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NBA Free Agency 2014: What can you expect from Steve Novak, and the fate of other #32 draft picks

The Utah Jazz are a team built mostly from the draft, and beyond that, mostly with 1st round picks for the first time in team history. Let's take a look at what they have.


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.