First item of business is that the Jazz picked up the $3.7 million dollar option on C.J. miles contract for the upcoming season, if there is an upcoming season. This is a smart move by the Jazz in many ways. First of all looking at the players they currently have under contract the only wings (Small Forwards/Shooting Guards) are Gordon Hayward who just finished his rookie season, Alec Burks who was just drafted, and Raja Bell who turns 35 in September.
Obviously the Jazz needed Miles back, especially when you consider that they may lose Andre Kirilenko. With 2 young wings and 1 old Raja, the Jazz need C.J.’s outside shooting, athleticism, and as crazy as it sounds, at just 24 years old, they need his veteran leadership.
In this era of social media those who follow C.J. on Twitter found out first that he was returning next season when he sent out the following tweet:
Option picked up.. Thank all the fans for the support and the organization for belief that can help this team .. Now I’m back to work
Now on to the the fun stuff, let’s just think happy thoughts and actually presume that we will be playing NBA basketball come November. If that’s the case then the Jazz just added two very exciting young pieces to their roster, and don’t just take my word for it let’s see what the ESPN’s, the NBA.com’s and the rest of the “experts” have to say about Enes Kanter and Alec Burks as your two newest members of the Utah Jazz.
And remember these are analysts handing out grades to teams before any of these players have even stepped foot on an NBA court and played in a game. So take it for what it’s worth but I find it extremely difficult to call a team a loser or winner before we’ve had a chance to see these kids play in a real game.
UTAH JAZZ GRADE: A
Round 1: Enes Kanter (3, obtained from New Jersey), Alec Burks(12)
Analysis: I really like the Utah draft. Kanter has the ability to be a productive starting center in the league. And Burks is a very talented guard who, if he develops a jump shot, could become a star.
With the addition of Kanter and Burks plus Derrick Favors and last year’s lottery pick, Gordon Hayward, the Jazz have quickly rebuilt a strong young talent base while keeping a nice core of veterans around as mentors. The future looks very bright in Utah.
Ohh baby how does that sound Jazz fans? So as of this moment the Jazz have Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks, and a 1st round pick still to come from Golden State thanks to trading Deron Williams. Burks is included in this list cause had the Jazz kept D-Will they would have likely had a good enough record that they would have had to trade their 1st round pick (Which turned out to be Burks) to Minnesota as part of the Al Jefferson trade. I’d say that at this moment the D-Will trade looks pretty good for the Jazz wouldn’t you?
Stay tuned cause I’ve got a great video of Burks that I’ll end the article with and those of you who heard that he’s a shooting guard who can’t shoot, well just watch the video and you tell me if you agree with that assumption.
Winner: Utah Jazz:
The Utah Jazz quietly improved their team by adding Kanter (No. 3) and Colorado guard Alec Burks (No. 12). Kanter proclaimed a day earlier that he is the best player in the draft, and with his size, scoring ability and rebounding he has the talent and potential to prove he is right. While Burks isn’t a household name, he was a proven scorer in college, averaging 20.5 points last season as a sophomore. The Jazz have an intriguing group of young players in Kanter, Burks, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Evans.
Winner: Utah Jazz:
Many Utah fans were hoping the team would use one of its two lottery picks on BYU star Jimmer Fredette, but the Jazz got an impressive duo in center Enes Kanter and shooting guard Alec Burks. Both are unfamiliar to many fans since Kanter was ruled ineligible before playing a game at Kentucky and Burks played for a Colorado team that didn’t make the NCAA tournament, but they may be the best athletes at their respective positions.
Typically the words Utah Jazz and best athletes aren’t used in the same sentence but it sounds pretty groovy to me. Next we get Sam Amick’s take from Sports Illustrated.com with his draft grades:
Utah Jazz A:
GM Kevin O’Connor has been watching a bruising brand of basketball for quite some time now, so it should have surprised no one that he considered Enes Kanter (No. 3) his darling of the draft. Picking Knight would have been a byproduct of the point guard situation as it currently stands, as the Jazz continue to tell teams that they’re less than enthused about Devin Harris. Then they get a potent player in Colorado’s Burks (No. 12), a slasher with serious scoring chops who might be able to contribute right away.
Finally we finish with nbadraft.net who listed the Jazz as their BIGGEST WINNERS OF THE DRAFT:
Utah should walk away very satisfied with the talent that they picked up in the draft. They maximized both picks extremely well and are our biggest winners on draft night. Enes Kanter is an intriguing talent with a lot of potential. He’ll be an ideal fit next Derrick Favors, and the teenage duo should make Utah’s frontcourt a force to be reckoned with in a few years. Alec Burks gives Hayward a mate on the wings, though Utah was likely hoping that Fredette or Walker fell to them at 12. On the bright side, Burks could easily end up better than both.
Well if these experts are to be believed then the Jazz did very well for themselves on draft night. Let’s hope the NBA doesn’t become embattled in an ugly labor dispute because the Jazz are stocked with young talent and they need to start playing together NOW. They are already at a disadvantage due to the fact that the NBA Summer Leagues have been canceled. It sure would have been fun to watch Favors, Kanter, Evans, Hayward and Burks together this summer dominating other summer league teams. One good piece of news is Enes Kanter is supposed to play in the European basketball championships this summer, which will no doubt improve his game and have many interested Jazz fans tuning in. For more information on the event click here.
Finally the workout video of Alec Burks, he’s been compared to a young Dwayne Wade, he’s got a silky smooth jumper, but the best part of the video may be about halfway through when you see a group of dudes playing a pickup game in the background, check out the dude sporting the goggles, it’s classic stuff. Click here and enjoy.