With the Utah Jazz locked in at the number 9 spot in next month’s draft, it is time for Utah to start narrowing down the guys that they are considering. But since I cannot get into the minds of the guys in charge, or into the Jazz’s private headquarters, I have decided to talk about the guys that I would consider if I was in charge of the Utah Jazz.
Before I go into specific players, I first want to state something important that the Jazz need to do in this draft: Draft a talented big man!
I understand that the NBA Draft is an inexact science, and it is almost impossible to know which players are going to transition well at the next level, but you have to draft based on any prior knowledge you have of the players and just hope for the best. Anything past that is beyond your responsibility.
With that being said, there are a few big men I have my eye on for the Jazz. (Part 1 of more to come).
Derrick Favors (6”10 PF, Georgia Tech)
Derrick Favors is likely going to go in the top 5 of the draft, but anything can happen between then and now. Although his 6”10 frame doesn’t seem to truly address their lack of length (especially for the Lakers), I think that he can make the Jazz a lot better up front. With Boozer’s future seriously in question and Millsap’s lack of height, the Jazz can use a big, athletic power forward who isn’t afraid to throw it down on opponents’ faces. Plus, with Favors’ tremendous shot- blocking ability, the Jazz can finally have that presence inside that they have been missing for far too long. If I have to watch Kobe Bryant breeze through the middle for an uncontested layup once again, I think I am going to go crazy. Favors could be the guy to change that, but unfortunately the Jazz’s hopes of getting him are slim to none right now.
Greg Monroe (6”11 PF, Georgetown)
Greg Monroe is another highly-touted big man in the upcoming draft, and he too will probably go before the Jazz have a chance to select him. If he does drop to the Jazz, they would be getting a very talented big man with a bunch of skills. One of Monroe’s key attributes is his court vision and ability to share the basketball with his teammates. Going to Georgetown and playing under JT3 definitely had a big role in developing that ability, and it’s going to be a treat to see how he effective he can be in the NBA game. If you think about any coaches in the NBA that stress team play, Jerry Sloan would have to be near the top of that list. Monroe would fit perfectly in Sloan’s sharing system, and he would also bring the important elements of rebounding and shot-blocking. If Monroe continues to improve his game, as he did over his two years at Georgetown, this guy can be a very dangerous NBA player. He is still raw, but if he can have his potential maximized by a team or a coach, he can be one of the best players coming out of this draft in my opinion.
DeMarcus Cousins (6”11 PF/C, Kentucky)
DeMarcus Cousins decided to come out after just one season in college, and I think that it could hurt him for a few years in the NBA. I don’t believe that he has fully matured yet, and I think that a year or two in college would have really helped that. But despite that, Cousins is a tremendous big man with the ability to score, rebound, and defend with incredible ease. His amazing athleticism allows him to score many baskets down low, and it also gives him a huge advantage defensively especially when it comes to blocking shots. Because he has shown so much ability in such a short amount of time, it is scary to project where this guy will be a few years into the league. I don’t know why, but I have a feeling that because of his age and immaturity, teams are going to pass on him in the draft. However, they will regret their decision within his first 3 seasons in the league. Don’t be that team, Utah!
As the draft approaches, I am going to discuss more players that I want Utah to draft. Stay tuned, and as always, if you have something to say regarding the draft or the Utah Jazz in general, just leave a comment below.