The job as the GM of the Utah Jazz has got to be a very difficult one. Especially this upcoming week being that the 2013 NBA Draft is on Thursday. So many questions to ask and so many preparations to be made. Personally, I’m pretty confident in the management that we have. I know that whatever happens in the draft, the Jazz will do what is best for the team. However, today I am going to say what I would do if I were to be the GM during the draft.
The Jazz currently are entering the draft holding the 14th and 21st picks in the first round. They also hold the 46th pick during the second round. To me, the team is set with bringing Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter into the starting big men roles. However, with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap most likely leaving, the team will need to address the need of backup big men. Also, the team will need to go after a point guard to take over the team, most likely a couple seasons down the road.
Every year during the draft, you usually see the team staying put with where they are. Dennis Lindsey said recently that the Jazz are going to be aggressive in trying to move up. To me, listening to the interview, it sounds like they already have a deal in place to move up. But how far up can they go? They can’t do a sign and trade with Al or Paul because free agent signings can’t happen until July 10th. The only thing they could really do is trade there picks and maybe the rights to Ante Tomic. There is more they could do but they would have to trade one of the “core 4″ which is something I don’t see happening.
I see the Jazz trading the 14th pick to the Portland Trailblazers in exchange for the 10th pick in the 1st round. The Blazers have been rumored to wanting to get rid of the 10th pick. After the trade, the Utah Jazz will select C.J. McCollum out of Lehigh.
I know there is a lot of skepticism about McCollum because nobody knows what type of player he will be and if he is a point guard or a shooting guard. I think he can play the point and I think he will play the point. He’s 6’3″ and 200 pounds, which is good size for an NBA point guard. He can score the ball with ease, which is something the Jazz will like. Another question mark Jazz fans have is if he can pass the ball, which I think there won’t be a problem passing the ball. Guys like McCollum have a problem in college, and that problem is that they are not playing with NBA talent at every position. Especially at Lehigh, you’re not playing with a Favors, Kanter, or Hayward.
People will most likely boo this pick, but then again, fans booed the Jazz when they drafted Hayward. This will probably end up being the same thing and after this season people will love McCollum and they will be thrilled that the front office picked such a quality talent to complete the core young guys.
To me, the Jazz could do 2 things with the 21st pick. We could keep it and draft someone or, since there have been “rumors”, we could trade the 21st pick to the Houston Rockets for PF Thomas Robinson. You have to ask the question, is there a better prospect in the draft than Robinson?
Robinson has kind of had a rough start to his NBA career. A top 5 pick out of Kansas, he was drafted by the Sacramento Kings and then was traded halfway through the season to the Rockets. He averaged about 15 mpg, mostly with the Kings. For his rookie season, he only averaged 4.8 ppg and 4.5 rpg. The Rockets are looking to trade him for a first round pick so they can draft an international player who will stay overseas. That way they can clear up more cap space in an attempt to win the Dwight Howard auction.
At 21, most mock drafts have one of those international players being drafted there. It would make a lot of sense to do this, but to me it’s you either do this trade, or you draft Gorgui Dieng out of Louisville. That is, if Dieng is available, which in my draft he will be. More than likely, the Jazz will keep this pick and pick Dieng.
Dieng is a quality big man with good size. Fantastic shot blocker, good passer, and rebounds the ball well. Doesn’t have a lot of downside. Plus, to me, the fact that he won a national championship is a big deal. It shows that he knows what it takes to be a winner. Now that the Jazz have Karl Malone on board to help coach the big men, Dieng’s offensive skill set should also improve.
When it comes to pick 46, the Jazz could do anything. No one really knows what the Jazz are going to do, but whatever they do I’m sure it will end up being a good choice. For the sake of picking someone, I’m going to take Adonis Thomas, the SF out of Memphis. Came in for a workout and worked out well. The Jazz will re-sign Demarre Carroll, so since they do this Thomas wont likely see much playing time.
To me, this is a very solid draft for the Jazz. McCollum has all the tangibles to be the point guard of the future for the team. Not only that, he is a kid with good character, which the Jazz love. Dieng has fantastic skill sets for a big man and will help out coming off the bench for Kanter.
What would you do if you were GM for the Jazz during the draft? Leave a comment and tell us.