The workouts have begun for the Utah Jazz in preparation for the NBA draft in June. And yes Jazz fans get ready, “The Jimmer” will be among those working out for the Jazz. And while Jimmer day has yet to be determined, he did go through his first workout today for the Indiana Pacers. According to Chad Ford at ESPN, Jimmer admitted to being “a little winded,” after the 75 minute workout.
The Jazz have conducted two workouts thus far at their practice facility with the first group consisting of Markieff Morris a forward from Kansas, JaJuan Johnson a forward from Purdue, Dallas Lauderdale a forward from Ohio State, Norris Cole a guard from Cleveland State, Shelvin Mack who was a teammate of Gordon Hayward’s at Butler and Jeremy Tyler a center from San Diego.
While Morris figures to be the only likely draftee at the 12 spot, Tyler is an intriguing prospect whose stock has been on the rise since the draft combine. Tyler skipped his senior year in high school and spent last season playing professionally in Japan. He’s listed at 6’11 but actually measured 6’9 barefoot at the combine, however he has a 7 foot 5 inch wingspan. He also demonstrated great agility at the combine and Ford believes he has worked his way into the late first round:
Jeremy Tyler continued to wow NBA teams on Friday with his athleticism, physical profile and defense. He measured out as the second-biggest player at the combine. He was 6-11, 260 with a huge 7-5 wing and a 9-2 standing reach. Tyler told me he believed he’ll have a 40-inch vertical, which is a fantastic number for a player his size. His measurements are on par with Cole Aldrich’s and just below DeAndre Jordan’s. Tyler also scored very high marks from NBA teams on his interviews. His offensive game is still a work in progress and there are still some skeletons in his closet from his botched season in Israel. But on sheer physical upside, Tyler played himself into a possible first-round pick
According to DraftExpress, Tyler was about 7 inches off on his vertical leap as he measured out a 33 inches, but with this group of prospects it would seem that the Jazz may do some maneuvering on draft night. Most of the players worked out, except Morris, figure to be late first round or second round picks. With the Jazz not having a second round pick in this years draft this seems like an unusual group of prospects to bring in for their first team workout.
Today the Jazz brought in a group of guards who all figure to be non-draft invitees including BYU’s Jackson Emery and Michael Stockton from Westminster College, son of former Jazz great John Stockton. Also joining the two locals were Virginia guard Mustapha Farrakhan and Kansas guard Brady Morningstar. Again these aren’t names that will have Jazz fans excited, aside from die-hard BYU fans who think Emery has a future in the NBA.
The real workouts will begin later this week when the Jazz brass, including head coach Tyrone Corbin and GM Kevin O’Connor, will get a chance to work out and interview Turkish center Enes Kanter in Chicago on Thursday and Friday. Rumors swirled around the internet yesterday that Kanter has bad knees, although he tested out completely healthy at the combine. Ford says:
Kanter was solid in these tests, with 14 reps on the bench press but only a 32½- inch vertical. His numbers were considerably better than DeMarcus Cousins’ and Greg Monroe’s last year.
While Matt Kamalsky at DraftExpress had this to say about Kanter’s showing in Chicago:
This has been a productive couple of days for Enes Kanter who has impressed in workouts and measured out at nearly 6-10 without shoes with a 7-1 ½ wingspan and 260 pounds frame. His wingspan doesn’t compare favorably to recently drafted PF/C’s like Derrick Favors (7-4 wingspan) or Ekpe Udoh(7-4 ½ wingspan), but puts his right on par with Al Horford (6-8 ¾ without shoes, 7-0 ¾ wingspan, 246 pounds). Kanter doesn’t have long arms for his height, but he has a massive frame for a 19 year-old.
So Jazz fans does that sound like the center of the future you have always been craving? Or does he sound like a young, untested and undersized project who at 19 years old may be two or three years away from contributing? I’m glad I don’t have to make that decision.
After Chicago the Jazz will head overseas to attend the three-day EuroCamp in Treviso, Italy. Thirty players are expected to attend the only pre-draft camp held outside of the U.S. which takes place June 11-13.
The Jazz will get a chance to get an up close look at a number of International prospects, in a draft that may feature half of the lottery comprised of international players, such as power forward Bismack Biyombo of the Republic of Congo and Lithuania’s Donatas Motiejunas. Two high lottery hopefuls Jan Vesely of the Czech Republic and Jonas Valanciunas from Lithuania have not confirmed yet if they will partake in the international camp.
After the international camp the Jazz will return home to workout a variety of prospects who they may draft with the 3rd or 12th picks on June 23rd, including Fredette. Jimmer was very impressive in the drills at the US pre-draft combine ranking among the quickest players and best shooters in attendance. Again according to draft express:
Fredette measured in a shade above 6-foot at 6-0 ¾, and registered a respectable 6-4 ½ wingspan. By no means is he a specimen amongst point guards, but he compares pretty well to Stephen Curry(6-2 without shoes, 6-3 ½ wingspan) and ranks just a touch behind Deron Williams(6-1 ¾ without shoes, 6-6 ¼ wingspan).
What surprises me is how closely Jimmer measured to D’Will, being just an inch shorter and also having a longer wingspan than expected. Fredette also impressed in all of the drills being near the top in both the lateral and lane agility testing. He also finished second in the shooting portion hitting 18 out of 25 NBA three-point shots, only Andrew Goudelock from the College of Charleston shot better than Jimmer hitting 19 of 25. Chad Ford summed up just how well Jimmer fared at the combine saying:
Fredette came out of the testing vindicated. He predicted he would show well here, and he did. His lateral quickness numbers were second only to Cole’s. His 3.2 second sprint was solid. He was one of the strongest guards in the draft with 13 reps on the bench. His vertical numbers aren’t great (33 inches) but overall it looks like he has the quickness and strength to play the position.
All of this is sure to make Jazz fans drool at the thought of the local boy playing for the Jazz, the only problem is if the Jazz take Brandon Knight with the 3rd pick do you really see them taking another point guard at 12? It’s possible but what is certain is if Jimmer is on the board when the Jazz pick at 12 all of Jimmer Nation and Jazz Nation will be hoping like crazy they hear the phrase, “With the 12th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft the Utah Jazz select Jimmer Fredette.” If so expect Jimmer Mania to kick in and fans from Utah to upstate New York to go completely bonkers, and who knows maybe that is exactly what the Jazz need. We will know for sure in just about three weeks.