We are exactly one week away from the 2014 NBA Draft. A lot of Utah Jazz fans, including myself, can’t hardly wait to find out which direction the Jazz are planning on going when it comes time for them to draft.
When you look at mock drafts, the majority of them are all the same. However, there are three names that have popped up in the fifth position more than others. Those names are Noah Vonleh from Indiana, Julius Randle from Kentucky, and Aaron Gordon from Arizona. The Jazz have now worked out all three of these players as of yesterday. Now the question is, which one fits the Jazz roster best?
The first of the three that the Jazz worked out was Gordon. The Jazz, and a lot of fans, really liked Gordon after his workout in Salt Lake City. Gordon is a very athletic big man, and is great on the defensive end. Thanks to his explosiveness and athleticism, Gordon has drawn comparisons to Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers. A lot of these comparisons are due to the fact that Gordon struggles to shoot the ball, and is scoring the majority of his points on lob passes to the rim, like Griffin played to start his career.
As far as how he fits in with the Jazz, I think he can fit in well. With Gordon coming in, Derrick Favors could mainly play the center position, where he is much better. Gordon would also be great on the pick and roll with Jazz point guard, Trey Burke. Trey came in to the league with some comparisons to Chris Paul. If either of them can live up to their comparisons, it could be a great thing for the Jazz franchise.
Vonleh is a guy who I have been very critical about since he started shooting up mock drafts to around the fifth spot where the Jazz are drafting. From what I have watched on him, he looks like he will be a complete bust in the NBA. He does, however, present some things that the Jazz seem to like.
Vonleh is a big man that can stretch out to the three point line and knock down the shot. This gives the Jazz the ability to spread the court, and open things up for Favors down low. This is something that the Jazz will look hard at since that is a direction that newly acquired coach, Quin Snyder, would like to go. However, his three point shooting percentage in college looks good, but he only shot a minimal amount of three pointers in college. His sample size is very small. Chad Ford said this week that he can see a lot of Karl Malone‘s game in Vonleh, I do not see that. I don’t really see Vonleh fitting with the direction the Jazz are wanting to go, and if they draft him, I will more than likely be very critical of the pick until proven wrong.
Randle is a guy who, before the start of the college basketball season, was regarded as one of the top three players in the draft with
Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins. He has recently slipped down the draft boards, but I’m really not sure why. Out of all the players in the draft, Randle might have the most NBA ready body. He is very strong and can only get stronger. He is also a rebounding machine, and crashes the boards hard on both offense and defense. Paired up with Favors on the low block, the Jazz might never lose a rebounding battle.
The knock on Randle is needing to work on his shot. Like Gordon, that is an area of concern that the Jazz have. If he can work on his shot, he could be a great fit in Utah.
As of right now, considering these three guys, my big board looks like this:
1. Aaron Gordon
2. Julius Randle
3. Noah Vonleh
The more and more that I watch Randle, the more I see him fitting the best in a Jazz uniform. I have Gordon edging out Randle here, but it really is by the slimmest of margins. Both guys could end up becoming players that the Jazz would regret on passing up.