The 2018 NBA Draft has already come and gone, and the Utah Jazz decided to make Grayson Allen the 21st pick of the draft. It wasn’t the most exciting or even popular pick, but there’s still plenty to like about the senior guard from Duke. His fit next to Donovan Mitchell and the rest of the Jazz team will be interesting to watch of the coming years.
The Jazz had the 52nd pick of the draft as well, but decided to trade it to the Houston Rockets for cash considerations. They must not have liked the remaining prospects enough, or felt as if they could still bring in the guys they liked for their summer league team without having to use any draft capital.
How did media outlets around the country like those 2 decisions made by Dennis Lindsey and the rest of the front office?
Grayson Allen and Donovan Mitchell in the same backcourt may be too much for my brain to process, but the fit works. Both are proven scorers who can play both on and off the ball, and together they should form an exciting offensive duo for the Jazz to build around. Grade: B+
Utah Jazz: B
Grayson Allen, selected at No. 21, answered a lot of questions about his maturity and steadily moved up draft boards. A legitimate NBA athlete with a 40-plus inch vertical, he attacks closeouts well, finishes in the open floor and rebounds. Allen and Donovan Mitchell will feed off one another because both guys can attack and shoot, while also rebounding among the trees.
21. UTAH JAZZ: GRAYSON ALLEN, DUKE
Utah was looking for a shooter at this spot to help compliment Donovan Mitchell, and they get one here with Allen, who has deep range, plays hard, and can operate on or off the ball. That’s a pretty clean backcourt fit, and he should be able to settle into the back of the Jazz rotation immediately. It’s a very defensible move and fits a need. Grade: B
After coming away the steal of the 2017 draft, in Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz are hoping to give him a backcourt running mate of the future in Grayson Allen. The two embraced in Brooklyn shortly after the selection, so apparently Mitchell is completely on board with the pick. The former Dukie has competitiveness, athleticism, outside shooting, and was an absolute workout warrior in the draft process. I question if he was the best player available at 21, and if his maturity issues are truly in the past, but on paper Grayson Allen looks like a pretty solid NBA player.
The spotlight will be off Allen, who seemed to wilt under scrutiny in four seasons at Duke. His life will be a lot easier in Utah, where he can play off Donovan Mitchell on offense and funnel players to Rudy Gobert on defense. Allen was forced to stretch his game playing next to a parade of freshman PGs in college, and now he will slide into a role as a secondary playmaker with an up-and-coming young team.
Allen can move without the ball and hit shots with range off the catch. That has some value in the NBA. But can Allen do anything else? He’s not a strong defender and fails to leverage his athleticism in game situations. He also needs to improve as a ball handler and passer. There were better players on the board.
According to most outlets, the Utah Jazz had a good-not-great draft. It appears that most expect Grayson Allen to be a good NBA player, but with limited all-star potential. I think it would be wise, however, to take draft grades with a grain of salt. After all, one outlet gave the Jazz a C- last year and said the following about Donovan Mitchell, “My concern is with his somewhat meager production. He shot under 41 percent from the floor and just 35 percent from three. Plus, for a kid as explosive as he is, he only got to the line three times a game. Unless he drastically improves in these areas, Mitchell projects as an energy role player more than anything else.”
Time will tell what grade the Jazz truly deserve, but how does SLC Dunk feel about it right now?
How would you grade the Utah Jazz 2018 NBA Draft?
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