The NBA Draft Blog Team Needs series continues to take a look at each team’s various draft scenarios.
The Utah Jazz have the #3 pick, as well as the 12th pick. Andrei Kirilenko may be gone and there are many roles to fill in the backcourt. Do the Jazz waste a pick on local hero Jimmer Fedette? Let’s take a look at Utah’s needs:
Returning Players- Al Jefferson (F), Mehmet Okur (F), Devin Harris (G), Paul Milsap (F), Derrick Favors (F), CJ Miles (G – Team Option), Raja Bell (G), Gordon Hayward (F), Jeremy Evans (F)
Team Needs- Perimeter scoring, Back-up point guard, Inside defense
Position Needs – PG, SG, C
Picks – Round 1, Pick 3 (#3) (from New Jersey)
Round 1, Pick 12 (#12)
Analysis- Off hand, this may not be the year to have the #3 pick, considering there are 2 top prospects and a drop. However, with the trade of Deron Williams (which netted the Jazz the #3 pick this season) and Devin Harris probably not the point guard for the long term, the Jazz will have their choice of 2 of the 3 top point guards in this draft. Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight are very different players, but they both bring very positive traits which can enhance the Jazz squad.
Walker, though known mostly for his scoring outburst this season, is the more natural point guard, understanding spacing of the floor better, and having a more developed sense of how to run an offense. Knight provides a better NBA scoring option, having better size and a more developed jump shot, but still has a long way to go as far as court vision and running an offense goes. My guess, considering the returning personnel, is that Walker is the choice here – Jefferson, Milsap and Co. need someone experienced at getting them the ball. An outside option may be to look at Enes Kanter, but he doesn’t make sense based on the current team make-up.
With their pick at #12, everyone knows by now that the popular pick would be Jimmer Fredette, and I could see how this could be a boon from a business point of view. However, Utah is not competing with other teams, and as long as they put out a competitive team, they will bring in the fans. If I am Kevin O’Connor, I look to shore up the perimeter scoring and consider either Klay Thompson or Alec Burks with this pick. A scorer who can stretch the defense will make Jefferson and Milsap that much more effective. An outside possibility may be Bismack Biyombo who can help the current squad by taking defensive responsibilities off of them, but he is a few years from being close to ready for the NBA