Thursday, June 26, 2008

What to Expect Tonight: A Run on Bigs

The draft is finally upon us, and things are just as unsettled as ever. It is no secret that the Jazz want a big man, and this draft is loaded with them - but it appears that other teams have noticed that fact as well. The Bobcats acquired Denver's pick at number 20 and are looking for a center. Basically, once Philly is on the clock at number 16, big men are going to be taken with nearly every pick as six teams between that slot and the Jazz are desperate for one (Philly, Indiana, Washington, Cleveland, Charlotte, New Jersey). The Jazz are in the unenviable position of taking whomever is left once the dust settles on the 2008 big man clearance.


First Tier: In Your Dreams


Right now, it looks like there are six big men that have no chance of lasting until 23: Kevin Love, Kosta Koufos, the Lopez twins, Anthony Randolph and Darrel Arthur. If any of these guys somehow slips past the 16th pick, they are gone by the time the rush on big men begins at number 16.


Second Tier: The Possibles


There is a second tier of big men that will not be lottery picks, but will have to be passed over by numerous interested teams to make it to the Jazz: Jason Thompson, Mareese Speights, Javale McGee, Alexis Ajinca, DeAndre Jordan, and Roy Hibbert. The Jazz obviously want Hibbert, but he may not make it through the gauntlet. McGee and Thompson have the best chance of falling into our laps.


Third Tier: Long Shots


Then there is the third tier: big guys that most likely will be available once the Jazz pick, unless they get snatched up just before we pick: JJ Hickson, Serge Ibaka, Nathan Jawai, Ante Tomic, Ryan Anderson, Devon Hardin. Anderson is suddenly a hot commodity - it's rumored that the Spurs have given him a promise at #26 - if he makes it that far. The others (except Hardin and Hickson) are foreigners that won't come to the NBA for a few years.

The Jazz Select: Whoever is Left


The Jazz are basically going to take their favorite guy in group 2 that is still on the board. Hibbert is the top choice, but I can see the Jazz being satisfied with Thompson, Jordan or Ajinca (although Ajinca has huge bust potential). Speights might duplicate Millsap too much to entice the Jazz. If all of the group 2 guys are gone, I think the Jazz either trade the pick or take a foreigner that can develop elsewhere for a couple of years. None of the wing players in the draft fit the Jazz' style, except Mario Chalmers who, I fear, will be long gone by #23.


Darkhorse: Picking for Others


If the Jazz take someone that is not on this list, it's a safe bet that they are picking for someone else. Due to the Korver trade, the Jazz cannot trade their pick before the draft. However, they are free to trade a player once selected. So, if you hear the Jazz select someone like Chris Douglas Roberts, or Nicolas Batum, don't get too excited - they are probably on their way out of town before they ever arrive.

5 comments:

Draft Guru said...

Completely agree.

00Tag - License to Thrill said...

Questions:
#1 Does Jason Thompson have the length to play center? The Jazz have a history of drafting from schools off the beaten path (La Tech, Rice, etc.)and it sounds to me like he may turn out to be a solid player.

#2 Does the fact that the Jazz appear desperate to get a center in the first round say something about Fess's developement? I thought he showed some real potential last year.

Draft Guru said...

1. Yes, I believe Thompson can play center. The concern about him though might be his defensive ability and prowess (or lack thereof). He can score and board, but can he play on-the-ball defense? Boozer and Okur stink in that area too.

2. I don't believe so. The thinking might be to choose a big that will challenge Fess. I still don't think the Jazz know what Fess will become. With another big... at least one of the two projects will turn out. Plus, Collins and Okur's contracts come up soon.

The Crotty Kid said...

Thompson is a solid player, but he hasn't matched up against great competition. I think GMs are worried he'll get killed by athletic centers. It's a legitimate concern.

Fess seems like the anti-Hibbert: he is all energy and defensive hustle with little polish and few offensive moves.

From the rumors today it seems like Hibbert is gone before #23.

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