As we get closer to the 2014 NBA Draft, the future of the Utah Jazz franchise seemed to be looking bright. Adding another great young talent to go with the young core that the Jazz already had, was looking like a giant step in the right direction. The Jazz franchise was in a bit of a rebuild process, but it surely wouldn’t be long until the Jazz were back to being a force in the Western Conference.
The rebuild process seemingly hit a snag on Monday morning, as it was reported that Enes Kanter would have to undergo knee surgery.
Enes Kanter will have surgery on his knee, he’ll miss Fiba World Cup: http://t.co/2DA6ymcYmD
— Orazio Cauchi (@paxer89) June 23, 2014
The extent of the knee injury is still unknown, but Sportando confirmed that the rumor was 100% true. They also reported they were still hammering out the details of the injury, but the story was reported by Turkish National TV.
The injury to Kanter changes a lot of things for the Jazz. The Jazz were rumored to be attempting to trade up in the draft to snag either Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins. To do that, the Jazz were attempting to trade Derrick Favors. With Kanter now having to undergo knee surgery, any trade involving Favors is off the table.
Another impact the surgery could have, is Kanter is due up for a contract extension. Kanter would need to agree and sign on an extension before the October 31st deadline, or he would become a restricted free agent after this upcoming season. This will now be Kanter’s second surgery in the past year, and could have the Jazz front office reconsidering their long term plans for Kanter.
The number five pick in the draft will stick with the Jazz. They will more than likely draft a big guy who can step in and play right away. That means there will be no Joel Embiid coming to the Utah Jazz. They would probably be looking hard at Aaron Gordon or Noah Vonleh. Gordon brings the defense, but Vonleh shoots the ball better. It is tough to say which route the Jazz front office will go.
It also could potentially put a snag in the rebuilding process. The Jazz were looking to improve off of their 25 win season this past year, and most signs pointed to them doing that. However, with the Kanter surgery, I still believe they will improve their record, but they will need to add a veteran big man in free agency that can produce offensively like Kanter could.
The injury to Kanter doesn’t mean the Jazz are “finished”, they just hit a little bit of a road bump. The extent of the injury is still yet to be determined, and the Jazz front office has yet to say anything regarding the situation. However, I am sure they are well aware of it and we should be hearing very shortly what the team plans to do.