The Utah Jazz made a trade earlier in the night, and moved the #42 pick (later on Isaiah Whitehead was selected) to the Brooklyn Nets for the #55 and cash. The Jazz then used the #55 pick to select point guard Marcus Paige from North Carolina. Another point guard may not have been in the cards this NBA Draft, but really, the team only picks guys who they think have something in them -- they've earned my trust with who they pick at this point. Paige is a 6'2 ball hawk who is a 22 year old Senior. He isn't that tall (inbetween the heights of Trey Burke and Raul Neto) but has a significantly longer wingspan of 6'6.25". This helps him on defense and his 1.1 spg average isn't a joke.
He wasn't that high on the consensus list, in the 70s out of over 260 players, but the people who had him on their big boards (Chad Ford, ESPN; Jonathan Givony, Draft Express; Sam Vecenie, CBS Sports; Kevin O'Connor, or everywhere; and AllThatAmar) did feel like he had a shot. And yeah, he was on my list. What I like about him, and what I suspect the Jazz brass like about him, is his ability to be a three and d point guard. You know, like George Hill.
For his career (141 NCAA games) he has shot .377 .389 .395 .356 over the years, for an total average of .375 off of 5.7 threes attempted per game (or 299/798 overall). He makes threes. And he plays defense. His DRTG is 102.2 over 4570 minutes of action played. I could care less about his passing ability (7.5 assists per 100 possessions), or what he can do on the class (three a game as someone who is 6' nothing in socks). But he is more than just a guy who can hit threes and play defense.
But behold all of his threes!
The problem, obviously, is that he's a point guard. The Jazz already have Dante Exum, George Hill, Raul Neto, and Trey Burke on contract. Shelvin Mack has a non-guaranteed deal and he was the starter last season during the #playoffpush. And the team also holds the rights to combo guard Olivier Hanlan (a #42 pick from last season). It's going to be hard for this guy to make the team -- but he will get a shot to play for us in the summer leagues. I wish him the best. Our team needs rotation guys. He may have to start off in the D League, but I could see him be an NBA player some day.
I don't know how he, a Carolina guy, is going to get long with Quin Snyder and Rodney Hood (and Antonio Lang) -- Duke guys.