What is positional length? It’s prioritizing length at each position to have a taller and longer team, a point guards average height is 6’3” if the Jazz prioritize positional length, they will look for a point guard at that height or taller. The entire league has gotten taller since basketballs creation, in 1952 the average height for an NBA player was 6’3”, and the league average now is just under 6’7”, there are multiple factors that go into the NBA becoming taller and longer, nutrition, taking care of their bodies, and the NBA’s global reach all play a part in this.
Average height per position in 2023:
Point Guard – 6’3”
Shooting Guard – 6’5”
Small Forward – 6’7”
Power Forward – 6’9”
Center – 6’10”
Out of the top 5 scorers in the NBA this season, only 1 is shorter than the average height for their position (Damian Lillard 6’2”). It’s not a clear cut rule but one of the easiest ways to score is to be taller than the person defending you, it allows you to shoot without it being contested and it’s especially easier if you’re at or near the rim. The greatest scorers in the league that are under the average height for their position make up for it by extending their range or by being hyper athletic. I’d rather just have players who can shoot over smaller defenders.
The best defenses in the NBA are always tall and long, the Cleveland Cavaliers had the best defensive rating in the league this year, they started two 7-footers in their backcourt. Length allows you to play passing lanes aggressively and create steals, the Toronto Raptors led the league in steals with 9.4 per game, 3 out of 5 players in their starting lineup are taller than their average height per position. The Milwaukee Bucks led the league in Rebounds per game with 37.5 per game. They constantly run two 7 footer lineups with Giannis and Brook Lopez. I hate to dwell in the past but the Jazz struggled defensively in the playoffs multiple years in a row because we lacked height, Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley were constantly hunted on the defensive end. Prioritizing length will allow the Jazz to lean into position less basketball and switch pick and roll hungry teams. I wouldn’t be shocked if Will Hardy has a couple different versions of zone defenses he wouldn’t mind running, the best zones have 5 tall and long players running them.
Here’s a list of 5 players that will help the Jazz play position less basketball and prioritize length:
Anthony Black - Arkansas
6’7” combo guard
NBA coaches will love being able to use 6-6 Anthony Black defending PGs and POA. Awesome anticipation, hand/eye coordination, quick hands, positional length.— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) February 21, 2023
Consecutive steals picking up full court pic.twitter.com/WkSX91BkQ6
Jarace Walker - Houston
(Houston) Jarace Walker— College Basketball Report (@CBKReport) April 23, 2023
(247c) 5⭐️ ranked as the 11th best player in his classpic.twitter.com/IjHkTma44j
• Averaged 11/6/1 while shooting 46% from the floor
• 22-23 AAC ROTY
• 22-23 All-AAC 2nd team
• 6th in total rebounds in the AAC (245)
• 5 20+ point games this season…
Amen and Ausar Thompson - Overtime Elite
6’7” combo guards
There are scouts from 26 NBA teams here in Belgrade, Serbia to see future draft picks including potential top 5 picks, Amen and Ausar Thompson from @OvertimeElite . OTE opens the game against Mega Basket with an alley oop from the twins. pic.twitter.com/OeZ3KfAOcA— Krysten Peek (@krystenpeek) September 8, 2022
Taylor Hendricks - UCF
Just a wild Taylor Hendricks play in crunch time— Zach Milner (@ZachMilner13) April 26, 2023
Recognizes his teammate gets beat on the perimeter so he immediately steps back down to alter the first shot attempt with verticality, and then follows it up with his ability to get off the floor quickly to block the next attempt pic.twitter.com/BoOeNL1J24
Jett Howard - Michigan
6’8” shooting guard
This draft is very tall and long, the Jazz will do their due diligence by looking at every player, but it wouldn’t shock me if the Jazz look to create a longer and taller team. We’ve got the foundation with Walker Kessler and Lauri Markkanen, adding a bit more length in the backcourt will solidify us as one of the taller teams in the NBA, one of the best ways for the Jazz to win big.