Jazz “fans” since the season began have complained and bickered about wanting to lose more so that one of these top guys can be drafted by their team. Well the Jazz ended up 5th after the Cavaliers jumped past everyone into the number one pick in the most coveted draft since Lebron’s year (Cavs also got number 1…).
A lot of Jazz fans watched Duke this past year more than ever as Jabari Parker, an LDS member, became a top prospect. Utah being known for it’s Mormon culture (50% in SLC are Mormon), hopped on the Jabari bandwagon for the most part and have wanted him on the Jazz since before he played a game at Duke. Although the chances are very small to draft Jabari at 5, the Jazz very well could trade up and get him if that is the guy they want (I still think Exum will be the best player from this draft).
At 5 however I believe there is a bigger chance than people realize for Jabari to fall to 5. How? Two ways this happen.
The first key is Milwaukee, who have been known to want Wiggins. If the Cavs take Wiggins first overall, then Embiid I don’t believe will end up 2nd which leaves the Bucks with a choice of Exum or Jabari. Although GMs love Jabari and his character they are not in love with his defense and are not sure what position he will play. If the Bucks go Exum and Philly goes Embiid then it falls on Orlando. Orlando has been rumored to LOVE Vonleh, but have also been rumored to want a point guard and could go Smart here. Why would they choose one of those guys over Jabari? Simple, they got to have workouts with Smart, Exum and Vonleh and not with Jabari.
The second way, which mirrors the first, has this being a 5 guy deep draft and not a 4 which the media has said over and over again. Noah Vonleh had an amazing closed workout in New York in which NBA execs were very impressed. One even mentioned that Vonleh should be up with the top 4 guys and doesn’t understand why he’s not.
Chad Ford of ESPN said this in a chat “So intriguing. The one guy I could see jumping up into the Top 4. He has some Chris Bosh comps, but he has a better body and can also play down low. People keep calling him raw, but when you look at the advanced statistics he was better than Julius Randle this year. I’m a fan.”
If this is the case I wouldn’t count Vonleh out at 3 or 4 even though nobody has really given that too much steam lately.
This scenario also implies Exum could fall to 5 instead of Jabari, but for those huge Jabari fans there is a chance. (Dumb and Dumber voice “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?… YES!!!)