What Will the Utah Jazz Do With Pick 47?
By Hayden Coombs, past writer for the Bleacher Report.
At 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12th, the Utah Jazz announced on their official Twitter account that they would be hosting an NBA Draft party on June 28th at Energy Solutions Arena.
Draft parties are a common festivity for rebuilding teams, looking for a glimmer of hope in the future. However, draft parties are not a something to be expected out of a team like the Jazz, who only possess a single second round pick, at number 47.
This lone tweet, consisting of less than 140 characters, immediately brought a series of thoughts rushing through my mind. I mean, I know Kevin O’Conner is good at picking up talent in the second round, but why throw a draft party for what could turn out to be a fringe-level NBA player? Does this mean Utah is going to move into the first round? Who exactly is it that they are targeting? What are their positional needs in both the immediate and near future?
With a new conspiracy on my mind, I immediately went to the internet to find out who the Jazz have been working out. I found that basically all the players who have come to Utah have not only been projected outside the first round, but the majority of them are not even listed in the second round of most mock drafts. The only players they have worked out that I could see them seriously pursuing were: Kim English (Missouri, Possible three point specialist), Scott Machado (Iona, NCAA assist leader), and Darius Johnson-Odom (Marquette, athletic freak of nature).
What the Jazz Have and What the Jazz Need
My next stop had me dissecting Utah’s roster. They are already a playoff team with their current roster. They seem to be two-deep at every position. They even have their future laid out at almost every position. The only reason I see Utah trading into the first round, would be to find their point guard of the future. Their current point guards are Devin Harris, Earl Watson, and Jamal Tinsley.
Devin Harris is capable of starting for quite a few teams in the NBA, but he is not the type of player that will be leading your team to a championship. Then again, he is going into a “contract year,” and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him put up his best statistical season yet in 2012-2013. Earl Watson and Jamal Tinsley are both solid backups, but its little secret that their better days are behind them.
Is the player that Utah is secretly coveting a point guard? The 2012 class of point guards isn’t the strongest in recent memory. I can only see three sure-fire first round picks, plus some projects and career backups. Would any of them be worth parting ways with Big Al or Millsap?
Damian Lillard should be the first point guard drafted this year. He is more of a scoring guard than a point guard, but he has some serious play making abilities. Lillard is considered a top 10 pick, and most likely out of reach for the Jazz.
Kendal Marshal of UNC is a prototypical pass-first point guard, but has his fair share of doubters due to a lack of foot speed and poor athleticism. Despite all that, I feel like he’d be the best fit for the Jazz. He could really excel in the future playing with a slasher/scorer like Alec Burks. If Marshal falls out of the lottery, I could see Utah making a move to bring him in.
Marquis Teague, the freshman point guard from the NCAA Champion Kentucky Wildcats, has the most potential of the point guards in this year’s draft, but he is extremely raw. A project for any team to take on, the end result could end up being anything from Sebastian Telfair to Steve Francis. I personally see him having a higher ceiling than his older brother, Atlanta Hawks’ Jeff Teague, but also being less of a sure thing.
Tony Wroten is certainly a combo guard, but his combination of size and athleticism should make him the fourth point guard taken in the draft. He was once thought to be a late lottery selection, but is now looking more like a late first round to early second round pick due to perceived “baggage issues.” He is definitely a high risk/high reward pick for whatever team grabs him.
Last, but in my opinion, not least is Scott Machado. I would be shocked to see him get picked in the first round, and there is actually a good chance Utah could grab the Iona point guard with the #47 pick they already own. Machado is a pure pass-first point guard with excellent court vision. He does not, however, possess great speed, quickness, athleticism, or size. He would still be a first round pick despite all of that, if not for the perception that he may already be very close to realizing his full potential.
Who would you like to see the Utah Jazz draft this year, Jazz Nation?
What players would make the most impact on the team we know and love?
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