How Did the Jazz Do in the Draft?: NBA Draft Grades Compilation

July 3rd, 2013 | by David J Smith

It’s been almost a week since Dennis Lindsey, Kevin O’Connor, and the Miller family injected some amazing energy into the Utah Jazz faithful. In many ways, Hope is Renewed, or, at the minimum, greatly increased.

The Utah Jazz started out with the #14, #21, and #46 picks and through a series of maneuvers, finishing the evening with the #9, #27, and #47 pick. and as a result, Trey Burke, Rudy Gobert, and heartthrob Raul Neto. The Jazz clearly had a plan entering Thursday’s affairs and executed it.

The reaction from Jazz fans, whether sitting at EnergySolutions Arena or on Twitter, was overwhelmingly positive. Well, what does the national media think about Utah’s efforts? As you’ve seen, I’ve been posted a weekly compilation of the ever-evolving mock drafts. So it would only be apropos for me to do one last compilation: the various Draft Grades given by the different sites.

Sports Illustrated Team Grades, by Chris Mannix: A-

Chris Mannix liked what the Jazz did, saying the got “arguably the best [point guard] in the draft in Trey Burke,” also saying he is “ready to play right away.” He wasn’t as enamored with Gobert’s pick-up, but suggests it was worth the risk at the end of the Draft.

USA Today Western Conference Grades, by Adi Joseph: A-

Adi Joseph said what a lot of us were thinking: Burke should not have been available at #9. Honestly, it was a near-perfect sequence of events: Anthony Bennett being the surprise top pick, Cody Zeller heading to Charlotte at #4, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope going to Detroit at #8. KCP was rumored to be Minnesota’s top choice and when we was nabbed, it set up the transaction like John Stockton set up Karl Malone. As Joseph points out, the Jazz “acted quickly” with the trade working for both parties. He suggests that “Burke will start right away and give the Jazz a creative tour de force.” He liked the Gobert move, as he could potentially develop slowly.

Yahoo Sports NBA Draft Grades, by Kelly Dwyer: B+

Dwyer: “This is such a Utah Jazz-sort of pick, but in the “everyone’s tied for first!”-glow of summer, I love it.” Like many out there, he believed McCollum was a Jazz target, but Utah ended up favoring Burke due to his leadership qualities. He does say this: “At worst, he’ll be the trusted backup to That Guy if the Jazz pull a deal for a prominent point guard.” I think that the Jazz feel like Burke has all the tools to be a prominent point guard. Regarding Gobert, Dwyer thinks he could become a “rim protector nonpareil for years to come.”

ESPN Insider Draft Grades, by Chad Ford: B+

Ford was a fan of the Jazz’s wheeling and dealing. He said “With Burke they get a floor general who can excel equally at scoring and getting others involved. He’s a little small for his position and lacks elite athleticism, but he plays with a lot of moxie and has the winning credentials that scouts tend to love.” It looks like the reason he went with a B+ is that Ford preferred McCollum for Utah. He said the hope with Gobert is that “he can turn into a Roy Hibbert-type rim protector.”

As for me, I too give the Utah Jazz an A- for an excellent Draft. The way Lindsey and friends carried out the swaps was deliberate and intentional, a trend that I think we’ll see carried out moving forward with free agency and other trades. They knew who their targets were and when the aforementioned surprises occurred, they moved swiftly. Trey Burke was their main target, that is clear. In Rudy Gobert, they see a defensive presence – a giant with mobility who, at #27, could be a low-risk/high-reward guy. Raul Neto may not come over this year, but he’s someone the Jazz’s international scouting staff and Lindsey, through his interactions with Spurs center Tiago Splitter, are familiar with. He could be a stellar find with Utah’s ever-favorite #47 pick.

All in all, it was a brilliant evening, truly one of the most euphoric in recent Jazz history. While we don’t know how everything will unfold with these three players, we know that the Utah Jazz have a plan and this was just the beginning.

David J Smith

David J Smith

Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News and has written for the Utah Jazz website and (now Basketball Insiders). He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. He and his incredibly patient wife, Elizabeth, have some amazing children--four girls and two boys. Voted "Most Likely to Replace Jerry Sloan" in high school.
David J Smith

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  1. LP says:

    It should be “heartthrob Raul Neto” not “heartthrob Rudy Neto” in the first paragraph.

    I, for one, am surprised that no one gave the Jazz an out-right A or even A+. They got their favorite player in the draft for the 14th and 21st pick and were able to pick up a high upside guy that went as high as pick 11 in some mock drafts for the 46th pick and cash. Then they added a high-upside guy in the 2nd round. They did all this while not giving up any of their own future assets or current players. On top of that, they made great value picks that fulfilled needs as well.

    • Clint Johnson says:

      I agree, even though I’m not completely sold on Gobert. They turned the 14th, 21st, and 46th picks into (according to DraftExpress) the 4th, 18th, and 88th best prospects available using only cash and a previously-acquired 2nd. Add in getting their single greatest need, and I give that an A.

    • Dane says:

      USA Today and Bleacher Report both gave the Jazz an A. The highest grade possible for both sites.

  2. Dane says:

    CBS Sports gave an A for the Trey Burke pick but a C for Gobert. I don’t understand the reasoning for the C, especially considering what the author (Matt Moore) says about the pick: “In yet another trade, this pick heads to Utah from Denver. Gobert gives them a very talented guy whom they can develop. I like his footwork a lot. There are questions about his strength, toughness and ability to work hard. Smart pick for Utah, stacking talent and going young.” If it is a “Smart pick” wouldn’t a B or better be deserved?

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