The NBA Draft came and went in a few hours last night, and just like that the 2020 draft class is complete. There’s so much speculation that goes into the draft beforehand for every single team in the NBA. It seems like every year there’s a group of guys that find their names linked to the Jazz in mock drafts, workouts, interviews etc. This information helps fans and media begin to build expectations for draft night, with hopes of the team selecting their idea of the best player.
Like we’ve seen in years past, the Utah Jazz surprised the crap out of everyone last night. When their time came to be on the clock with the 27th pick, there were several players available that many thought were in the Jazz’s sights, including Desmond Bane, Jaden McDaniels and Robert Woodard most prominently. The Jazz ended up selecting Udoka Azubuike, big man from Kansas with their first round pick, and it left Jazz twitter a little shook. Not so much because it was a poor pick, but in that moment it seemed like it came out of nowhere when considering the Jazz’s most prominent roster needs. The move made a little bit more sense when Tony Bradley was traded to the Pistons just minutes after the Azubuike pick. The reigning Big 12 Player of the Year will hop into the role of backup Center for the Jazz, a spot that was a huge pain point last season. This also is saving some cap room for the Jazz, who seem to be honing in on locking down Jordan Clarkson.
Moving off the $3.5M Tony Bradley contract gives the Jazz much needed financial/roster flexibility.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 19, 2020
Priority for Utah is unrestricted FA Jordan Clarkson in the offseason.
Financial implications aside, Udoka Azubuike (typing this several times is helping me remember how to spell his name, so thats a plus) is an absolute beast. He has a standing reach over nine feet tall, with a 40-inch vertical. He’s pretty much the opposite of Tony Bradley in the sense that Udoka lives above the rim with huge dunks and big blocks.
This pick might not have been the sexiest, but let’s be honest; is anything the Jazz do ever sexy? The more I watch Azubuike highlights, the more I like this pick. The Jazz got dominated any time Rudy Gobert was off the floor last season, and this might help bring some boom off the bench when Godzilla rests.
With the 39th pick, the Jazz also drafted a walking bucket in Elijah Hughes out of Syracuse. Hughes was the leading scorer in the ACC last year, which is honestly an incredible feat in and of itself.
Jazz pick up Pelicans’ No. 39 draft pick, Elijah Hughes, 6’6 Syracuse forward. He was the leading scorer in the ACC. Quite the walking bucket. pic.twitter.com/Ne8oWNIX06— Jake Lee (@JakeRexLee) November 19, 2020
In a draft that had A LOT of question marks surrounding almost every player, Hughes could definitely be a guy that surprises everyone and has a solid NBA career. It’s always fun to see the players’ reactions to getting drafted, and Hughes seemed to be grateful and excited to fulfill a lifelong dream.
wow i can’t stop shaking— Eli (@elijahhughes4_) November 19, 2020
thank you @utahjazz for taking a chance on me and making my fream since i was 5 years old come true!— Eli (@elijahhughes4_) November 19, 2020
ready to give my absolute all!
So, after having a night’s rest and a few hours to contemplate the picks from the Utah Jazz, how are you feeling about draft night?
How do you feel about the Jazz’s draft night?
This poll is closed
Thrilled. Couldn’t have gone any better.
WE GOT RID OF TONY BRADLEY!!!
Never heard of our new players, but they seem cool.