NBA Draft 2014: First Round Pick #35 -- JARNELL STOKES, PF, TENNESSEE
The NBA Draft is tonight and the Utah Jazz are starting June 26th with three picks: #5, #23, and #35.
UPDATE: IGNORE EVERYTHING BELOW. The Jazz are trading this pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for a 2016 2nd round pick. My quick reaction: I kinda had just talked myself into Stokes by writing this post, so I'm a little bummed now. But clearly, Dennis Lindsey didn't want to go into next season with three rookies. Stashing an asset isn't a bad idea. Plus:
I'd imagine the Jazz will receive more for that 35th pick from Memphis than just a 2016 second-rounder.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) June 27, 2014
WRITTEN BEFORE TRADE NEWS BROKE: With Dante Exum and Rodney Hood already in their pocket, the Utah Jazz added to their frontcourt depth by selecting Tennessee power forward Jarnell Stokes with the 35th pick.
Stokes played three seasons at Tennessee, averaging 15.1 points and 10.6 rebounds last year. Defense and rebounding are Stokes' calling cards -- "arguably the best rebounder in the draft," according to DraftExpress. At 6'9" and 262 pounds, Stokes is a big body in the paint, but he may struggle to guard more athletic NBA stretch 4s. He often played center at Tennessee, though he may lack the length to do so in the NBA.
My initial reaction, based on the scouting report and the current Jazz roster, is that Stokes provides a second strong post defender to pair with Derrick Favors. Where Jeremy Evans and Rudy Gobert provide length on the Jazz bench, Stokes will give rebounding, strength and toughness. I feel this pick is a perfect balance to the Jazz's haul tonight. You might even say I'm...Stoked.
(I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.)