Let the rumors begin! This is the part of draft week that gets me so geeked up for the draft. Thanks to this ESPN report: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/60257/flurry-of-trade-talks-surrounding-draft the possibilities of draft night trades seem endless. The biggest rumor of interest to Jazz fans of course is that of Jimmer Fredette and the Utah Jazz being a potential landing spot for the former BYU star. Jimmer has been linked to the Jazz since he was drafted but this year more than most it makes sense that it could happen, much to the chagrin of Ute fans everywhere. Let’s take a look at what could happen.
The report claims that the Kings are looking for another first round pick. I don’t think Jimmer’s stock is all that high right now and the Jazz are interested in moving up in the draft. To me Michael Carter-Williams is the distributing point guard the Jazz are looking for. Jimmer would be the perfect change of pace guard off the bench that could stretch defenses and provide instant scoring. I think a trade of the 14th and 21st picks for Jimmer and the 7th pick is a good trade for both teams. The two players the Kings are said to be interested in, Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Tony Snell, would be available at 14 and 21 and it wouldn’t be a reach to draft them there.
Now it’s a touch more complicated than it seems to make this trade but not much. Because the Jazz cannot trade their draft pick outright 2 years in a row, they would have to select a player for the Kings at 14 and then make the trade (meaning the Kings would select the Jazz’s point guard of choice at 7). The Jazz can trade the 21st pick outright because they received it from another team. For purposes of this post I am focusing strictly on how the Jazz could acquire Jimmer on draft night. For another scenario, please check out my editor Josh Haslam’s article here: http://purpleandblues.com/2013/06/24/how-utah-jazz-can-get-jimmer-at-nba-draft/.
“Why would the Jazz want Jimmer?” Ute fans may ask. “He’s done nothing in Sacramento” you might say. Well if you’ve followed the Kings at all since Jimmer was drafted you would know that franchise was a complete mess. The coach that wanted him was fired early in his rookie season, and the coach that took his place did not like him at all. The roster was full of me first players and I think they were jealous of Jimmer’s press. Jimmer tried to be a good company man but it seemed like the only teammate that enjoyed playing with him was DeMarcus Cousins of all people. I strongly believe the Utah Jazz is a good situation for Jimmer. The offense preaches unselfishness and ball movement. He would be surrounded with talented players that want to win and win as a team. Despite bitter Ute fans, fan support would be a huge confidence resurrection for him. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes. (Note: I don’t know if this has anything to do with the Jimmer rumors or not but I’ll throw it out there. Two writer’s on our staff are Jazz season ticket holders and when they went to select their seats this past Saturday, they said there were A LOT of available seats. I think the fans are voicing their disgust with the past season and Jimmer would give season ticket sales a shot in the arm.)
One more spin I would like to put on this. If Dallas really is willing to give away the 13th pick to any team willing to take Shawn Marion with it I say the Jazz do it. Marion can be a good back up at the 3 and 4 and has only 1 year left on his deal. His little more than $9 million salary would also help the Jazz reach the salary minimum imposed by the NBA. With the 13th pick I would like the Jazz to take Kelly Olynyk. If you have not seen David Locke’s draft break down of Olynyk you should. Check it out here: http://weareutahjazz.com/lockedonjazz/2013/06/24/draft-breakdown-6-kelly-olynyk/ . This guy is an elite passing big man that would excel in the Jazz’s pass happy offense. He would not miss Haywayrd and Burks cutting to the lane like Big Al would time after time after time. He also has good range on his shot to keep defenses honest and allow Favors/Kanter to work down low. He has a high basketball IQ and is the type of passing big man that can help this offense click. If the Jazz draft results in Jimmer Fredette, Michael Carter-Williams, Kelly Olynyk and whoever at 46 I think Jazz fans should be very excited about a talented, athletic, up tempo team we’ll be able to watch next year.