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Grayson Allen; 21 thoughts on the 21st pick

I’ve got some thoughts on Grayson Allen, now the morning after the Jazz drafted him. If you want a more comprehensive breakdown on how he landed with the Jazz, and who I think he is, plus a long video of my interview with Allen, read this article below.

Jazz select Grayson Allen with the 21st pick

These will be a little scattered, but hopefully they provide some insight on why the Jazz drafted Allen, what the hope is for him, and why I think apprehensive Jazz fans might grow to like him.

  1. Allen is going to play primarily off the ball, which really fits his best skillset. He’s probably going to be primarily a spot up shooter, which he didn’t do well as a senior, but had shown better production earlier in his career.
  2. His 66 of 100 in the Jazz 100 (Jazz run their potential draftees through a drill where they take 100 threes from all around the perimeter) is a nice number. I’m told its one of the 10-15 best the Jazz have ever had.
  3. He is a capable option as a secondary pick and roll initiator if the Jazz initial action is broken up.
  4. He has impeccable footwork on the perimeter. His shot fake, jab step/side step, and step back three are all really impressive.
  5. He’s got a pretty basic dribble drive game, and has a little more wiggle than he gets credit for.
  6. His lefty dribble pull up from the perimeter is a nice shot, great off a screen. Might be his best offensive tool.
  7. Rudy Gobert is one of the best screen setters in the league, that will help Allen with the ball in-hand.
  8. He’s going to get a lot of open looks, if he makes them, he’ll play, if he doesn’t, he won’t.
  9. He’s bigger than he looks on TV, but he was always surrounded by NBA players at Duke, so his size didn’t stand out like it does for some wings in college.
  10. I would be a little surprised if his defense is as bad as analysts make it out to be. Duke plays a lot of zone by design, and he’s never had Gobert back him up.
  11. He hasn’t played fewer than 29 minutes per game since he was a freshman at Duke, his excellent motor will look even better in the 10-20 minutes he gets for the Jazz, including on the defensive side of the floor.
  12. That also means he’ll have to impact the game quickly when he gets onto the floor, as a role player you can’t really let the game come to you.
  13. He has a good sense of the floor, when he gets into the paint he knows where his four teammates are. When he attacks close outs, he’ll need to show off his floater to bring in the help defense, that will open up his teammates.
  14. Even as a sophomore with Brandon Ingram on his team, he wasn’t getting a ton of looks off of his teammates drive and kick opportunities. He’ll get those when Donovan Mitchell isolates, or off of pick and rolls when Gobert dives to the rim.
  15. He’s a forward ball mover in transition, and can start fast breaks with his passing.
  16. He’s got a unique ability to take contact in the short midrange and still put up a floater with touch.
  17. He has shown some potential shooting off movement, both receiving a pass coming off a screen, or on dribble handoffs.
  18. He’s better pulling up for a floater than he is trying to finish around length at the rim.
  19. The Jazz didn’t draft him for who he will be in four years, who he is now is probably pretty similar to who he will be in a few years, but I think the Jazz want to win sooner than later.
  20. He doesn’t have to be an emotional leader for the Jazz, that might benefit him. He also might be a natural emotional leader, for better or worse.
  21. He’s a shooter, you need shooters in the NBA, and he should be able to do that.

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