21 June 2011
Special Guest post by Alan Zaugg
Well here we are again. Approaching another NBA Draft. But this time the Jazz received a little gift from the basketball gods; the third pick! Who do the Jazz pick? I’m sure we all remember the last time the Jazz drafted a third pick. But this year is not like that year. Deron Williams was the third pick in what ended up being a talented draft, especially at the point guard position.
This is a shallow draft at best. Not as much star power as there has been in years past.
Still there is the cream of the crop and in a shallow draft it pays to have the pick the Jazz now sit with. So let’s take a glance.
The Jazz do have a few great options to consider. Players that should have an impact at the NBA level.
The consensus is that Kyrie Irving will go number one overall. Beyond that, well we won’t know until draft night who falls where. Which is why I’m willing to look at all options that could be available for the Jazz at the third pick. Or at least the good ones.
Here are my top picks for the Jazz according to need.
Williams addresses the need at the wing position. Draft Express: "For his height, Derrick Williams might be one of the best shooters at his position, shooting 56.8% from the three point line on 74 attempts. He is also top six nationally in the two advanced shooting metrics, posting an eFG% of 65.0% (6th nationally) and a TS% of 69.0% (4th nationally)."
He is very quick and good off the dribble. Things that the Jazz need desperately at the wing position. Williams is a stud. He is extremely athletic. There are concerns with his defensive rebounding but still he is an impact player on a team.
His game is very similar to current Jazz man Devin Harris. He can get into the paint and uses his body well around the basket. He can shoot off the dribble, especially the floaters and can finish at the rim. He’s not a great shooter but what he has is height. At 19 he has a very high ceiling. I like his upside a lot.
The one thing I like about Knight is his leadership skills. On a very young Kentucky team that lost 5 players to the 2010 NBA Draft, Knight stepped up and helped lead his team deep into the NCAA Tournament. He made game winning drives and shots, and was an emotional, strong court leader.
And If his predecessors are any indication he is the product of a system that has produced three top tier guards in the last three drafts: John Wall, Tyreke Evans, and Derrick Rose. All three were products of John Calipari’s systems at Memphis and Kentucky. Could be coincidence but something to consider.
Do we really need to say too much? If you watched any part of March Madness you should know this guy is incredible. He had a strong Big East Tournament and then went on to lead his team to a championship. There’s no doubt he can shoot, pass, make his teammates better, come off cuts and screens, even defend well.
Again from Draft Express: "It's simply impossible for defenders to stay in front of him – both in transition and in the half-court."
The only concern I see for him is his size: 6’ 180. But with quickness like he has the size issue could prove to be a non-factor. The other question mark is that of whether he has reached his potential, or ceiling yet in regards to his abilities. But he is still a very solid pick.
Here is perhaps one of the great potentials of the draft. Is he bust or star. He has an NBA-ready body. He moves well in the paint and rebounds the ball well. He has a nice jump shot but is slow on the release. He is not extremely quick. I did say he moves well in the paint, that doesn’t mean he is quick though.
There are concerns he hasn’t played against real competitive talent yet. He has the potential, but can he live up to it? That remains to be seen.
Do you take a risk on Kanter as a high pick? Well that remains to be seen. Someone will, that’s for sure.
As far as the 12th pick, well there are multiple options that can be very productive in a Jazz uniform.
My top picks are as follows.
I didnt even know about this guy til Clint Peterson (@Clintonite33 on Twitter) advised me to give a look see. Wow! If the Jazz can draft this guy at 12, he would be a great fit for the Jazz system.
He shoots the ball extremely well. He reminds me of two former, familiar faces: Matt Harpring and Kyle Korver. He shoots well off ball screens and elbow jumpers. But the one thing he has to add is his ability to take shots off the dribble, not just catch and shoot situations.
From Draft Express: “His shooting will provide immediate value to the team that drafts him, and with time, he could become a very dangerous all-around scoring threat at the next level.”
He fills a huge need for the Jazz offensively at the wing position.
He is quick, athletic and an excellent scorer. He can create his own shot on offense. Very quick on the offensive end. He is good with both hands. DE: "Capable of driving in either direction, Burks is a smooth yet explosive slasher with an outstanding second gear."
He also is an exceptional passer. DE: “Burks is a fairly unselfish player who is more than capable of making the extra pass...he's a nice weapon to have in a half-court offense thanks to his solid court vision and good basketball IQ."
He has some concerns in isolation defense and his jump shot. But overall would be a good option for the Jazz’s second pick.
Singleton is the defensive specialist. He is long, athletic and quick on the defensive end. He is great one-on-one and as a weak side help defender.
DE: "With his terrific size, length, lateral quickness and intensity, Singleton puts tremendous pressure on the ball and is an absolute menace in passing lanes...and is the type of player who would have no problem guarding multiple positions at the NBA level..."
On the offensive end he can post up really well. However there isn’t much to his offensive game. He shoots a hook out of the post really well, but does not shoot jump shots particularly well shooting at a 39% clip last year in college. He can find a way to get to the basket but that’s where his offense really stops. He doesn’t have much beyond that.
He addresses a huge need at the wing on defense. An area the Jazz were not very good at.
Yes I’m bringing him into the discussion. He is a scorer. And a very good one. I’ve followed his career closely. He can score off the dribble. He shoots well from anywhere on the floor. So scoring is no problem.
What is a problem for Jimmer is his defense. Not whether he can play it, but whether at 6’ 1” (not very quick either) he can guard the bigger, faster guards in the league.
But still he is the best scorer in the draft. He could most likely will be gone before 12 anyway. Draft Express has him going at 7 to Sacramento. And that would be a good fit for him. That said, if he were available at 12, he would deserve a definite look. Only if the Jazz don’t already draft a Point Guard at number three.
Whomever the Jazz take in the draft this year one thing is for certain: The future is bright and Jazz fans should enjoy the ride.
You can follow Alan on Twitter at @JediZaugg
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