Not every team is able to entice players to join their squad in free agency. In the case of the Utah Jazz, very few players have decided to take their talents to "Salt Lake". Trades happen, and the draft is a must, but they are much more important to the Jazz than free agency -- the team couldn't even get players to join them back when John and Karl were on the team. BECAUSE trades and the draft are more important let's take a look at each major piece we have on the team today, and try to see where they are in terms of the potential vs production axis.
The Utah Jazz have a #32 draft pick guy on their team, Steve Novak, by way of trade. Novak is a shooter's shooter, a guy who can catch and shoot, spot up, come off the screen, play the pick and pop, and make his free throws. Sadly, that's really all he can do. The #32 spot hasn't been equal to the greatness of the number; and in reality few players go from being drafted here to being an actual every day rotation player in the NBA. Check it:
|1||1974||Jesse Dark||16||1989||Stanley Brundy||31||2004||Peter John Ramos|
|2||1975||Mel Utley||17||1990||Walter Palmer||32||2005||Daniel Ewing|
|3||1976||Mo Howard||18||1991||Chad Gallagher||33||2006||Steve Novak|
|4||1977||Toby Knight||19||1992||Brent Price||34||2007||Gabe Pruitt|
|5||1978||John Rudd||20||1993||Alphonso Ford||35||2008||Walter Sharpe|
|6||1979||Tony Zeno||21||1994||Jim McIlvaine||36||2009||Jermaine Taylor|
|7||1980||David Lawrence||22||1995||Terrence Rencher||37||2010||Dexter Pittman|
|8||1981||Mike Olliver||23||1996||Ryan Minor||38||2011||Justin Harper|
|9||1982||Richard Anderson||24||1997||James Cotton||39||2012||Tomas Satoransky|
|10||1983||Michael Britt||25||1998||Rashard Lewis||40||2013||Alex Abrines|
|11||1984||Eric Turner||26||1999||Michael Ruffin||41||2014||K.J. McDaniels|
|12||1985||Nick Vanos||27||2000||A.J. Guyton|
|13||1986||Cedric Henderson||28||2001||Will Solomon|
|14||1987||Bob McCann||29||2002||Vincent Yarbrough|
|15||1988||Charles Shackleford||30||2003||Luke Walton|
K.J. is supposed to be really good, but in the grand history of this spot there have only been 6 real rotation guys, and only one guy who was really good. By comparison, there have been 8 guys drafted here who didn't even play one second in the NBA.
Rashard Lewis is the prize of this bunch, and really jacks up the averages for everyone else. Who is the second best player? Brent Price? Michael Ruffin? Charles Shackleford? Maybe Toby Knight from back in 1977? It's hard to say with any certainty, but one thing is known for sure -- right now Steve Novak is on the forgettable part of the list, within a list of forgettables.
Overall a guy from this part of the draft (over the last four decades) averages 18.3 mpg, and in that time gets 6.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, and 1.3 apg. It's not astounding. It is, however, astoundingly bad within the last decade of this investigation. From 2004 onwards these #32 draft picks have only been averaging 11.5 mpg, and in that time 4.1 ppg, 1.3 rpg, and 0.4 apg. In fact, they average more spg than apg. That's just what these guys are.
I don't know how much Steve Novak has left in the tank, but as far as the #32s go he's a poor man's version of a poor man's version of Rashard Lewis. Novak is now going to be 31 and going into his 9th season in the league. Last he he played 10.0 mpg for a playoff team, and only played in 54 games. He's a one trick pony, but it's a trick that this Jazz team is really going to need -- unless of course, Rodney Hood just shows that he's absolutely superior in every dimension and is also okay at threes. Personally, I would give all of Novak's minutes at the PF to Hoor right now. At least Hood has the potential to improve on defense. Whereas I don't think Novak, like most of the #32 draft picks in the last four decades, have much potential to improve.
Rashard was the best. His 23.1 BARPS per game average is astounding for a second rounder. Steve, on the other hand, averages 6.8 BARPS per game. As a result, I fear for K.J. McDaniels, history is against him. And similarly, unless something goes wrong, the minutes crunch in Utah will be mostly against Steve Novak too.