Salt City Hoops » Draft http://saltcityhoops.com The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:12:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Salt City Hoops no The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Salt City Hoops » Draft http://saltcityhoops.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://saltcityhoops.com/category/draft/ Experts’ Take on the Utah Jazz’s Draft http://saltcityhoops.com/experts-take-on-the-utah-jazzs-draft/ http://saltcityhoops.com/experts-take-on-the-utah-jazzs-draft/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 21:24:03 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=12043 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Photo Courtesy of Fansided

Photo Courtesy of Fansided

For the second year in a row, Utah Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey and his fellow front office cohorts had a stellar NBA Draft night. In 2013, Lindsey’s first at the helm, he brokered three trades that netted All-Rookie point guard Trey Burke, the potential-filled Rudy Gobert and a nice playmaking prospect in Raul Neto. It was an exciting night for the Utah fan base.

Then came last night. As my colleague Dan Clayton, who was on the ground at the Barclay Center, summed up so well, it was an exemplary evening for the Jazz–one that could be integral both in the present and going forward. Guard Dante Exum and swingman Rodney Hood are now officially Utah Jazzmen. Based on the reaction at EnergySolutions Arena and on the Jazz Twitter and Google+ communities, the response from the team’s supporters is overwhelming positive. There is a feeling of optimism,a welcome one after a long, sometimes trying season for all.

So, what are the experts saying? Because we can now retire–at least for a season–the mock draft roundup, let’s take one look at how the Jazz’s evening is being viewed.

ESPN 

Chad Ford really earns his keep each year, especially as the Draft draws closer and closer. His live pick-by-pick analysis is always enjoyable to watch as the selections are made. When the Jazz picked Exum, here was his take:

Exum is a huge win for the Jazz. They needed a potential franchise player, and I think they got him. He’s so quick, so fast and has such great size for his position. He can play with Trey Burke, or he can, and likely will, eventually take Burke’s starting job. It’s so hard for the Jazz to lure elite talent. I think they got one here.

Regarding Hood’s selection:

This is turning into a great night for the Jazz. They were praying Exum would fall to them, then hoped Hood would drop to them at No. 23. They wanted a big shooter who could play two positions, and that’s what they got in Hood. The Jazz were devastated when they fell out of the top three on lottery night. But this draft should make Jazz fans feel really good.

When Ford doled out his grades (Insider), Utah came away as honor students with an A. Per his sources, Exum was ranked third on Utah’s draft board, while Hood was 15th. Ford goes on to suggest that Burke and Exum will team up together, but that he could see the latter taking the former’s starting position. He finishes by saying, “I know Jazz fans will feel like this draft wasn’t a home run without Jabari Parker. But it was at least a triple, and given where they were drafting, that’s an A in my book.”

CBS Sports

This site is effusive in their praise for the Jazz’s Draft Night. Zach Harper took a look at each of the Western Conference teams, issuing them a grade. He one-upped Ford by giving Utah an A+, saying “I’m not sure the Utah Jazz could have had a better draft.”  He envisions a guard line that can be interchangeable, with Alec Burks factoring heavily into the equation. Harper also says that Hood is “another lottery-level talent who fell too far.” He, like a few other media members, suggests that Hood is good insurance should the Jazz opt to part ways with Gordon Hayward. That does not seem likely given their cap situation, and it seems safe to say that Hayward will be brought back. 

James Herbert included Hood as one of the steals of the draft, saying it is “hard to believe [he] fell this far.” He adds that “Hood is versatile, skilled, smart and has the kind of game that should translate well immediately.” This has to make Jazz fans excited.

Sports Illustrated

Ben Golliver delved into the winners and losers and includes Burke as being one of the night’s losers due to Exum’s arrival on the scene. While Golliver thinks it can work out for a while, he surmises that “one wonders whether push will come to shove and the Jazz will have to pick between the two players.” He does say that Hood will “have the chance to compete for big minutes on a rebuilding team from day one, while playing for another former Blue Devil in coach Quin Snyder.” 

USA Today

Adi Joseph gave his take in another pick-by-pick instant analysis. He was cautiously optimistic about Exum, saying “Utah had bigger needs” but those went out the door when Exum slid to the Jazz. He added that Exum “also has tremendous value on the trade market,” but it seems safe to say that Utah did not draft him to use in another deal. Exum earned an A-.

Joseph was a big fan of Hood’s pick, saying the Jazz were able to draft both the best available player and the best player to fill the team’s needs. Describing him as a “mix of Rashard Lewis and Danny Granger,” he thinks Hood will be an excellent fit in Utah, who had “a great draft.”

Real GM

Jonathan Tjarks takes a look at each team and had a lot of positive things to say about Utah. He says that outside of Joel Embiid, “Exum has the best chance of any player in the draft of being a two-way star.”  He also says that even though the Jazz have drafted behind the Orlando Magic, he’d “rather have an Exum/Burke backcourt than [Victor] Oladipo/[Elfrid] Payton.” Tjarks asserts that the draft may make Burks and Enes Kanter expendable.

A number of other outlets will continue to provide their analysis of the Draft, but this provides a sampling. The media seems to view Utah’s haul very positively, while bringing up appropriate questions about players roles, rotational battles and offseason movement. Fair enough. There are still lots to be determined as the team enters into free agency and trade season.

But today, thanks to an exhilarating Draft night, the outlook for the Utah Jazz looks bright and exciting.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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SCH Podcast: Draft Reaction with Dan Clayton http://saltcityhoops.com/sch-podcast-draft-reaction-with-dan-clayton/ http://saltcityhoops.com/sch-podcast-draft-reaction-with-dan-clayton/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 17:04:38 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=12045 Author information
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett is a life-long Jazz fan and general sports fanatic based in Salt Lake City. He also writes for Nylon Calculus (Hardwood Paroxysm/Fansided Network), and can be heard on the airwaves for the SCH podcast and appearances with ESPN AM 700. With a strong background in both statistics and on-court fundemantals, he writes primarily as an in-depth strategic analyst. He can be found on Twitter at @Ben_Dowsett.
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Photo Courtesy of Grantland

Photo Courtesy of Grantland

On this week’s Salt City Hoops podcast, hosts Ben Dowsett and Clint Johnson are joined for the entirety of the pod by Dan Clayton, who attended last night’s draft on behalf of SCH. They talk about Dan’s experience at Barclay’s Center, some overall trends, and of course the Jazz’s unexpectedly positive night and the drafting of Dante Exum and Rodney Hood.

Author information

Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett is a life-long Jazz fan and general sports fanatic based in Salt Lake City. He also writes for Nylon Calculus (Hardwood Paroxysm/Fansided Network), and can be heard on the airwaves for the SCH podcast and appearances with ESPN AM 700. With a strong background in both statistics and on-court fundemantals, he writes primarily as an in-depth strategic analyst. He can be found on Twitter at @Ben_Dowsett.
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http://saltcityhoops.com/sch-podcast-draft-reaction-with-dan-clayton/feed/ 0   - On this week's Salt City Hoops podcast, hosts Ben Dowsett and Clint Johnson are joined for the entirety of the pod by Dan Clayton, who attended last night's draft on behalf of SCH. They talk about Dan's experience at Barclay's Center,   On this week's Salt City Hoops podcast, hosts Ben Dowsett and Clint Johnson are joined for the entirety of the pod by Dan Clayton, who attended last night's draft on behalf of SCH. They talk about Dan's experience at Barclay's Center, some overall trends, and of course the Jazz's unexpectedly positive night and the drafting of Dante Exum and Rodney Hood. Salt City Hoops no 39:31
NBA Draft: Jazz Land Exum, Hood http://saltcityhoops.com/nba-draft-jazz-land-exum-hood/ http://saltcityhoops.com/nba-draft-jazz-land-exum-hood/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 14:48:31 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=12035 Author information
Dan Clayton
Dan Clayton
Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City where his hobbies include complaining about League Pass, finding good doughnut shops and dishing out assists for the Thoreau It Down team in the Word Bookstore basketball league.
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All smiles, Dante Exum looks forward to getting to work in Utah. (Getty Images)

All smiles, Dante Exum looks forward to getting to work in Utah. (Getty Images)

Twice in the first round of Thursday’s NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz were looking up at players they coveted and hoping for a good bounce or two. Both times, they got the bounces.

Australian guard Dante Exum (no. 5) and Duke product Rodney Hood (23) both made their way to Utah’s spots. The Jazz happily added both players to their growing arsenal of young, promising talent.

Exum, despite being somewhat unknown, was largely considered one of the top four prospects in the draft, so grabbing him at five was an unexpected coup for the Jazz. Exum is lightning quick and explosive, and his real strength is that at 6-6 with legitimate point guard skills, he can be really disruptive at creating angles and exploiting his size and finishing ability. He thinks he’ll fit in Utah’s new culture, too.

“I spoke to coach (Quin Snyder) and he had a lot of positive things to say, and how he was a point guard and how he thinks he can help me, so it’s been good,” the Aussie phenom said. He mentioned specifically a desire to play an up-tempo game, something that Snyder has said he hopes to institute more, and later he told me about his comfort level in the pick-and-roll.

The Jazz made it clear going into this draft process that they were looking for potential franchise talent. “All-stars,” Walt Perrin panned on more than one occasion to Salt Lake media. With Exum unexpectedly slipping to the fifth pick, they might have a shot at just that. Exum, though, is prepared to put in the work and let time run its course.

“That’s the future,” Exum said in response to whether he’s a franchise player in the making. “You never know what’s going to happen in the future. I take it one day at a time. I’m trying to do what I can now so I can get to that caliber… But I’m just going to work hard every day and see what happens.”

There are those who would say Exum is being overly modest here, and ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla leads that club. Fraschilla famously compared Exum to a young Michael Jordan, about the highest praise you can dole out in basketball. I had a chance to catch up with Fraschilla on draft night and ask him what he saw that prompted that parallel.

“He’s got a unique skill set, because at 6-foot-6 he can play either guard spot,” Fraschilla told me. “He’s got a chance to be better and better because he’s going to physically mature.” The analyst expects some “real ups and downs” for Exum and the Jazz starting out, but adds that “over the long haul, I think Dante Exum has the skill level, athleticism, work ethic and character to be a perfect fit in a city that loves its team.”

For all those reasons, even the modest Exum didn’t think he’d be available at the fifth pick. He mentioned that as the reason he and his agent didn’t schedule a pre-draft visit to Utah. But at the same time, he was ready for anything.

“I knew I was the mystery in this draft and I could drop,” he said. “It’s been frustrated being that mystery and having that label, but I’m over it now. Hopefully I can get out in summer league and show them I’m not a mystery anymore.”

Hood’s availability at 23 caught the Jazz by surprise as well. His projected range started at the 13th pick, and Ford’s final mock had him going 18th. I had heard that the Jazz liked him enough to consider maneuvering to get him, but that wasn’t necessary after a couple of teams made unexpected picks leading up to the Jazz’s spot, allowing Hood to land right where fellow Duke product Snyder wanted him.

Now Hood will travel to Salt Lake City, a city he’s never been to, to learn more about a team that he says is “right on the verge” of success. The 6-8 swingman got emotional when talking about his road from rural Mississippi to the NBA.

“Man, it’s unbelievable,” he said, choking back tears. “You think of this little kid playing in the Boys and Girls Club, wanting to be like your big brother and getting a chance to walk across that stage and give some people hope from where I’m from. It means a lot.”

Hood is a left-handed shooter with good consistency in the midrange and all the way out the three point line. He shot 42% on threes at Duke, and his free throw percentage (80%) is an good indicator that statheads use to predict how a collegian’s shot will carry over to the NBA. According to multiple draft scouting sites, he’ll need to improve his defense and work on his body.

Despite the strong projections on how his shot will translate, Hood was not a favorite of several different’ predictive models, largely because of less-than-stunning rebounding numbers and steal rate. Both are important predictive indicators that have had success at projecting success in the NBA. For those reasons, ESPN analytics guru Kevin Pelton projects that his average Win Shares over five seasons will be just a shade under zero.

That could be meaningful, but the analytics component is just one element of player evaluation. Watch his tape. This guy is a legitimate outside threat on nearly every play — the type of guy defenses have to pay attention to even off the ball. And beyond that, he just gets how to play. He’s smart, court-aware, and generally looks to make the right play. I think he will likely outperform the spreadsheets.

Interestingly, the Jazz had options at 23. Kyle Anderson, Clint Capela and several other talented prospects were still on the board, and Andy Katz reports that the Jazz also had the option to trade down to 26 with Miami, who coveted Shabazz Napier. Evidently, they had Hood ranked highly enough that they couldn’t leave him sitting there and risk him going 24th or 25th. So instead, the Jazz made their play and brought Hood to the organization.

“I’m just happy to land in a really good spot,” said Hood.

The Jazz also owned the 35th pick, but they made the pick for Memphis in exchange for a 2016 2nd round pick. Jarnell Stokes was the selection, and it appears as though the Jazz received no additional compensation.

Odds & Ends – Other notes from the draft:

  • In talking to and about Exum and Hood, I was reminded about the Gregg Popovich line about the Spurs drafting players “who have gotten over themselves.” Both come across as very humble, hard-working, unassuming types. An Australian journalist feels the same way about Exum.
  • Have you watched this yet?
  • What about this?
  • Hood grew up in Meridian, MS, about 100 miles from Al Jefferson’s hometown of Prentiss. Hood mentioned Jefferson when asked about players he admired from Mississippi.
  • The most heart-warming moment was when Adam Silver invited Baylor’s Isaiah Austin to the stage for a ceremonial NBA draft pick. Austin, a projected first rounder, had to withdraw from the draft after receiving a diagnosis that he has Marfan Syndrome, but Silver’s gesture justly garnered high marks, and Austin was cheered loudly and given a long standing ovation by the Brooklyn crowd. “It just shows how much class that man has,” Austin said. “When he did it, my head just dropped because, you know, it was almost too much for me to handle. Thankfully, he did it, and I’m thankful for it.” It was a really great moment. Austin has already received multiple job offers, including from Silver, who wants to hire him after he finishes his degree in business at Baylor.
  • Of all people, actor and musician Steve Martin probably won NBA Draft Twitter. Go figure.
  • I have said all along that I think the Jazz will make multiple moves this summer, and it sounds like they were plenty engaged tonight in a number of different scenarios. They ultimately got who they wanted without needing to deal, but they still have a depth charts that looks to be screaming out for some experience. Here is the current look at the depth chart, including players for whom the Jazz have rights of refusal/draft rights (*) and players who are unguaranteed or have a team option (**). It’s at 16 already, and extremely young and green. So I wouldn’t be altogether surprised if the Jazz started treating some of their young players like assets to put the right kind of role players around the ones that they consider their true core.
    • C: Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert
    • PF: Enes Kanter, Jeremy Evans, Ante Tomic*, Malcolm Thomas**, Erik Murphy**
    • SF: Gordon Hayward*, Hood*
    • SG: Alec Burks, Ian Clark**
    • PG: Trey Burke, Exum*, Raul Neto*, John Lucas III**, Diante Garrett**
  • Having said that, I don’t believe for a second that the Hood selection makes Utah less likely to match an offer to Hayward. Hood could be a nice piece, but he’s rated by the GMs in Ford’s draft tier survey as a tier 4, or a guy who projects to be a rotation player or fringe starter. Hayward, as Ken Clayton and I discussed before the draft, is probably widely viewed as a  tier 2: a potential All-Star. He’ll be back.
  • While we’re on the topic, and for whatever it’s worth… Exum rated as a tier 2 also, but with several votes in tier 1 (surefire All-star/potential franchise player). I heard there are several teams that had him top 3 on their boards, and even a couple that had him in their top two at some points during the pre-draft process.
  • Having Exum-Favors-Hayward at your core might be a better start than having Jabari Parker and Hayward at your core but with no Favors. Might be. It will be interesting to see how ready Exum is. But I’m glad the Jazz got one of their top targets without having to mortgage the farm.

Click below for the above-mentioned private interview clip with Exum.

Author information

Dan Clayton
Dan Clayton
Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City where his hobbies include complaining about League Pass, finding good doughnut shops and dishing out assists for the Thoreau It Down team in the Word Bookstore basketball league.
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http://saltcityhoops.com/nba-draft-jazz-land-exum-hood/feed/ 18 Twice in the first round of Thursday's NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz were looking up at players they coveted and hoping for a good bounce or two. Both times, they got the bounces. - Australian guard Dante Exum (no. Twice in the first round of Thursday's NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz were looking up at players they coveted and hoping for a good bounce or two. Both times, they got the bounces. Australian guard Dante Exum (no. 5) and Duke product Rodney Hood (23) both made their way to Utah's spots. The Jazz happily added both players to their growing arsenal of young, promising talent. Exum, despite being somewhat unknown, was largely considered one of the top four prospects in the draft, so grabbing him at five was an unexpected coup for the Jazz. Exum is lightning quick and explosive, and his real strength is that at 6-6 with legitimate point guard skills, he can be really disruptive at creating angles and exploiting his size and finishing ability. He thinks he'll fit in Utah's new culture, too. "I spoke to coach (Quin Snyder) and he had a lot of positive things to say, and how he was a point guard and how he thinks he can help me, so it's been good," the Aussie phenom said. He mentioned specifically a desire to play an up-tempo game, something that Snyder has said he hopes to institute more, and later he told me about his comfort level in the pick-and-roll. The Jazz made it clear going into this draft process that they were looking for potential franchise talent. "All-stars," Walt Perrin panned on more than one occasion to Salt Lake media. With Exum unexpectedly slipping to the fifth pick, they might have a shot at just that. Exum, though, is prepared to put in the work and let time run its course. "That's the future," Exum said in response to whether he's a franchise player in the making. "You never know what's going to happen in the future. I take it one day at a time. I'm trying to do what I can now so I can get to that caliber... But I'm just going to work hard every day and see what happens." There are those who would say Exum is being overly modest here, and ESPN's Fran Fraschilla leads that club. Fraschilla famously compared Exum to a young Michael Jordan, about the highest praise you can dole out in basketball. I had a chance to catch up with Fraschilla on draft night and ask him what he saw that prompted that parallel. "He's got a unique skill set, because at 6-foot-6 he can play either guard spot," Fraschilla told me. "He's got a chance to be better and better because he's going to physically mature." The analyst expects some "real ups and downs" for Exum and the Jazz starting out, but adds that "over the long haul, I think Dante Exum has the skill level, athleticism, work ethic and character to be a perfect fit in a city that loves its team." For all those reasons, even the modest Exum didn't think he'd be available at the fifth pick. He mentioned that as the reason he and his agent didn't schedule a pre-draft visit to Utah. But at the same time, he was ready for anything. "I knew I was the mystery in this draft and I could drop," he said. "It's been frustrated being that mystery and having that label, but I'm over it now. Hopefully I can get out in summer league and show them I'm not a mystery anymore." Hood's availability at 23 caught the Jazz by surprise as well. His projected range started at the 13th pick, and Ford's final mock had him going 18th. I had heard that the Jazz liked him enough to consider maneuvering to get him, but that wasn't necessary after a couple of teams made unexpected picks leading up to the Jazz's spot, allowing Hood to land right where fellow Duke product Snyder wanted him. Now Hood will travel to Salt Lake City, a city he's never been to, to learn more about a team that he says is "right on the verge" of success. The 6-8 swingman got emotional when talking about his road from rural Mississippi to the NBA. "Man, it's unbelievable," he said, choking back tears. "You think of this little kid playing in the Boys and Girls Club, wanting to be like your big brother and getting a chance to walk across that stage and give some people hope from where I'm from. Salt City Hoops no 2:30
SCH Mailbag: Cap & Trade Questions http://saltcityhoops.com/sch-mailbag-cap-trade-questions/ http://saltcityhoops.com/sch-mailbag-cap-trade-questions/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 15:30:55 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=12027 Author information
Dan Clayton
Dan Clayton
Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City where his hobbies include complaining about League Pass, finding good doughnut shops and dishing out assists for the Thoreau It Down team in the Word Bookstore basketball league.
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If Favors is really on the block, how would that work? Submit your cap questions here. (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

If Favors is really on the block, how would that work? (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

You asked. We answer.

As we prime for what should be a wild last few hours leading up the NBA Draft and the start to an equally wild free agency period, we asked you what questions you had about the collectively bargained rules that govern transactions between teams and players. We got some great questions submitted here at SCH and on Twitter, and we’re ready to dive in.

“With the talk about Favors and #5 for #1, I was wondering about salary matching requirements? Do draft picks nullify salary matching requirements, or are the requirements just not strictly enforced in the offseason?” -Andrew

We’ll know before the sun sets again whether the Favors-Cavs rumor has legs, but in the meantime, Andrew asks an important question about salary rules as they pertain to draft trades.

Short answer, Andrew: yes, the rules you’re referring to always apply. However, they only apply to teams over the salary cap who wish to add salary. A traded player exception is the mechanism that a team would use to further exceed the cap to add salary, provided that the incoming salary is within a certain percentage of the players they’re sending out. But you don’t need a TPE to acquire a player if you have enough salary cap space to acquire him outright.

The Jazz, on draft night, don’t have the salary cap space to acquire additional salary outside the TPE range, and neither does Cleveland, so a trade between those teams before June 30 would have to include roughly matching salaries. But there’s an easy way around that, and it’s used frequently for draft trades. Both Utah and Cleveland have the ability to create cap space beginning on July 1, so they can verbally agree to a deal on draft day, but wait to make it official until after the July moratorium. That way, they don’t have to worry about the math because they’ll both have room.

The Thunder did this in 2010 when they needed to wait until after the moratorium to have room to absorb Morris Peterson in exchange for the 11th pick. So it’s a fairly common mechanism for teams who will have cap space next week. For all other teams, “salary matching” — or using a TPE to add salary in a trade — is still in effect if they are over the cap and adding salary.

Now, whether you think the Jazz should trade Favors to get the #1 is another matter entirely. And while we’re on the topic of Favors…

“How about answering how the Poison Pill affects Derrick Favors trades on draft night?” -Peter

If you know Peter, you know that he knows these answers, so he’s clearly testing me. Let’s see how I do.

This is another rule that applies specifically to a player who has signed an extension on the back of a rookie contract but whose extension hasn’t yet taken effect. That means Favors, IF he is officially traded before July 1. Basically, the outgoing team has to use a different number in TPE calculations than the receiving team, which makes salary matching harder.

The receiving team would have to calculate the trade on their end using the average of Favors’ 2013-14 salary and all four years of the extension (reported at around $48M plus incentives), so somewhere around $11 million. That means that to acquire him using a TPE, that team would have to send out about $7.3M in salary. That’s more than Jarrett Jack makes, so the Cavs would have to add salary to their end, something they may not be willing to do. The Jazz, meanwhile, have to treat his salary at his current $6M, which means the most they can take back is about $9.1M. This provision narrows the window for finding a mutually acceptable deal, and makes it harder to deal players with pending extensions.

But like on the last question, there’s a way around it. Again, the Jazz can simply agree to a deal but wait to carry it out until July. At that point, both teams have cap space to facilitate the trade, and Favors no longer qualifies as a Poison Pill player since his extension will have kicked in.

“What is a good amount for Gordon Hayward in your opinion? And what do you think he will get? Do the Jazz match that offer?” -@ghostofLHM

Great question. Andy Larsen and I broke down the financial aspect a bit last fall after Hayward and the Jazz failed to reach an agreement. It sounds like Hayward’s camp was asking for something less than the max — so probably in the high 50s for a four-year deal. The noise at the time indicated that the Jazz were offering something in the mid to high 40s. So you can see about where the middle ground lies.

Obviously there’s more sample to draw from since those negotiations, and that was a bit of a mixed result. Hayward probably validated some fears that he’s not a #1 option, but played well enough in overall terms that he’s on some teams’ radars. However, the Jazz haven’t made any indication that they will decline to match, and that will deter some suitors who don’t want a cap hold hanging around their necks for 72 hours when they could be approaching other free agents.

I think the final deal for Gordon winds up no lower than that natural compromise they couldn’t settle into last fall: low to mid 50s. That’s the low end. I wouldn’t be surprised if he got an offer closer to 60M, either.

And yes, I think the Jazz match. The Jazz can also now offer a fifth year without using up their Designated Player distinction, so they might try to get him to compromise on dollars to get the extra year, but in that case Hayward would probably want an Early Termination Option so that he could opt out and get paid if he played above his contract figure.

“Another question related to Hayward. I know the Jazz can’t match and then trade, but could they do a sign and trade with him?” -@shottyjon

Yes, the Jazz can work with Hayward’s agent and an interested team to orchestrate a sign-and-trade. The incentive for Hayward to do this is he can choose his destiny and not sweat the “will they match” question for 72 hours. For the Jazz, they’d get assets back instead of letting Hayward walk for nothing. And the advantage to the other team is that it guarantees they get their guy, versus being at the Jazz’s mercy.

Also, technically the Jazz can match Hayward’s contract and then trade him beginning December 15, but they need his consent on any trade for one year after matching.

But again, I think the most likely outcome of all this is Hayward sticking in Utah long term.

“How effective is the CBA at really limiting teams’ salaries? For instance, with Anthony and James both opting out of their contracts, what is stopping a team like the Nets or Mavs from keeping their current payroll the way it is, while simultaneously offering each of those men $50 million a year?” -musiccynic

The CBA sets maximum salaries for each player, as well as a salary cap construct that makes it very difficult to continue adding salary once your team salary exceeds a certain level. In LeBron and Melo’s case, the maximum any team can offer them would be a deal starting at 35% of the new salary cap, or 105% of their last season salary, whichever is greater. And the only teams that can offer that much are their current teams or anybody who has enough salary cap room to accommodate that amount. So there are definitely controls in place that keep deep-pocketed teams from saying, “I don’t care what it costs, go get that guy.” If a team is caught finding other ways to compensate a player, there are serious penalties. The league doesn’t mess around with that stuff.

“What happened to Raul Neto? The Jazz supposedly “picked” him last year. Do they still have some rights to him? If so, how does that work with him having a contract with a professional team overseas for the last year? Does Neto factor into what the Jazz are building this year?” -musiccynic

The Jazz still hold the player right to Neto, as well as Ante Tomic. Whenever Neto and Tomic decide to come over, the Jazz have exclusive NBA rights to sign them, unless they have traded or waived those rights by then.

Neto is in Salt Lake City right now, ostensibly to discuss his future plans with Jazz brass and maybe to participate in summer training camp. Tomic had a strong season in Europe, and the Jazz sound like they’re at a “now-or-never” juncture with the skilled big man from Croatia. So to answer your question, yes, they could very well factor into Utah’s plans, either as players or as assets that can be dealt.

“Are teams going to trade the players they selected post draft? For example, we come to Cleveland a few days after the draft and offer Burks, Embiid, and Favors for Andrew Wiggins and Jarrett Jack? Would Cleveland be less likely to do the trade, just because it’s after the draft?” -Mewko

It’s possible, sure. This used to be harder because first round picks were counted in trades at their slotted salary amount, so it was hard to move picks after the draft because you had to worry about matching salaries. But now, unsigned picks now count as $0 salary in trades. This makes it a lot easier to do the type of deal you’re suggesting as long as a pick is unsigned. Once they’re signed, they cannot be traded for 30 days, at which point they count for whatever their salary is on the new contract.

But to your last point, you’re right that it’s a little awkward to draft a guy, excite your fans, hold a press conference, and then trade him. It occasionally happens with later picks. Last season, the Blazers hadn’t signed draft pick Jeff Withey, so they were able to trade him to New Orleans. But it’s a lot less common. Most teams don’t keep the store open indefinitely after the draft, especially with a top pick.

“I am intrigued by the Asik and Lins deal. They basically have massive deferred compensation in the last year. Does the CBA really not allow Houston to pay the deferred compensation they are only limited to the $3.3 M in cash? If so, how on earth can Houston trade them?” -@shottyjon

Jon wins the clairvoyance award, because as I was sitting down with this batch of questions, Asik was dealt to New Orleans for a future pick and cash.

For reasons we won’t go into, Asik and Lin’s deals were structure in an odd way when Houston signed them as restricted free agents. The result is that each guy will count for $8.37M on the team’s cap sheet, but they actually stand to get paid close to $15M this year.

As Jon points out, that makes them incredibly hard to trade, because a team has to have the cap room (or matching salary) to get the $8.37M on their books, but more importantly, you have to find someone willing to actually shell out $15M in cash for guys who are fringe starters. Houston can help offset that, but only the tune of $3.2M in total cash for trades through June 30, and then $3.3M total for July 1 through next June 30.

So it’s difficult, but obviously doable since the Asik deal just went through. It’s being reported that Houston used about half of the $3.2M limit for this cap year to get New Orleans to take Asik off their hands. They could use the other half to unload Lin, or they could wait until that cash limit resets and they can pay someone $3.3M to absorb the remaining commitment to Lin. It could be an interesting way for the Jazz to get an asset since it won’t harm Utah’s cap situation much, but I doubt they have a real strong desire for Lin as a player.

“Is there an all-encompassing source available online where one can learn the ins and out of all these rules?” -musiccynic

A good chance for me to rep my favorite sources. Most of what I know about these cap rules is stuff I’ve learned from www.cbafaq.com, from Larry Coon’s online chats and articles, from other materials at ESPN.com, and from years of tinkering myself. For anyone interested in learning the ins and outs of the CBA, www.cbafaq.com is an irreplaceable resource, but this is complicated stuff, so you’ll occasionally botch something. The best way to learn is to mess around and learn as you go. People like @Peter_J_Novak, @nsanba and @k_clayt still keep me honest all the time by pointing out when I missed an obscure clause that changes an answer.

Author information

Dan Clayton
Dan Clayton
Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City where his hobbies include complaining about League Pass, finding good doughnut shops and dishing out assists for the Thoreau It Down team in the Word Bookstore basketball league.
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Everything Draft Day http://saltcityhoops.com/everything-draft-day/ http://saltcityhoops.com/everything-draft-day/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 19:56:50 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=11990 Author information
Clint Johnson
Clint Johnson
Clint Johnson is a professional author, writing educator, and editor. In addition to his writing center work at Salt Lake Community College, he designed, coordinates, and teaches in an experimental author residency program for a West Valley City public charter school. A frequent presenter at both writing and educational conferences, he writes about the Jazz as a break from his other writing work.
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(Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

I’ve covered these draft prospects for SCH for nine months, and finally, The Day dawns tomorrow.  What follows is everything draft related left in my notebook or bounding about in my brain.

The Too-Late to Take It Back Mock

1. Cavaliers – Andrew Wiggins, SG/SF

2. Bucks – Jabari Parker, SF/PF

3. 76ers – Dante Exum, PG/SG

4. Magic – Joel Embiid, C

5. Jazz – Julius Randle, PF

6. Celtics – Marcus Smart, PG/SG

7. Lakers – Noah Vonleh, PF/C

8. Kings – Doug McDermott, SF/PF

9. Hornets – Nik Stauskas, SG

10. 76ers – Aaron Gordon, SF/PF

11. Nuggets – Gary Harris, SG

12. Magic – Elfrid Payton, PG

13. Timberwolves – Zach LaVine, PG/SG

14. Suns – Rodney Hood, SF

15. Hawks – Jusuf Nurkic, C

16. Bulls – Tyler Ennis, PG

17. Celtics – Dario Saric, SF/PF

18. Suns – Adreian Payne, PF

19. Bulls – T. J. Warren, SF/PF

20. Raptors – Shabazz Napier, PG

21. Thunder – P. J. Hairston, SG

22. Grizzlies – James Young, SG/SF

23. Jazz – Kyle Anderson, SF

24. Hornets – Clint Capela, PF/C

25. Rockets – Jerami Grant, SF

26. Heat – K. J. McDaniels, SF

27. Suns – Walter Tavares, C

28. Clippers – Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG

29. Thunder – Jordan Adams, SG

30. Spurs – Cleanthony Early, SF/PF

My Reasoning for These Jazz Picks

Let’s start with an admission: Julius Randle at number five is a bald-faced guess.

I’m fairly confident the first four players I have off the board will be the first four selected.  Ironically, that means after all the turmoil of the last week or so, the Jazz end up right where most people assumed before the NCAA Tournament: given their pick of players outside the “consensus” likely franchise prospects.

I believe the Jazz are near desperate to trade for the first overall pick to select Wiggins or Parker, but I’ve thought for months the price would be too high and won’t change my stance now.  Even with the diminished value of that pick given Embiid’s injury, I would be stunned if the Jazz make an offer Cleveland would accept.  (The Bucks are ecstatic right where they are.)  I firmly believe it will take two players, one being Favors, as well as pick five and another pick (#23 or future protected) to ensure a trade happens.  Anything less will make smoke but not fire, that’s my guess.  Which leaves the Jazz with their pick of the players none of the worst teams in the league really wanted.

I can realistically see the Jazz selecting any one of four players.  Aaron Gordon for his defense, motor, and attitude.  Noah Vonleh for his shooting, work ethic, and measurables.  Marcus Smart for his defense, forceful personality, and versatility.  But after a lot of thought, I committed to Julius Randle as the Jazz’s selection.  Here’s my reasoning:

1) According to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News, the Jazz front office is split on whether to include Alec Burks with Favors and the fifth pick to pursue the first pick in the draft.  That suggests Burks has a camp of big believers in management.  Add that to my suspicion that Burks can be extended at a more affordable rate than Enes Kanter, and I suspect the team will look to upgrade at power forward rather than in the backcourt.  That eliminates Marcus Smart at number five.

2) Rumor is one major criteria the Jazz are using for the fifth pick is shooting.  Aaron Gordon is, at best, a questionable shooter.  Add that to my belief that the Jazz project him as an athletic but undersized power forward and it means a player who can neither space the floor nor hold up against the larger and stronger power forwards in the league.  My guess is that induces the team to pass on him.

3) That leaves Vonleh and Randle.  Common sentiment is that choice favors Vonleh, who excited teams at the combine with his measurements and then reinforced that with multiple strong workouts.  I think the Jazz will be wise enough to prioritize mounds of tape from actual competition over the controlled environments of the combine and workouts.

In games, Vonleh proved not only far less skilled and game-savvy than Randle, but also slower, less explosive, and more awkward.  I watched both players a lot throughout the season, and the only skill Vonleh demonstrated that would cause me to consider him over Randle is his shooting, particularly from long range.  But even that is based on an extremely small sample size, and I think Dennis Lindsey is wise and disciplined enough not to draft Vonleh as a stretch-four centerpiece of the Jazz based on 33 shots taken over the course of 30 games.

Randle was more hyped coming into his freshman season, outplayed Vonleh in nearly every way in college, and proved the most consistent and best player on a team that went to the NCAA title game.  I think the Jazz will weigh competitive mettle over component tasks, and that means Randle.  The foot injury changed my mind for a while, but the suggestions of surgery sound purely preventative, which doesn’t scare me nearly as much as Joel Embiid’s dual serious injuries.

As for Kyle Anderson at #23, it’s a guess based on several factors: analytics really like him; he has a diverse offensive skillset and incredibly high offensive IQ, both of which compliment Quin Snyder’s approach to the game; unless Raul Neto comes over, the team could use Anderson to initiate offense off the bench; and I think he would carry good value in future potential trades.

My Top Ten Most Wished for Prospects for the Jazz

1. Andrew Wiggins

2. Jabari Parker

3. Marcus Smart

4. Julius Randle

5. Dante Exum

6. Aaron Gordon

7. Noah Vonleh

8. Nik Stauskas

9. Doug McDermott

10. Joel Embiid

5 Predictions for Draft Night

1. A team will foolishly select Zach LaVine in the lottery.

2. Elfrid Payton will be selected before Tyler Ennis, which will be tough for the Syracuse product who was at one point in the NCAA season rivaling Marcus Smart as top point guard not from Australia.

3. James Young will be the last player in the green room to hear his name called.

4. Adam Silver will look even smaller than David Stern did next to pro players, despite being notably taller.  The man is a rail.

5. Marcus Smart will honor his deceased brother, Todd, in some public way.  I’m not sure how, but it will happen.

Bonus prediction: My mock won’t survive the first five picks.

5 Predictions for this Draft Class

1. Andrew Wiggins will be the best player in this class and an All-NBA honoree.

2. Joel Embiid, Dante Exum, and Noah Vonleh form this draft’s Brown-Oden Triangle.  One of the three will be a bust in every sense of the word; another will be a significant disappointment in relation to his draft position.  I expect one – and only one – to come anywhere close to meeting his prodigious potential.

3. Marcus Smart and Julius Randle will both end up top five players in this draft class, and one will be a top three player.  A team that takes either one with pick six or later will get a steal.

4. Three or more players taken outside the top ten will eventually become All-Stars, including one player selected in the second round.

5. Only one tankarific team in this year’s lottery will make the playoffs the coming season.  The rest will leverage a high pick in this coveted class right back to the lottery next season.

My Joel Embiid Vision

The night of June 18th I had a dream.  In my dream, I learned my brother and his wife were adopting Joel Embiid.  My confusion turned to panic when I met “Joel” and found him to be a twelve-year-old pregnant girl with a congenital health disorder.  I woke confused, went to work, turned on my computer, and learned Embiid had broken his foot and would have surgery the following day.

Drafting Embiid is a bad idea.  I know.  I have seen.

Random Thoughts

1. The “Core Four” / “Franchise Five” moniker should end on draft night.  I hope we don’t start hearing something inane like the “Super Six,” because at least one of the Jazz’s young players will be traded this summer, quite possibly during the draft.

2. If the Jazz don’t make a trade during the draft, I’ll be surprised.  No clue what form this might take, though.

3. Remarkably, every young prospect on the Jazz will be watching the draft with at least a little trepidation.  Between talk of trading up for the first pick and the number of players in play with the fifth pick, Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter, and Derrick Favors may all have their futures significantly affected by what the Jazz do over the course of a few hours.

4. The team’s decision with the fifth pick will go a long way to helping fans pin down the team’s identity and trajectory going forward – is the talk of a defensive culture more than talk?  Which of their current young players do they not see as part of the Jazz future?  What style and scheme might Quin Snyder employ, which will certainly be based largely on personnel?  Are the Jazz looking to win substantially more games this season or are they prepared to be patient over several more years of rebuilding? Unless, of course, they select Joel Embiid.

5. If they do select Embiid, I will represent near-perfect ambivalence between excitement and terror.

6. I’ve anticipated this draft more than any other in my lifetime, yet I will be heartily grateful when it is finally over.

7. I believe more strongly than ever that the lottery is an abject dysfunction in the NBA and desperately needs change.  Preferably eradication.

8. Next year’s draft is going to make everyone really grumpy.

9. I find it strangely amusing that fans in Salt Lake City, Utah will be green with envy of Milwaukee, Wisconsin if and when the Bucks draft Jabari Parker and he expresses how pleased he is to play there.  Residence in SLC frequently does come with geographic and demographic inferiority complexes, but rarely for Milwaukee.

10. Whatever the results of June 26th, I am stoked for the upcoming Jazz season!

Author information

Clint Johnson
Clint Johnson
Clint Johnson is a professional author, writing educator, and editor. In addition to his writing center work at Salt Lake Community College, he designed, coordinates, and teaches in an experimental author residency program for a West Valley City public charter school. A frequent presenter at both writing and educational conferences, he writes about the Jazz as a break from his other writing work.
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SCH Draft Podcast: The Brothers Clayton on Jazz Tiers http://saltcityhoops.com/sch-draft-podcast-the-brothers-clayton-on-jazz-tiers/ http://saltcityhoops.com/sch-draft-podcast-the-brothers-clayton-on-jazz-tiers/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 13:49:49 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=12016 Author information
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett is a life-long Jazz fan and general sports fanatic based in Salt Lake City. He also writes for Nylon Calculus (Hardwood Paroxysm/Fansided Network), and can be heard on the airwaves for the SCH podcast and appearances with ESPN AM 700. With a strong background in both statistics and on-court fundemantals, he writes primarily as an in-depth strategic analyst. He can be found on Twitter at @Ben_Dowsett.
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Hayward's value has no doubt increased since Draft Day 2010. What about the other core Jazz guys? (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Hayward’s value has no doubt increased since Draft Day 2010. What about the other core Jazz guys? (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

On this special edition mid-week podcast leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft, Dan and Ken Clayton dive into Chad Ford’s annals to see how key current Jazz members were ranked when they entered into the NBA. Has their value changed since then, and what does their value mean relative to this Draft and the Jazz’s attempts to land a franchise player? We examine the current core through the draft tier lens in this special installment of the SCH podcast, and of course Ben Dowsett will have a full draft recap in this Friday’s usual installment from ESPN 700’s Salt Lake City studio.

(Note: the conversation is based on the tier system used by many teams and popularized by ESPN’s Chad Ford. Tier 1 players are those who a majority of GMs see as surefire All-stars or potential franchise players. Tier 2 is made up of possible All-stars. Tier 3 is a group of projected NBA starters. Tier 4 would be potential starters or top-tier rotation players. Tier 5 players project as rotation players, and Tier 6 is anybody else widely regarded as in the top 60 in a particular draft.)

Author information

Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett is a life-long Jazz fan and general sports fanatic based in Salt Lake City. He also writes for Nylon Calculus (Hardwood Paroxysm/Fansided Network), and can be heard on the airwaves for the SCH podcast and appearances with ESPN AM 700. With a strong background in both statistics and on-court fundemantals, he writes primarily as an in-depth strategic analyst. He can be found on Twitter at @Ben_Dowsett.
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http://saltcityhoops.com/sch-draft-podcast-the-brothers-clayton-on-jazz-tiers/feed/ 0 On this special edition mid-week podcast leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft, Dan and Ken Clayton dive into Chad Ford's annals to see how key current Jazz members were ranked when they entered into the NBA. Has their value changed since then, On this special edition mid-week podcast leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft, Dan and Ken Clayton dive into Chad Ford's annals to see how key current Jazz members were ranked when they entered into the NBA. Has their value changed since then, and what does their value mean relative to this Draft and the Jazz's attempts to land a franchise player? We examine the current core through the draft tier lens in this special installment of the SCH podcast, and of course Ben Dowsett will have a full draft recap in this Friday's usual installment from ESPN 700's Salt Lake City studio. (Note: the conversation is based on the tier system used by many teams and popularized by ESPN's Chad Ford. Tier 1 players are those who a majority of GMs see as surefire All-stars or potential franchise players. Tier 2 is made up of possible All-stars. Tier 3 is a group of projected NBA starters. Tier 4 would be potential starters or top-tier rotation players. Tier 5 players project as rotation players, and Tier 6 is anybody else widely regarded as in the top 60 in a particular draft.) Salt City Hoops no 40:30
Clint Capela: Upside Pick http://saltcityhoops.com/clint-capela-upside-pick/ http://saltcityhoops.com/clint-capela-upside-pick/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:08:58 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=11998 Author information
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett is a life-long Jazz fan and general sports fanatic based in Salt Lake City. He also writes for Nylon Calculus (Hardwood Paroxysm/Fansided Network), and can be heard on the airwaves for the SCH podcast and appearances with ESPN AM 700. With a strong background in both statistics and on-court fundemantals, he writes primarily as an in-depth strategic analyst. He can be found on Twitter at @Ben_Dowsett.
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Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images

Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images

There’s so much going on in recent days in Jazzland that keeping up with all of it can be tough if you aren’t glued to a computer screen most of the day. Yesterday’s latest bombshell, released on the air by 1280 host Spencer Checketts, has the Jazz firmly entrenched in talks with Cleveland in pursuit of the top overall pick, having reportedly offered the hefty sum of Derrick Favors and the fifth pick, and potentially mulling the inclusion of Alec Burks in exchange for the top spot overall and guard Jarrett Jack. This is in addition to reports that Utah has also made offers to Milwaukee for the second pick, which comes in addition to reports that potential fifth pick (should they keep it) Aaron Gordon was back in Salt Lake for a second, extended workout. And that’s just the start.

You get the idea – it’s a crazy time of year, one that got exponentially nuttier after Joel Embiid’s injury news last week shook everything up. But as goofy as it is, technically no moves have been made yet. This means that, at least as of this writing, the Jazz will still be selecting fifth, 23rd and 35th. And since predicting the future isn’t one of my stronger suits, and since so much has been said about the options at five, let’s get a breath of fresh air from a different angle: if the Jazz indeed pick 23rd, there are several possible impact players who will remain on the board. I touched on a few potential choices here just over a month ago, and though a couple of them almost certainly are no longer options, some of the same general ideas apply. The Jazz, should they keep this pick, have a chance to add a piece with real upside.

Another such prospect is Swiss-born big man Clint Capela. Coming off a strong season in France with Elan Chalon, Capela’s stock has soared in recent weeks with an infusion of publicity and hype. It’s well-deserved, too – let’s look at why.

For starters, Capela is one of the few potential first-round selections this year who projects to be able to handle both big positions comfortably. He’s listed at 6’11, and though a solid 7’0 would be nice, he also boasts a hefty 7’4.5 wingspan, easily wide enough to deal with NBA length. Further, both these measurements have increased since 2013 – Capela turned 20 only a month ago, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him grow another inch or two before he’s done.

He’s a bit light for his size, at just 222 pounds, but two points here: first, his body type, unlike someone like Porzingis I mentioned earlier, appears ripe for adding some poundage. He even looks as though he may have weighed more at times within the past year, though such observations are nothing more than speculation. Second, he more than makes up for what may at first be a weight disadvantage against bigger centers with likely my favorite quality of his, a deceptively ridiculous jumping ability. Take a look at a few clips (courtesy of a DraftExpress scouting video):

It’s not just that he can jump high, though he certainly can for his size – it’s the versatility with which he can do so. Capela can jump effortlessly off either foot with great lift, and more than that, seems to lose almost no vertical even when he appears off-balance or unready. This is a huge intangible in my book, the type of thing that makes someone like Serge Ibaka so dangerous defensively (among other things, of course), and Capela could be down the same road as a shot-blocker. His highlight film is also littered with bodily contortions for lobs at the hoop, an area where he will immediately be a threat at the NBA level, and his first and second jumps are as fast as any I’ve seen for someone his size, which will make him a strong dump-off option for penetrating guards given how quickly he can catch and dunk the ball (third clip above is an example of this). Great body control for such a height and age is a theme across several areas:

His mental acumen hasn’t yet caught up to his physical skills, but plays like the one above showcase just how powerful he can be once this happens. He’s a strong rebounder despite giving up weight advantages often, utilizing his superior athleticism to the tune of 12.6 boards per-40-minutes in 33 French league games this year (even higher, 13.1, in 10 games against tougher EuroCup competition).

And to cap off his upside, Capela has solid offensive fundamentals in most areas. He’s a strong finisher at the hoop with either hand, a must since he gets such a huge portion of his offense there. His pick-and-roll footwork can use some tweaking, but this is to be expected at his age, and he’s thus far made up for it with his otherworldly athleticism – should he lock down the footwork within his first few seasons, he will instantly be an elite threat as a roll-man. He’s a menace coming off cuts down low given his lateral quickness and leaping, shooting a ridiculous 73.8 percent coming off screens, per DraftExpress. He’s even got some handles in the bag for special occasions:

Of course, we wouldn’t be talking about him as a potential 23rd pick (instead of top five) if he didn’t have a few downsides. First and foremost is his shooting, which has been abjectly awful in his young career. He has no confidence in his jumper, and shot under 50 percent from the free-throw line last year. But to my eye, which I’ll note again is only partially informed since I haven’t seen him in person or regularly, there don’t seem to be any massive, uncorrectable flaws in his motion. I see no reason why, with work, he can’t reach average or slightly below-average jump-shooting numbers, especially given the variability shooting can have in many cases over time, and “slightly below-average” easily carves a nice place for him in the NBA if his other skills develop on schedule.

Certain other questions about his intangibles and mental acuity have been mentioned, but I find these fairly standard for players his age, particularly foreign players who may encounter slight language issues. Good coaching, as always, should weed many of these out quickly, and the Jazz didn’t just hire a revered player development coach for nothing, after all. The two largest concerns, both raised by Nate Duncan in his international scouting piece, are his overall strength and his “feel” for the game.

On these, though, I tend to lean in the direction of something of a rebuttal made Saturday by Dean Demakis – I don’t think they’re huge issues given the role he’ll play and the way the league is trending. His lack of a post game doesn’t worry me much, and Demakis’ comparison to a lighter and more mobile version of Tyson Chandler is, to me, a strong one. Capela will be a terror in the pick-and-roll and an excellent rim protector, and will likely show even a slightly more diverse offensive game than Chandler due to his mobility.

And further, I think some of the strength and intangible concerns are overplayed. Capela may have lacked full intensity 100 percent of the time, but this is understandable for a clear next-level talent playing in what amounts to a glorified American high-school program. Motivation is much easier to come by in the NBA, and in brief stints where he’s appeared fully engaged, Capela has managed his weight disadvantage quite well. Take his two matchups with another touted prospect from this draft, Jusuf Nurkic, in this year’s EuroCup – Capela gives up nearly 60 pounds to Nurkic, but was active and intense and disrupted the big Bosnian forward. He wasn’t perfect, but even such a limited sample leads me to believe he’ll do just fine against NBA size. Here’s the full video of the Capela-Nurkic matchup, again courtesy of DX:

Selections in the mid-20’s like this are typically meant to be upside picks, and to this eye, Clint Capela embodies that description. He’ll need plenty of polishing, but as I said earlier, Utah’s new staff figures to be well up to the task. With some basic improvements in easily improvable areas, he could be the steal of the draft – Demakis and ESPN’s Kevin Pelton both at least make mention of top-five upside, and I think it’s easily within the realm of possibility. Given his meteoric rise recently, it’s tough to say if he will still be available at 23 for the Jazz, and it only takes one smart GM to snap him up. But if he’s there, pending a stunning drop from a potential lottery player, I think he’d be my first choice if the draft were today. Can’t wait to see how it all shakes out.

capela

ROMAIN LAFABREGUE/AFP/Getty Images

Author information

Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett is a life-long Jazz fan and general sports fanatic based in Salt Lake City. He also writes for Nylon Calculus (Hardwood Paroxysm/Fansided Network), and can be heard on the airwaves for the SCH podcast and appearances with ESPN AM 700. With a strong background in both statistics and on-court fundemantals, he writes primarily as an in-depth strategic analyst. He can be found on Twitter at @Ben_Dowsett.
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SCH Mailbag: Your Questions Needed http://saltcityhoops.com/sch-mailbag-your-questions-needed/ http://saltcityhoops.com/sch-mailbag-your-questions-needed/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 00:49:15 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=11993 Author information
Dan Clayton
Dan Clayton
Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City where his hobbies include complaining about League Pass, finding good doughnut shops and dishing out assists for the Thoreau It Down team in the Word Bookstore basketball league.
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If Favors is really on the block, how would that work? Submit your cap questions here. (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

If Favors is really on the block, how would that work? Submit your cap questions here. (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

It’s time to get down to business.

The next two to three weeks will be among the most interesting of the year for NBA fans, particularly those of rebuilding team. There is already a persistent hum of rumors involving the Jazz, and the volume will only increase leading up to the draft and free agency. It can also get increasingly complex, with a complicated set of rules governing every potential transaction. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

This week we’ll be reaching into the SCH Mailbag to answer your questions about the salary and trade rules that will dictate what the Jazz do over the coming weeks as they build their team and their future. We want to know what Jazz-related questions you have about cap space, draft-day trades, post-draft trades, cap holds, free agency, restricted free agency, and any other CBA-related issues.

Submit your question in the comments below, or Tweet/DM @danclayt0n (that’s a zero). I’ll grab as many as possible and attach answers well before the Draft on Thursday so you know what the options are before Adam Silver takes the podium.

And…go!

Author information

Dan Clayton
Dan Clayton
Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City where his hobbies include complaining about League Pass, finding good doughnut shops and dishing out assists for the Thoreau It Down team in the Word Bookstore basketball league.
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Podiatry Primer: A Med Student on Embiid’s Injury http://saltcityhoops.com/a-med-student-on-embiids-injury/ http://saltcityhoops.com/a-med-student-on-embiids-injury/#comments Sat, 21 Jun 2014 14:46:13 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=11971 Author information
Dan Clayton
Dan Clayton
Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City where his hobbies include complaining about League Pass, finding good doughnut shops and dishing out assists for the Thoreau It Down team in the Word Bookstore basketball league.
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(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Special to SCH: Former Jazzbot writer Danny Hansen is a fourth-year medical student at the Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine at Midwestern University. As a specialist in the area of medicine specific to Joel Embiid’s injury, he brings his knowledge to bear in this special guest post on the medical realities of Embiid’s injury and whether the Jazz should consider drafting him.

Early Thursday, news appeared that top draft prospect Joel Embiid had a broken foot. GMs and the media were sent scrambling to gather more information. Draft boards across the league and mock drafts across the Internet were in disarray as we waited to discover which of the foot’s 26 bones was actually broken. It was later revealed that the Kansas phenom had a stress fracture of his navicular bone.

A panic then followed. The navicular bone has been known to affect the careers of Yao Ming, Bill Walton, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and former Jazzman Curtis Borchardt. Embiid’s status has been elevated to “ultimate risk”. However, looking at his condition, how much of a risk is it really to draft Embiid? If he were to fall to the Jazz at #5, should they select him? To better answer these questions, we need to analyze his situation and condition. What is the navicular bone? How long does it take to heal? Will this be a chronic problem for him?

The Navicular and Stress Fractures

The navicular is a comma-shaped bone on the medial side of your midfoot. It serves as the location for various ligament and tendon attachments. It is the keystone of the medial longitudinal arch. The blood supply for the navicular comes from branches off an artery on top of the navicular, which come together with branches off an artery on the bottom of the navicular. This pattern creates an area in the center of the bone where blood supply is poor, also known as a watershed area. Watershed areas are more prone to fracture and take longer to heal. 

Navicular stress fractures usually run in a vertical pattern, and involve the body of the navicular, or the center area of the bone.  These kinds of stress fractures in the navicular account for 15% of all stress fractures in the foot. There are 3 kinds of these stress fractures. A Type I fracture means only the upper portion of the bone is fractured and it only descends minimally into the body of the bone. Type II is like a Type I, but it does descend into the body of the bone. Both a Type I and Type II are called incomplete fractures. Finally, a Type III involves the upper portion of the bone, descends through the center of the bone, and fractures on the far side of the bone. It is called a complete fracture. 

A Type I or Type II can be treated by putting the patient in a cast and keeping them off it for 6 weeks and slowly transitioning to weight bearing and physical therapy. A Type III is most often fixed with surgery. However, as is the case with Joel Embiid and other young athletes who will be putting a lot of stress on their feet in the future, surgical repair with a screw across the fracture site is usually done in all three types.  So, Embiid’s choice to have have surgery doesn’t necessarily mean that he has a Type III fracture. It is more likely, given his status as a young professional athlete and the fact it hadn’t been picked up until recently, that surgery is done to ensure it heals properly and quickly. 

Healing Time

Average return to activity for patients treated surgically and non-surgically for a Type I fracture was 3.0 months. For a Type II, healing time was 3.6 months. And for a Type III fracture, return to activity was found to be about 6.8 months. Patients who had surgical correction were found to return to activity quicker than those who were treated conservatively.  Other things, such as bone grafting and bone stimulation, can be done to aid in fracture repair. 

Reports surfaced after Embiid’s operation on Friday that he had 2 screws placed in his navicular and that his recovery time is 4 to 6 months. Once can speculate that perhaps Embiid had a Type II stress fracture of the navicular. This is definitely a better prognosis than a Type III. His recovery time indicates how soon he can return to activity and isn’t necessarily the time until he will play in the NBA. Any team that selects is going to be extremely patient to ensure the bone has adequate strength before allowing him to return to the court. 

Complications

Because of the unique blood supply in this part of the foot, and possible disruption of that blood supply, there is a chance of the fracture not healing. There is also the risk of the bone undergoing avascular necrosis, death of the bone due to lack of blood supply, as was the case with Curtis Borchardt. Refracturing the navicular is also a possibility. Yao Ming had numerous tiny fractures in the navicular that required multiple screws.

Studies show, however, that non-healing and avascular necrosis is more the exception than the rule. The problem with these studies, though, is that they weren’t conducted on professional athletes over 7 feet tall.  Joel Embiid, currently at 240 pounds, isn’t as heavy as those mentioned before (Yao Ming weighed 311 lbs, Zydrunas Ilgauskas 260), which means less stress on his feet. He is, however, more of a leaper than those other players, which adds its own forces to the foot and the previous fracture site. There are multiple theories as to the causes of navicular stress fractures. Some speculate anatomical variety, such as a high arched foot, or a short 1st metatarsal bone could contribute to increased stress on the navicular. Though these theories aren’t proven, you can bet teams will be assessing the biomechanical function of Embiid’s feet very carefully. 

Is He Worth the Risk at #5?

Embiid has the chance to be a very special player. Experts have said he reminded them of NBA great and two-time Finals MVP Hakeem Olajuwon. In a league void of impactful centers, he could be the best center in the league in a couple of years. There is no doubt he has the talent to be special. There is a good chance his navicular will heal correctly, quickly, and never be a problem again. However, Joel Embiid is a special case. He is an athletic 7 footer, who is light on his feet. He had a foot fracture that was found only recently. We won’t really know the extent of the injury until doctors get in there and assess the quality of the bone. We haven’t even mentioned his back troubles that kept him out for a big chunk of his season at Kansas, which is a serious risk in and of itself. 

If I have the #1 pick, as the Cavs do, there is a 0% chance that I take Embiid. In this draft, with other potential superstars in the waiting, you can’t miss with the first pick. However, with the 5th pick, once the potential superstars are off the board, I do seriously consider it. Do you take the potential superstar with health risks, or do you take somebody like Noah Vonleh, with just some all-star potential but more of a sure thing health-wise? It comes down to what kind of risk taker you are. When your team is down two with five seconds left, do you go for a three-pointer, or do you play it safe with the two to try and force overtime? What kind of risk taker is Dennis Lindsey? We’ll find out on draft night, but somebody is sure to take the risk.

- Danny Hansen, 4th Year Medical Student, Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine at Midwestern University

Author information

Dan Clayton
Dan Clayton
Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City where his hobbies include complaining about League Pass, finding good doughnut shops and dishing out assists for the Thoreau It Down team in the Word Bookstore basketball league.
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Draft Board Etch-a-Sketch http://saltcityhoops.com/draft-board-etch-a-sketch/ http://saltcityhoops.com/draft-board-etch-a-sketch/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 01:52:47 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=11948 Author information
Dan Clayton
Dan Clayton
Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City where his hobbies include complaining about League Pass, finding good doughnut shops and dishing out assists for the Thoreau It Down team in the Word Bookstore basketball league.
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Well that changes things. Joel Embiid's foot injury shakes up the draft board. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Well that changes things. Joel Embiid’s foot injury shakes up the draft board. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

A lot of NBA fans and pundits were thinking the top of the 2014 Draft was beginning to make some sense.

Then Thursday happened.

And it’s not just Joel Embiid’s newly discovered bum wheel, either. A lot of new perspectives have appeared that could mess up the consensus within the top 5 — and therefore impact the Jazz’s draft outcomes directly.

So today we head around the rumor mill, notebook-style, and try to clean up the pieces as they relate to Utah’s draft position.

Joel Embattled

The biggest news today centers around Embiid, who had already been subjected to a proverbial red flag or two because of back issues, and now has a broken foot to boot

Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski tells us it’s a stress fracture, which I’ll admit does worry me a lot more than some freak trauma fracture. But the reality is that every injury is different. We had this conversation two weeks ago when the NBA Finals started and a bunch of people said, “I’ve had cramps like LeBron James, and I could play through them.” Congratulations. Not the same thing. There’s a pretty broad continuum of severity to any injury. My sprained ankle could be a lot worse than your sprained ankle, your back spasms could be significantly more tame than that guy’s back spasms, and Embiid’s navicular stress fracture… well we just don’t know.

There are other variables, too. Some human beings heal differently from others, some treatment options carry better or worse percentages, and then of course there’s just good old dumb luck.

It’s tempting to immediately draw comparisons to other high draft picks whose careers were derailed by back and foot issues: names like Greg Oden, Sam Bowie, and Jazzman of yore Curtis Borchardt have come up. And sure, those guys represent a new “worst-case scenario” for Embiid. His best-case probably hasn’t changed that much. If the injuries turn out to be a minor obstacle in the long term and he reached his full potential, he could wind up being the best player in this draft and one of the best big men in the league. So that represents the new reality for Embiid: Oden or Hakeem?

The moral of the story: we just don’t know.

Here’s what I do know, though: at some point in the draft, he’s worth the risk. From what we’re hearing, Cleveland has decided he’s not worth the risk at #1. But at #2, is the tantalizing prospect of what he could be in the best case scenario? What about at #3? #4? And, as our SCH community is no doubt wondering… what about at #5?

My educated guess: the Jazz probably don’t wind up having to make that decision. Yes, I think he’ll be gone by #5. Someone sitting in the 2-4 range will weigh the risks and decide it’s worth it. If not? I think the Jazz have to.

They can instead add a very solid player, but as we’ve discussed all year, a roster of solid players rarely presents a legitimate title challenge. At some point you have to swing for the fences and land a star. If I thought that there was another potential franchise changer on the board, I might say go the safe route. But in this case, “safe route” means settling, at least relative to the players’ ceilings. Embiid being there at #5 means that Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum and Noah Vonleh are likely all off the board. Sorry, but I’m not passing on Embiid to take Marcus Smart or Aaron Gordon. I’m rolling the dice.

The fact that half of last year’s top six were that high in spite of major injuries tells me some GMs would agree with me. Again, there’s a point in the draft when the reward/risk calculation starts to lean heavily towards “screw it, let’s try this.”

And honestly, that point is probably before #5.

Rising stock by default

Wiggins and Parker now get to battle for the label of favorite for the overall #1. But Australia’s Exum might benefit from Embiid’s bad news as much as anyone.

Until Embiid’s worst-case scenario dropped clear down to the Oden/Bowie range, Exum was regarded as the player with the widest gap between his ceiling and his floor. Suddenly, Exum looks like a relative “safe” bet. Cleveland wants an up-close look at the 6’6″ guard now and, while he probably doesn’t go #1 overall, he’s now suddenly very much in the mix.

Vonleh is another guy who this helps. Even before word circulated about the injury, Vonleh’s name was already sneaking into the conversation, and he was being regarded as a very real option for the Magic at #4.

Who this doesn’t help

The team this hurts the worst is probably Philly. You could argue that the news devalues Cleveland’s pick substantially, but they’re going to get a potential franchise guy no matter what.

Philadelphia’s supposed target all along has been Wiggins, and this top 3 shakeup all but ensures Wiggins won’t make it to #3. That might make it more likely that the Sixers try to move up or down.

Another team it hurts in terms of the trade landscape: the Jazz. A lot of the scenarios whereby they could get up to take Parker or Wiggins just vanished.

Market rumblings

Another juicy bit came out today that impacts the top of the draft by not impacting the top of the draft.

After the Warriors’ about-face in terms of their willingness to surrender Klay Thompson in a trade for All-star Kevin Love, they have reportedly moved ahead of Boston as frontrunners on Minnesota’s trade board.

This impacts the Jazz because part of Boston’s pitch for Love included the #6 pick, and if it’s not being used to bring Love to Beantown, then suddenly the #6 is back in play. That’s competition for the Jazz on two fronts. It’s another mid lotto pick available to teams wanting to move up, impacting the supply end of that equation. And it’s another mid lotto pick from a multiple-pick team that might be hoping to move up, impacting the demand there. In either direction, that’s not a particularly good thing for Utah. Bidding in a demand-rich market (for 1-4) and taking bids in a supply-rich market (5-10) are not the positions you want to be in, so it could have helped Utah’s options to have the #6 out of play.

Ford on Parker

Finally, we’ll relay one guy’s opinion on Parker, a favorite target of many Jazz fans because of his LDS faith and the assumption that he’d be more likely than any other pick to stay in Utah at the end of his rookie contract.

ESPN’s Chad Ford magnanimously joined Jazz broadcaster David Locke for a two-part mega-podcast in which he chimed in on the theory of Parker’s Utah affinity.

Ford, who is also LDS and who has spent time getting to know Parker, essentially said “not so fast.”

He has spoken to Parker and offered, somewhat cryptically, that he thinks Parker would have no problem leaving Utah for a better basketball situation.

“They feel like Jabari, because he’s LDS, would never leave Salt Lake for more money or somewhere else,” Ford told Locke. “All I have to say to that is: I know Jabari a little bit, and Jabari is a lot like other people. If he thinks his career will be better off or his chances of winning a title are better [elsewhere], I’m sure he would leave Salt Lake.”

Personally, I know plenty of devout Mormons who don’t want to live in Utah. I know plenty of non-Mormons who live in Utah and for whom Utah is one of their very favorite places. Assuming that someone’s Mormon experience and living preferences have to look like yours is frankly a bit myopic.

There’s also a chance that Parker might not want the pressure of becoming, in one June evening, the unofficial ambassador for a team, a state and a religion all at once. If Parker’s value to the Jazz has a lot to do with the fact that he can connect a couple million Utah Mormons with the team, then isn’t he under an intense amount of scrutiny  off the floor? What 20-year-old wants that kind of pressure? So how we do know Parker’s Mormonism makes him more likely to stay, or to want to join the Jazz in the first place?

Jimmer Fredette dealt with the hype admirably but was never expected to be a franchise player. Mark Madsen once sat next to me at a Summer League game and told me about how he stayed grounded and spiritually connected throughout the NBA season, but he was an end-of-bench hustle guy and he never played in Utah. For Jabari, playing in Salt Lake means that for many people, he’d be the unofficial representative of their favorite team, their state, and their Mormon experience. That’s heavy stuff for a 20-year-old who, by the way, has shied away some from being portrayed as the “Mormon phenom.”

That said, there are plenty of basketball reasons to take Jabari. If they find a way to get him, I’m sure it’s becasue they like the idea of building a team around him on the court, and nothing to do with his diligence on his home teaching route. So how does the fan factor play into Utah’s decision?

Ford says: “The Jazz like Jabari… It does factor in that he would be very popular with the fans, [but] I promise you that Wiggins and Embiid will be popular with Jazz fans once they start playing.”

Author information

Dan Clayton
Dan Clayton
Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City where his hobbies include complaining about League Pass, finding good doughnut shops and dishing out assists for the Thoreau It Down team in the Word Bookstore basketball league.
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