With the clock ticking down to the NBA Draft Lottery, the Utah Jazz and 12 other teams are anxiously awaiting the fate of a few ping pong balls. The prize? Kyrie Irving, a Duke point guard who barely saw any action at his time at Duke due to a turf toe injury (maybe he’s playing the wrong sport).
But all kidding aside, Irving is projected to be the top guard prospect in this year’s draft, and as you Jazz Rowdies know, Utah doesn’t need too much help with their bigs. So if by some miracle (an 82/1000 chance to be exact) the Jazz actually land the top spot, they will have the opportunity to officially move on from the departure of Deron Williams by starting an era with another potential star point guard.
If you ask me, I think Devin Harris is a good enough point guard to lead the Jazz to future success, but when you have the chance to land somebody who has the potential of Irving, it is something that you just can’t pass up on. If you look at the last two point guards who were selected with the first overall pick in the draft (Derrick Rose and John Wall), you see the potential for immediate impact that a great point guard can have. Heck, if you want to understand the impact of a great point guard in general, you need not look any further than the way the Jazz played once Deron Williams left.
In the last 25 games of the season the Jazz posted a record of 8-17, which includes the last two games of the season which were meaningless wins over playoff teams who had no reason to play hard. That terrible finish also includes a 1-10 stretch where Utah’s only win came against the hated Lakers (Oh Yeah!). But the point is, when the Jazz lost their star point guard they were a completely different team who lacked the direction and the firepower to handle the other stacked teams in the league.
I understand that it’s premature to start anointing Kyrie Irving as the next Derrick Rose, John Wall, or Deron Williams, especially with the lack of college footage (pun) that he left us with. But when it comes down to it, the potential to have a super point guard in a league that boasts a bunch of them is something that is very tantalizing. Sure Devin Harris is good enough and can get it done, but there are at least 13 point guards that are better than him. In today’s day and age an amazing point guard is basically a necessity if you want to have a contending team, unless, of course, you have a superstar or two/three at another position.
Unfortunately for the Jazz, the closest thing they have to a superstar right now is Al Jefferson, and although I like the way he plays, the Jazz could really use some more star power on their roster. Just look at how good this team looked when D-Will was still with the team (pre-fighting with Jerry Sloan). So if the Jazz can get a heaven-sent miracle, and they actually land the top spot, they need to pull the trigger on Kyrie Irving and hope for the best.
The teams in the league are not built the same way they used to be. Nowadays all the good teams have at least 2 unbelievable players with good role players and specialty players around them. In order for the Jazz to seriously contend with those other teams, they need to start stacking their pieces. And by getting the number one overall pick, the Jazz can begin to do just that. It’s just too bad that things are unlikely to fall out that way. (Wearing green today won’t hurt the cause).
Oh, and if you’re wondering what I think the Jazz should do if Jimmer is still on the board by pick 12, I would say to draft him because of the potential he has to be a star. I understand that it’s unlikely that he’s going to transition well to the NBA game, but if he somehow does, he could be a very dangerous player. Just remember what you all thought about Stephen Curry before he got drafted. If Jimmer could pull a Stephen Curry, the team that drafts him will be very happy.