Getting ready for the draft lottery

May 16th, 2011 | by K.Malphurs

In the past 25 years have the Jazz had a more important draft than the 2011 draft?

There was the 2004 draft with 3 first round picks that ended up being Kris Humphries (right before Al Jefferson), Kirk Snyder (right before Josh Smith) and Pavel Podkolzin (right after Jameer Nelson). That draft the Jazz would have done better throwing darts. There were 8 players picked in between the Jazz 14th pick and 21st pick. Below are those 8 players sorted by minutes played in the NBA.

In the 2004 draft the Jazz didn’t draft one player that helped the franchise out, which is even more upsetting considering the talent that was available. Besides the names above they also didn’t draft Delonte West, Tony Allen and Kevin Martin.

The 2004 draft was a failure, which led the way to the 2005 draft including a high lottery pick. This draft was the complete opposite of the 2005 draft as the Jazz smartly moved up to draft Deron Williams, and also got a relative steal in C.J. Miles in the 2nd round. This draft has to be in consideration for most important Jazz drafts in the team’s history. It led to four playoff appearances, which included a spot in the Western Conference Finals in 2007.

Those would be the only two drafts that could be argued to be more important than this upcoming draft. For a team that rarely has a lottery pick (4 over the last 25 years) this year is unique in that the team has two lottery picks. Of course it happens to be during one of the more maligned draft classes in recent history, but that doesn’t mean the Jazz can’t find some value.

There will be time for draft analysis, but first let’s see where the Jazz end up picking. They have a 8.3% chance of getting the 1st pick and a 27.9% chance of getting a top 3 pick. They are most likely to end up with the 6th and 12th pick, but Jazz fans can hope for good luck tomorrow night. After that there will be time to talk about what the Jazz should do as they try to prevent themselves from becoming a team is used to being in New Jersey during the NBA playoffs.


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