Mar 24, 2013; Austin, TX, USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Shane Larkin (0) drives against Illinois Fighting Illini guard D.J. Richardson (1) during the second half in the third round of the 2013 NCAA tournament at Frank Erwin Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Thoughts On Utah Jazz Prospects For The 2013 NBA Draft

Hello everyone, I am back! I had a great family vacation last week and now it’s time to get back to the grind. I’ve got a busy week playing catch up here at work so I won’t be getting back to the usual 3 columns per week until next week. For my first post back I though I want to share my thoughts on how I think the draft is going to shake out. From the information available there seems to be a pattern developing in how the Jazz are going to draft. The large workouts have been showing that they are on the lookout for point guards, bigs and athletes. So without further ado, here are the possibilities that the Jazz will be playing with in 10 days:

With the 14th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft the Utah Jazz select…….

Mar 24, 2013; Dayton, OH, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward Cody Zeller (40) is guarded by Temple Owls forward Anthony Lee (3) during the third round of the 2013 NCAA tournament at University of Dayton Arena. Indiana defeats Temple 58-52. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

1. Cody Zeller (Best Case Scenario) – If Cody Zeller is available when the Jazz pick at 14 there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it; they take him. He would be by far the #1 player on their board at that point and it would be a no brainer. He’s tall, athletic (36″ vertical for a 7 footer? Are you kidding me?), plays good D and can score the basketball from all over. He would form a terrific 3 man rotation with Favors and Kanter.

2. Shane Larkin/Dennis Schroeder (Most Likely Scenario) – By all accounts the Jazz loved Larkin at their workout and enjoyed talking to him. Frankly, who wouldn’t? He already carries himself as a professional and had the amazing opportunity to learn this from his Hall of Fame father. He’s lightning fast, athletic, can shoot the ball from 3, and at 5’11” he has a 44″ vertical. He sees the court well and is a leader on the court. He has everything the Jazz are looking for in a point. Schroeder on the other hand had a terrible workout according to Walt Perrin. He has a lot of things to work on and needs to mature and get tougher. We’re all familiar with his measurements and what he did at the Nike Hoop Summit. Could Perrin’s comments be a smoke screen to discourage other teams ahead of the Jazz from drafting him?

3. Steven Adams/Shabazz Mohammed (Wild Card Scenario) – Steven Adams is an interesting prospect. Depending on who you talk to he’s either a lock to not drop past the Thunder at 12 or he could be available to the Jazz at 21. If he indeed does drop past the Thunder and Zeller is off the board, he would be a very intriguing prospect to draft at 14. He’s tall, athletic, a very good rim protector, not as polished as Zeller but he is a year younger. Shabazz Mohammed would also be very tempting for the Jazz at 14. Despite his perceived “personal issues” the man can play basketball and flat out score. Due to the recent news of Dario Saric’s withdrawal from the draft today however, Mohammed will be the guy that benefits most from this decision. I fully expect him to be gone by 13 now but if he’s not he’s definitely an option.

With the 21st pick in the 2013 NBA Draft the Utah Jazz select…….

March 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UCLA Bruins guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad (15) shoots against Oregon Ducks center Tony Woods (55) during the second half of the championship game of the Pac 12 tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Oregon defeated UCLA 78-69. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

1. Shabazz Mohammed (Best Case Scenario) – Just like Cody Zeller at 14, if Shabazz is available at 21 the Jazz would most likely take him no questions asked. You cannot pass up on scoring punch like that with the 21st pick.

2. Rudy Gobert/Mason Plumlee (Most Likely Scenario) – By taking care of business drafting a point guard at 14, the Jazz draft a big man with their second pick. I think the Jazz like Jeremy Evans but he just doesn’t have the strength to be a reliable backup right now. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong this year, I hope he does. Gobert has so much length and defensive ability it would be almost crazy to pass on him unless you already have Zeller. With him in the fold the Jazz defensive presence in the middle would become one of the most feared in the NBA. Plumlee would provide the Jazz a solid big man off the bench that knows the game and is more athletic than you might think. Duke guys know how to play basketball and Plumlee would be a great glue guy for this team.

3. Jamaal Franklin/Reggie Bullock/Allen Crabbe/Tony Mitchell/Ricky Ledo/Tony Snell/Isaiah Canaan/Pierre Jackson (Wild Card Scenario) – Can you sense a theme with this scenario? Lots of options, lots of athletes. If the Jazz go point at 14 and the bigs they like are gone, they will draft who they feel is the best athlete on the board. If the Jazz get their big at 14 they will go point guard with this pick and Canaan and Jackson would be excellent options at this point in the draft. Of all these guys listed, however, Ricky Ledo has my attention. He was hurt last year but he is a young athlete that can jump and score the basketball, he’s 6’6″ 200lbs and can also handle the ball. He’s flying a bit under the radar but has slowly been climbing up mock drafts all over. Don’t be surprised if you hear his name called even if the Jazz draft a point guard at 14.

With the 46th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft the Utah Jazz select……..

Apr 2, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Brigham Young Cougars player Brandon Davies (0) dunks against the Baylor Bears during the first half of the NIT Tournament Semi-Final at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

A Euro to stash overseas! Ha! Actually that could very well be what the Jazz do with this pick. I for one would be very happy to see them draft Brandon Davies of BYU here if they’ve gone somewhat small with their first 2 picks. Trevor Mbakwe of Minnesota would be another big man possibility and Augusto Lima of Brazil would be a big man candidate to allow to develop for a couple of years overseas. CJ Leslie is expected to be gone by then but he would be a great 2nd round pick.  James Ennis, Alex Abrines, Livio Jean-Charles, and Nate Wolters would all be good pickups at that point as well.

The Jazz are going to improve their team in this draft. They will draft players that will complement the core young guys and allow them to become leaders. Although it lacks star power, this is still a very important draft. These are the types of drafts that give you the role players you need for a well balanced, playoff contending team. Let the rebuilding begin!


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