The Utah Jazz were active on draft night. General Manager Dennis Lindsey moved up twice, trading Trey Lyles and the 24 pick for Donovan Mitchell at 13 and trading the 30 and 42 picks for Tony Bradley at 28. Before the buzzer, Lindsey grabbed Nigel Williams-Goss with the 55 pick. Everyone knows how silly it is to grade a draft immediately after the picks are submitted. Alas, we do it anyways. Let’s take a trip around the internet to see how the experts feel about Utah’s draft. (From Best to Worst letter grade)
Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox: A
The Jazz beefed up their backcourt depth in picking up Donovan Mitchell and Nigel Williams-Goss, and they also got a promising young prospect in Tony Bradley to spell Rudy Gobert. Ultimately, the Jazz filled some needs with solid players.
ESPN’s Chad Ford: A-
[Mitchell’s] ability to defend both backcourt positions, run the point, shoot the 3 and get to the rim makes him very attractive to the Jazz, who see him as being a potential starter someday.
Bradley was another guy they coveted for his length and rebounding ability. They needed a player who could eventually back up Rudy Gobert, and Bradley has enough talent to do that.
Fox Sport’s Andrew Lynch: A-
The only knock against Mitchell is his size, as he's not quite big enough to play shooting guard and not quite the playmaker to be a full-time point guard.
Other than that, though, the former Cardinal is an outstanding guard who gives Coach Quin Snyder and Utah options depending on how free agency goes with George Hill and Gordon Hayward.
USA Today’s Adi Joseph: A- (average grade of picks)
[Mitchell] The Jazz and Denver Nuggets agreed to a trade to send No. 13 to Utah for No. 24 and power forward Trey Lyles, according to USA TODAY Sports' Jeff Zillgitt. Mitchell is one of the most versatile guards in this draft, and he has the potential to handle the point and shooting guard positions on both ends. He could be a surprise late-lottery star if he continues to improve his shooting and decision-making, and he and Dante Exum should be able to handle point guard duties if George Hill leaves the Jazz in free agency. Giving up on Lyles this early is surprising, but the pick was excellent.
[Bradley] The Jazz and Lakers swapped the 28th and 30th picks, with the Lakers also getting No. 42, as The Vertical first reported. Bradley gives the Jazz a player with a lot of untapped potential and an already-developed elite skill. He's simply a great rebounder and a big body who was relegated to bench duty. There are a lot of good centers still on the board, but Bradley may have the clearest path to becoming a starter-caliber player.
[Williams-Goss] The leader of the best team in Gonzaga history deserved to be drafted. The question is whether he can play point guard after being a college wing.
CBS Sports’ Reid Forgrave & Jack Mahoney: B+ (average grade of picks)
SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell: B+
The Jazz parted with Trey Lyles to move to No. 13 for the opportunity to select Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell was one of my favorite players in this draft — an elite athlete with great length who can play either backcourt spot. This gives Utah insurance for both George Hill and Gordon Haywardas they enter unrestricted free agency. The Jazz also nabbed UNC freshman Tony Bradley at the end of the first round, who profiles as an elite offensive rebounder.
NESN’s Nicholas Goss: B+
The Jazz traded up to No. 13 in a deal with the Nuggets to select Louisville shooting guard Donovan Mitchell. He averaged 15.6 points per game for the Cardinals last season, and his offensive talent, combined with his elite athleticism, could be quite useful for Utah if it loses veterans George Hill and/or Gordon Hayward in free agency. Mitchell is an NBA-ready defender, too.
SportingNews’s Jordan Greer: B-
The Jazz sent Trey Lyles and the No. 24 pick to Denver in exchange for Mitchell at 13. It's understandable why Utah made the jump, especially when you consider starting point guard George Hill is a free agent this offseason. Bradley was a reach, and while he has shown flashes at a young age, we still haven't seen enough to know what he actually brings to the table.
Yahoo!’s Jordan Schultz: C-
Donovan Mitchell’s meteoric rise up draft boards stemmed from a sensational combine performance, highlighted by a 40.5-inch vertical and otherworldly 6-foot-10 wingspan. The Jazz moved up 11 slots while trading Trey Lyles to get him. Mitchell is undoubtedly a hard-nosed kid who fits Utah’s DNA. My concern is with his somewhat meager production. He shot under 41 percent from the floor and just 35 percent from three. Plus, for a kid as explosive as he is, he only got to the line only three times a game. Unless he drastically improves in these areas, Mitchell projects as an energy role player more than anything else. The pick I liked more was North Carolina’s Tony Bradley at 29. He is a Tristan Thompson-type whose rebounding prowess should translate well.
Also here are some Non-Letter Grades:
The Ringer’s Haley O’Shaugnessy called the Jazz a draft winner:
In trading Trey Lyles and the 24th pick for the rights to Donovan Mitchell at no. 13, the Jazz made the most of their first-round situation. The athletic combo guard could turn out to be the one that got away for the teams who selected just before the 13 slot — especially once they’re matched against the versatile defender. If Gordon Hayward does bolt in free agency this summer, Mitchell’s scoring ability will help mitigate the adjustment for the Jazz.
The Step Back’s Ian Levy GIF grade:
Picks: Donovan Mitchell (13), Tony Bradley (28), Nigel Williams-Goss (55)
Personally, I would give the Jazz a solid B. I really liked the move to give up a non-rotation player to grab a lottery pick in Mitchell. I think Lindsey might have given up a little too much value to move up two spots for Bradley, who I’m not a big fan of. But with a second round pick, the odds of grabbing an impact player at 42 weren’t good anyways.
What grade would you give the Jazz’s 2017 draft?
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