I hope this post sparks some comments and debate that will keep going until the draft. I have been obsessing over the draft, as I have done since the New York pick, hoping we somehow land a superstar. For this draft and with our position, barring amazing lottery luck, I am more torn than I have ever been. So I wanted to put a few of my ideas to writing and see what you all think. (At the 12 pick I expect Towns, Okafor, Mudiay, Russell, Winslow, Porzingis, Johnson, and Hezonja to be gone so I won't discuss them. WCS is probably gone as well but could fall a little.)
The stretch big group. There are four guys here that I cannot put into a good order. Just when I decide one guy is the best of the bunch, I read something else that makes me rethink my assumption. The big guys are Frank Kaminsky, Bobby Portis, Kevon Looney, and Myles Turner.
Frank Kaminsky shoots the highest number of threes of the group and he hits 41.6%. However, Portis actually connected at a better rate (46.7) and Looney was almost identical (41.5). Kaminsky gets the nod here though due to his higher sample size but it is closer than a lot of people realize. One other consideration that should be taken into account is something I don't have access to. I would like to know what percentage they shot at the top of the three point arc, as that is where a stretch big is most dangerous. If they can hit that shot a high pick and pop becomes deadly and the floor is spaced much better than if they can only hit the corner three.
Looney is the best rebounder, but everyone except for Turner is pretty close. Turner is the best shot blocker and the other three are pretty similar. Overall stats don't really separate these guys especially when you have to try to adjust for their ages.
I think if the Jazz have the choice they have to decide what role they want their pick to play. I know you should go best player available but if you can't decide who is best then you decide who is best for your team. Because the Jazz have a starting 4 and 5, I think the team needs versatility. Can any of these guys guard two positions to maximize their playing time? Although Kaminsky is athletic, I don't think he can play the 4 at the NBA. This is not a knock on him. Very few 7' players can successfully guard the 4 spot in the NBA. KG and Duncan are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head. Dirk played the 4 as well but that was due to being the best shooting big man in the game. I don't think Kaminsky is as good as Dirk so I think he will just be a 5. Therefore, if the Jazz draft him, they are using a lottery pick on a guy who can get 12-15 min a night playing behind Rudy. I think Turner is too skinny to play backup 5 but he might be able to put on some weight and the backup centers are not quite as big and strong as the starters. But I don't think Turner is a great fit either. Portis looks like he is strong enough to guard the 5 spot and quick enough laterally to guard the 4 spot. So he would be able to get backup minutes at both spots when he is ready. Looney may be able to guard the 3 and 4 spots in the NBA. A lot of experts thinks so, but he seems a little awkward to guard 3s. If he could, the Jazz could get a backup center for when they want to play big or switch Favors to the 5 if they are going smaller.
Right now I prefer Portis. Especially if the Jazz could trade down and get another asset. A possibility is to trade with the Celtics 12 for 16 and 28. Seems to be the right price since we traded the 14 and 21 to get to 9 for Trey. Celtics only jump four spots but the second pick they give up is much lower than the pick we gave to move up 5 spots. Even though the value of the picks work, it only works in reality if there is someone the Celtics covet at 12.
The other possibility at 12 is a wing player. After the top guys go we should be left to choose between Devin Booker, Sam Dekker, Kelly Oubre, or Rondae Hollis Jefferson. The only thing I have been able to decide about these guys is that Oubre may have loads of talent but doesn't seem to have a good motor, and I hate those kind of players. Dekker was also pretty inconsistent though not from a lack of effort. He has a decent 3 point percentage but seems to be streaky. If RHJ ever developed a three point shot, I think he would be a top 3 player from this draft. But shooting 20.7% in college from 3 is a pretty good indication that won't happen. I still love him though since I love defense. I think his floor is a slightly better player than Ronnie Brewer. I would not take any of these players at 12 but would be happy to trade down and grab one of them.
At the end of the first round there is a possibility players such as Delon Wright, George Lucas, and Justin Anderson could be available. I think these guys could develop into fabulous role players.
Also, if we don't get a big in the first round, I would love to get Richaun Holmes in the second round. The guy has gotten better every year and is athletic enough to be good. I love guys who improve dramatically every year as it is a good indication of work ethic.
Let me know what you think.
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