burks desire to get back on the court; Quin Snyder is a Top 10 Coach; Andrei Kirilenko is still AK-47; Larry H. Miller day of service
- April 25 - May 1: Gordon Hayward blogs about his impending fatherhood; Rudy Gobert is doing charity work in Africa this off-season; Ante Tomic is really never, ever, ever coming over to the Jazz; Utah Jazz license plates are fun; and it's been a very long time since the Jazz won a playoff game
- May 2- May 8: Our bigman Rudy Gobert continues to voice his displeasure for not winning awards, and his hunger for next season; Derrick Favors is giving back and increasing visibility for charity; a breakdown of the Jazzmen who may be on the road to the 2016 Olympics (Gordon Hayward, Dante Exum, Joe Ingles, Raul Neto, Carlos Arroyo, Andrei Kirilenko, Erik Murphy, Tibor Pleiss, Kosta Koufos, Ante Tomic, and maybe Kyrylo Fesenko); a look at the players the Utah Jazz have worked out so far pre-draft; and a look at the free agency strategies for the Jazz
- May 9 - May 15: The NBA Draft Lottery is right around the corner; the Larry H. Miller Group of companies keeps making changes; but the Utah Jazz are still in great hands; Dante Exum may get tired, but he never stops playing; and Rudy Gobert is living it up
- May 16 - May 22: You're already reading this one, you dumb-dumb!