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NBA Draft 2016: Utah Jazz Draft Grades

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Move over crying Jordan face . . .
Move over crying Jordan face . . .
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the Utah Jazz didn't do a whole lot, but you have to look into it all with the big picture outlook of what they did with their picks, not what young guys did they actually select. So let us review. Utah came into the night with the #12 and #42 picks from their own record (aka missing the playoffs). They had the #60 pick from the Golden State Warriors (the trade that helped put them over the top that also involved the Denver Nuggets), and the #52 pick from another trade (I think it may have been part of the Detroit Pistons / Oklahoma City Thunder trade). So the Jazz were walking to New York with four picks.


2016 NBA Draft, Round 1 Pick #12:

With the first (#12) they were involved in yet another three team trade (with the Atlanta Hawks and the Indiana Pacers) and received veteran point guard George Hill. (full post on that here) Looking back in hindsight there could have been a few players on the board at #12 who may one day be better than Hill is today, but the team is 100% in "Win now mode" because they need to keep Gordon Hayward (explanation here). For what it is worth, the Atlanta Hawks did select Taurean Prince with that pick, and you may know him best from this:

Nothing says "Jazz DNA" like that answer. Jazz PR would love having to manage someone with an actual personality.


2016 NBA Draft, Round 2 Pick #42:

With Utah's second pick in this draft (#42) the team also traded it away. This time to the Brooklyn Nets. In return the Jazz got the #55 pick in this very same draft, and "cash". The Nets would select combo guard Isaiah Whitehead from Seton Hall with it. I'm not really upset at the inability to actually have a player like Whitehead on the team. I just felt like at #42 there were some actual NBA players still on the board who could help the team: Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame), Zhou Qi (China), Benjamin Bentil (Providince), Petr Cornelie (France), Gary Payton II (Oregon State), Isaia Cordinier (France), Paul Zipser (Germany), A.J. Hammons (Perdue), Michael Gbinije (Syracuse), Kahlil Felder (Oakland), Isaiah Cousins (Oklahoma), Robert Carter Jr. (Maryland), Jake Layman (Maryland), Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa), and so on. Now not all of those guys are WORTH selecting at #42, but in the vacuum of a "player" vs. "not-a-player", some of the players listed that were still on the board are better than "not-a-player." I felt like it. The Utah Jazz brass did not. So they flipped the pick.

At the end of the day, they know more about basketball than I do, and I respect and understand that. I am just a fan.


2016 NBA Draft, Round 2 Pick #52:

With their third pick in this draft the Utah Jazz actually picked a human being. Well. We don't know. Because they did select Joel Bolomboy, from almost parts unknown. One thing we do know about him is that he has out of this world athleticism that is inhuman at times. I can only imagine how much crazier his abilities will get if he gets to go to P3 over a few years. Obviously I'm making references to Jeremy Evans (The Anomaly). Evans wasn't just a leaper and freak athlete, he was also very efficient and all advanced stats loved him. What Evans wasn't was someone who ever got a chance to build up his ball handling or shooting to the point where he could be on the floor for more than just token minutes. Bolomboy (Mother Russian, Father from the Congo, born in the Ukraine, went to school at Weber State in Utah) really needs to work on his shot to be more than just "a guy taken in the second round" and transition into "a rotation player who is good, who happened to be taken in the second round."

At worst, he's a cheap replacement for the "Energy (TM)" that the team received from Trevor Booker, and could be losing in Unrestricted Free Agency this summer.


2016 NBA Draft, Round 2 Pick #55:

This was the pick that the Brooklyn Nets traded the team for (they themselves had received this pick from the Los Angeles Clippers). With it they selected North Carolina's point guard Marcus Paige. I did not expect the have to scout this guy, so I really knew nothing about him -- but the more I see the more I see an even more extreme version of that "short basketball player who is shoot first, but not tall enough to play shooting guard so is a point guard" syndrome. He set his school record for most career threes, but as a Senior you'd expect him to do more than just shoot. He's not a bad player, but he has some of the same physical dimensions as Raul Neto and Trey Burke -- two NBA players currently on the roster and the books for next season. At the #55 pick you're not going to find a player without warts, and Paige has some warts on defense. But let's focus on the good: a guy who played in over 140 NCAA games, over 4,500 NCAA minutes, and shot nearly 6 threes a game in that time -- and made 37.5% of them.

There is the problem of him coming onto a team that doesn't have space for a) another point guard, b) another guard who cannot defend that well.


2016 NBA Draft, Round 2 Pick #60:

This was the last pick in the draft, and really, from what little I know about the salary rules it's almost better to select a guy undrafted that you like instead of picking a guy. Of course, the flipside of that is a) the guy you may want may sign with another team (a lot of guys did immediately after going undrafted), and b) if you actually like that guy it could be hard to keep him (see: Wesley Matthews). The Utah Jazz didn't select a draft and stash guy either, but another NCAA Senior, and another guard -- a combo guard from Califorina: Tyrone Wallace. Wallace is big and long. He basically has the same dimensions as Dante Exum (6'6 height, 6'9 wingspan). He also isn't known as a shooter. He also plays much of the same game. The only difference is that unlike Dante, he's played a lot more organized basketball over the last few years.

His parents, Tyrone and Michelle, had four children (in order of age): Ryan, Tyrone, Diamond, and Da'zion. I don't know if that helps him or hurts him in the Utah valley.


Anyway, what did the rest of the world think of the Utah Jazz draft?

SB Nation: A+

The Jazz traded their first-round pick for George Hill, helping relieve Indiana's infestation of Hills and giving a shout out to the Rocky Mountains.

- Tom Ziller, SB Nation, 2016



The Jazz traded away their first-round pick to the Hawks in a three-way deal that netted them George Hill. I thought it was a really good trade for the Jazz.

Dante Exum is their point guard of the future, but they needed to bring in a veteran mentor for him while making a serious push for the playoffs. I think Hill is the perfect fit for them on the court and off the court. Given the lack of elite talent at No. 12, this was a good solution for a team that already has a lot of young talent.

In the second round, I'm a pretty big Bolomboy fan. He's a great athlete and an elite rebounder who plays hard. I hope he makes the roster.

- Chad Ford, ESPN, 2016


USA Today: (Individual) C, C, C+

#52: Bolomboy jumped in the draft boards after a huge showing at the draft combine. He's very athletic and has a high vertical jump. His biggest weakness is his strength.

#55: At 6-2, 165, the 22-year-old Paige will have trouble finding playing time with Utah. His decrease in scoring after his sophomore and junior seasons with the Tar Heels isn't encouraging, either.

#60: The lefty can play both guard positions. He's very athletic and has a high scoring ability. He played two seasons at the point and two at the two-guard spot.

- A.J. Neuharth and Michael Singler, USA Today, 2016


Bleacher Report: C+

Prince is a tenacious rebounder, but the team could use some help at guard. The remainder of its picks are long shots to make a real impact in the NBA.

- Brian Marron, Bleacher Report, 2016

Ha ha, you guys are so crappy -- even with all that Turner money.

Bleacher Report: C (second grade)

#52: Not only was Joel Bolomboy a solid value this late in the proceedings, but he was drafted to fill one of the few positions of need on the Utah Jazz roster.

Assuming Trevor Booker leaves in free agency, the Jazz will need another power forward to back up Derrick Favors. Inexperienced as he'll be during his sophomore season, Trey Lyles alone won't cut it, and Bolomboy should help ease the pressure.

Lyles is more of an offensive commodity; While this Weber State product can knock down some jumpers, he's better suited as a rebounding specialist who's able to devote his energy to the defensive end.

#55: It's unlikely the Utah Jazz view Marcus Paige as anything more than a D-League prospect.

After trading for George Hill prior to the draft, the Jazz don't need any more help at point guard. They have a new starter jumping to the top of a depth chart currently shows Trey Burke, Shelvin Mack, Raul Neto and Dante Exum.

Paige will have his work cut out for him—unless he's waived and subsequently finds a home with a different organization.

#60: It makes sense that Tyrone Wallace is Mr. Irrelevant, since he'll basically be so to the Jazz's plans. Everything we said about Paige applies here since Wallace is a true point guard who probably won't have a job in Salt Lake City.

- Adam Fromal, Bleacher Report, 2016


Fox Sports: C-

As a team that just missed the playoffs last year, the Jazz don't have a lot of needs ... but at the same time, I don't see any of these guys making their opening night roster either.

Yes, they were all second-rounders, but it feels like the picks could have been used more resourcefully.

- Aaron Torres, Fox Sports, 2016



From Hardwood Paroxysm's Ian Levy:

Anyway, I'll be updating this list as the day goes on. What was your overall draft grade for the Utah Jazz?