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Utah Jazz Pre-Draft Workouts Begin: The Downbeat #1619

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The NBA Draft season kicks off. Plus: what to do with the #12 pick, D-Fav at Mickey D's, and more. It's your Wednesday Downbeat.

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Jazz news is at full ebb during these weeks before the Draft Lottery, but we did get one tidbit from the official Utah Jazz Twitter on Thursday afternoon:

I'm pretty sure the numbers below each player's info indicate some kind of pre-draft Big Board ranking -- it's not ESPN's or DraftExpress's, I checked (maybe Dennis Lindsey's?) -- so if you haven't heard of these guys, it's not surprising. The Jazz will work out plenty of players they have no intention of drafting, even with multiple second-round picks. Just gathering data.

Still, it's not out of the realm of possibility. And there are a couple players from biggish-name schools, like D.J. Newbill from Penn State, Rayvonte Rice from Illinois, and Trey Zeigler from TCU. And this crop consists of players who project as guards or swingmen in the NBA, positions where the Jazz need help (though we do have Alec Burks returning from injury).

Anyway. At least we have a little something to pay attention to. We'll see if any of these workout wonders turn our heads.

Our frenemies at Salt City Hoops chatted about a few offseason questions facing the Jazz, and I was especially interested in their thoughts on what the Jazz will do with their #12 pick in the upcoming draft. It's hard to think of one of the youngest teams in the NBA getting even younger, but Clarkpojo Clark Schmutz's answer made the most sense to me:

Keep their pick. In short, I don't think a player will be available for the 12th pick in this draft that is an obvious upgrade to any starter for the Jazz right now. And having a guy on the rookie scale is important for the team's financial future.

Despite the imminent rise in salary cap and TV money, having key contributors on rookie contracts is vital for the long-term success of a small-market team like the Jazz, especially when we're already paying max money to Gordon Hayward and significant chunks to Derrick Favors and Alec Burks. Moving Enes Kanter before the Jazz had to commit resources to him was smart, and the other key pieces -- Rudy Gobert, Dante Exum, Rodney Hood and Trey Burke -- are all on rookie deals for at least one more season.

The Jazz have put a lot of effort into keeping their books squeaky clean while still fielding an improving team. The more low-cost, high-impact players they can take for a spin, the better.

FANPOSTS, ASSEMBLE!

OregonJazzFan with some draft thoughts:

I hope this post sparks some comments and debate that will keep going until the draft. I have been obsessing over the draft, as I have done since the New York pick, hoping we somehow land a superstar. For this draft and with our position, barring amazing lottery luck, I am more torn than I have ever been. So I wanted to put a few of my ideas to writing and see what you all think. (At the 12 pick I expect Towns, Okafor, Mudiay, Russell, Winslow, Porzingis, Johnson, and Hezonja to be gone so I won't discuss them. WCS is probably gone as well but could fall a little.)

The stretch big group. There are four guys here that I cannot put into a good order. Just when I decide one guy is the best of the bunch, I read something else that makes me rethink my assumption. The big guys are Frank Kaminsky, Bobby Portis, Kevon Looney, and Myles Turner.

Jazzbeetle looks at the "best" NBA players this season:

Here are the final standings (top 50) for average of ranks for Real Plus-Minus (RPM), Wins Above Replacement (WAR), Player Efficiency Rating (PER), Value Over Replacement Player (VORP), Win Shares per 48 Minutes (WS/48), and Box Plus-Minus (BPM); 500 minutes minimum. Curry is the clear MVP, IMO, altho' I will admit that he had far more help than Harden. Steph, Harden, ‘Brow, Westbrook, CP3, LeBron, and Kawhi are the league's elite, IMO. I'm tempted to leave out Westbrook ‘cuz I think his efficiency approaches Kobe levels, but I'll let the numbers speak for themselves. Also, notice that KD's name is missing. Three Jazzmen in the top 25 is awesome and I expect all three will be even better next year (might one or two break into the top 15?).

Fesenko For President curses the loss of Ante Tomic:

In my warped point of view, the worst thing about Ante Tomic not coming over to the Jazz for next season is that we won't ever get to use the awesome nickname "A-Tomic."

In your mind's eye, can't you just imagine Boler and Matty saying dumb things like "A-Tomic Bomb!" or "Tomic really nuked 'em!"--about Tomic's play during the course of a game? Now, as fans, we're going to miss out on all those "witty" phrases Boler and Harpring might have coined during this upcoming season.

Well done, folks. You make me happier than this fella.

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Derrick Favors, making a temporary career change:

Did any of you Dunkers snag a McDouble from our double-double machine? Tell us about it in the comments.

Joe Ingles highlights? Joe Ingles highlights.

2014-15 Season Highlights: Joe Ingles

Posted by Utah Jazz on Monday, May 4, 2015