Looking at Possible Jazz First Round Options for 2015

February 17th, 2015 | by Salt City Hoops
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What’s possible for the Jazz in the 2015 NBA Draft?

 

The Jazz are 10 games out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference. With that in mind, and with March Madness just around the corner, it’s worth getting a sense of which college players are ripping it up right now and could come the Jazz’s way in the next draft.

After all, for all that there have been positives to the Jazz’s season, it hasn’t been enough to compete with the cream of the West every night. Teams are looking past the Jazz and sportsbooks aren’t giving them much of a chance against Portland, with the NBA odds here heavily favoring the Trail Blazers on Friday.

In the current standings in the league, the Jazz are expected to pick seventh or eighth overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. According to ESPN, that puts the Jazz in position to pick anyone from the likes of Kentucky star Willie Cauley-Stein and Texas’ Myles Turner.

Either would be an impact player, but Cauley-Stein is the better fit, especially if Enes Kanter isn’t wearing a Utah jersey by next season. Cauley-Stein is an athletic seven-footer, who makes most of his living on the defensive end, averaging 1.6 BPG for the Wildcats thus far this season.

Turner, on the other hand, is another big defensive stud. He stands 6’11” and boasts of a wingspan that goes on for days. While his lanky frame hinders his post-game, especially his ability to score near the rim, he makes up for it by having an unfair range for a player his size. He is shooting 43.6% on two-point jump shots and 31.9% from the three-point area for the Longhorns this season. Pairing him with the Jazz’s inside operators in Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert could give the team a lot of angles on offense next season.

There is a lot of basketball left to play, and if either of these bigs were drafted, the impact might not be immediate, as either player would need time to get comfortable with the speed and strength of NBA competition. That said, there is no doubt Utah will be drafting a potential starter this June, and that’s cause for optimism down the stretch.

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4 Comments

  1. Spencer says:

    I like Kevin Looney of UCLA. He is “Lamar Odem” type with stats nearly identical to Kawaii Leonard. Some sort of mix of the two even with less impact would be a perfect fit. I also like Stanley Johnson. Portziggy and Russell are the pipe dreams especially Russell.

    The good news is that there are a lot of good wings that should be available when the pick, and if they somehow get a letter pick, Party time! Russell all the way.

    I also think there are some good wing options on the FA market.

  2. Matt says:

    If UTA gets a top 3 pick, I think you have to take Russell, Mudiay or Towns – the most likely “franchise” players. After that, I’d like UTA to get another wing. In order, my preferences are: Johnson, Hezonja, Oubre, Winslow.

  3. Paul Johnson says:

    Porzingas may be a good option. He looks like a legitimate stretch-4 PF, who could be a two-way player. On offense, he appears to have some of the same talents as Durant or Nowitski.

    My favorite choice is Stanley Johnson. A wing tandem of Hayward and Johnson could be awesome.

    Future starting five of Exum, Hayward, Johnson, Favors, Gobert, with reserves of Burke, Burks, Hood, Booker, Kanter, Ingles, Neto.

  4. Steve says:

    I don’t think Cauley-Stien could be on the floor at the same time as Gobert. Offensively, they both are almost carbon copies of each other, playing lob ball. I do think however Cauley-Stein is going to be stud. He is a freak athlete, measuring similar to Dwight Howard at the same age, per draftexpress.

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