The Utah Jazz selected Grayson Allen with the 21st pick in the NBA draft. Allen is one of college basketball’s most controversial players, having had multiple tripping incidents in his 4 years at Duke.
The tripping incidents marred what was otherwise a stellar college career from Allen, who won a championship at Duke, and might have been a lottery pick had he declared for the draft after his sophomore season.
Allen had a stellar workout for the Jazz during the pre-draft process, where the Jazz raved about his size and athleticism. Though his shot didn’t fall at a blistering rate as a senior at Duke, he projects as a high level shooter in the NBA, willing ball mover, and someone who can attack closeouts.
I talked to Allen after being selected, and he noted that his breakout year as a sophomore came with him playing off the ball. Allen averaged 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, shooting 46% from the floor, and 41% from the three point line. As he moved back on ball, he became less of a threat as a scorer.
Allen has an NBA frame, and NBA athleticism, with a championship pedigree at Duke.
Still questions remain about how his game will translate to the NBA. He lacks lateral foot speed, which will likely make him a below average defender at the NBA level, and he’ll have to shoot well to prove he belongs. Unlike Donovan Mitchell, at this point he probably doesn’t have the speed off the dribble to contribute if his shot isn’t falling.
My Jazz sources tell me the Jazz liked how hard he plays, and his competitiveness, which should match the culture of the locker room the Jazz have in place, and while he still has room to grow, they are unsure of his ceiling.
Allen will make his debut for the Jazz in the Utah Jazz Summer League on July 2nd.