clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Downbeat #1385 -- The "Bad news" Edition

This is again, a day late. And perhaps a dollar short.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

So the NBA Draft is in a few days, and this is honestly what a lot of Utah Jazz fans were looking forward to since the All-Star break. The season had a few ups, but mostly downs. Trey Burke took part in All-Star Weekend and won the Skills competition and played in the Rookie Game. He also won us a few games with his heroics down the stretch. The Jazz beat both the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat in short succession. Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, and Alec Burks all had a few signature games. Guys came off the bench to produce, and vets did their best to help and instruct as the season went on. But really, this was a roster put together to maximize the chances at getting a once-in-a-generation player.

I don't know if the team is going to get one with the #5 draft pick. But I do know that our front office is not gun shy on making draft-day moves. I would put money on at least one this year. There were three last year. And in somewhat distant history the team moved up from the #6 spot to get a #3 -- a franchise player in Deron Williams. The signs point to the Jazz making a move, they have the parts to do it. Even if that means losing key pieces of the team we currently have.



There is a lot of talk, speculation, worry, and hope surrounding Joel Embiid. At his best he is the #1 draft pick. At his worst, he may never have a consistent enough health streak to be more than a low usage impact player. It's curious to see the 1984 draft had both Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie in it. There's no way to know for sure if Embiid is one of those two. Before his most recent injury, a stress fracture of his right navicular bone, people thought he'd be the next 'dream'. Now, with two injuries that bigmen seem to recover from the least (back, and foot), the public opinion seems to have moved the needle from 'Dream' to 'Nightmare'.

It would be a nightmare for the Jazz to draft a guy who had the exact same injury as someone they moved up to draft in the 2002 NBA Draft: Curtis Borchardt -- and then get the same result. I know that some habits die hard, and the Jazz do not want to be in that "fool me once / fool me twice" situation. They don't want to over pay for a wing in free agency again (the Andrei Kirilenko deal), they may not want to take a risk on a bigman with a bad wheel.

Almost every hour I switch my opinion on the Embiid situation -- but history tells me (and it's really a historical list of bigmen who have had this same injury) that you're not going to be getting someone who is going to be on the floor long enough to build a Hall of Fame career for himself. Embiid may be an All-Star once or twice in his career if things go well. But that's the same height we have for Derrick Favors or Enes Kanter. Right?

For me, I hope that his post-op recovery and rehab goes on without any setbacks. I'd love to see this African immigrant succeed. But evidence suggests that it will be a tough road for him. This isn't like having a broken arm, like Greg Oden. Or a knee problem like Kenyon Martin. This is the most breakable foot bone that heals the worst out of all the bones in the foot. And as a result, it's prone to breaking again and again, and after a while there are only so many screws that you can put in.

Medicine has advanced since 2002, and hopefully, the diagnostic ability of the Utah Jazz health staff has a well. I want to see this guy succeed. I hope he does. I also hope that he's ready to go 5 months from now. But I don't really see the Jazz signing off on him. Their own history, and the history of this injury, lead me to believe they'll pass. And while this is bad news for our idea of what could be, in the end, it will be good news that our team did their due diligence.

While there may not be a Michael Jordan to pick behind him, no one wants to be known as the team to draft the next Sam Bowie -- even if in the heart of our hearts we hope he's the next Hakeem.



Big-men are still available though. There's always Kyrylo Fesenko.

(Seriously, I love this guy)



SB Nation's Tom Ziller ranked the top Free Agents this summer. He ranked 75 of them. There are only 30 teams, so it's likely that the Jazz had at least one guy on this list. They had two: Gordon Hayward, and Marvin Williams. Check out the full post here and learn all about em!

Somehow a guy who started almost every game for the team wasn't on the list.

But there were tons of former Utah Jazz players who were. The Andrei Kirilenko write-up was so spot on I tried to throw money at my screen.



I felt like the whole Embiid situation is a huge downer. So let's end this with more journey-men highlights. Here's John Lucas III doing some crazy passes.