The Jazz hosted another pre-draft workout Monday, their 7th ahead of the June 21st NBA draft.
The draft becomes guard-centric outside of the top 10 picks, and Monday’s workout reflected that trend. The Jazz brought in Duke’s Grayson Allen, Villanova’s Jalen Brunson, UCLA’s Aaron Holiday, and Creighton’s Khyri Thomas. All four are potential first round picks, and could conceivably find themselves selected as high as 21 with an impressive draft workout.
Allen is one of college basketball’s more controversial players, but I’ve been told that he’s a surefire NBA player by league sources, who improved his game by returning to Duke last season, despite not seeing a dramatic increase in his draft stock over last summer. Allen told me he will bring the same competitiveness he showed at Duke to the NBA, but will try to prevent it from getting him in trouble like it did multiple times in the past. I was impressed with Allen’s demeanor answering questions in the media scrum.
Thomas is an impressive three and D prospect, who never shot worse than 39% from the three-point line in his three seasons at Creighton. Right now, he appears to be limited off the dribble, but some draft experts believe he’ll be able to add that skillset during his career. At 6’3, he might be a touch undersized for a shooting guard, but his 6’10 wingspan can help make up for that. Though his measurements resemble those of Donovan Mitchell, Thomas is clearly taller in person, but isn’t near the athlete Mitchell has proven throughout his career.
Brunson won National Player of the Year honors at Nova last season, and won two championships during his career with the Wildcats. He made a living in the low post in college, overpowering smaller guards. It’s hard to imagine that translating in the NBA, but the Jazz VP of Player Personnel Walt Perrin compared him to Toronto Raptors guard Fred Van Vleet, one of the league’s better back ups, and former University of Utah guard Andre Miller. For comparison, Brunson was a career 39% three point shooter at Nova, while Miller shot a career 21% in the NBA.
Holiday comes from an impressive lineage of NBA players, with his brothers Jrue, and Justin both making the league. While Aaron doesn’t have the height of his brothers, his length can make up for the lack of height, though he will likely be relegated to defending point guards in the NBA. He’s most likely going to be a scoring guard off the bench in the NBA.