The Utah Jazz concluded their pre-draft workout process Sunday, with what VP of Player Personnel Walt Perrin called their most impressive workout of the year. The workout featured likely first rounders Jacob Evans and De’Anthony Melton, with Dzanan Musa potentially finding his way into the draft’s first round. Perrin said he thought all six players, including Deng Adel, Gary Trent Jr, and Arnoldas Kulboka could be drafted in Thursday night.
Evans is an intriguing prospect due to his shooting and defensive capabilities. Cincinnati’s defense switches every screen at the college level, so Evans was asked to guard positions 1-4. He’s likely too small to defend 4’s in the NBA, but should be a capable defender as soon as next year. He’s limited with the ball in his hands, and will have to develop that if he wants to be more than a role player in the NBA.
Melton missed all of this past season at USC after being linked to the NCAA’s FBI investigation, but so NBA teams haven’t seen him in a competitive setting for more than a year. Melton’s been working on his jump shot, which he struggled with at USC as a freshman, and might be the missing link for him to be one of the steal’s of the draft. He’s not a pure point guard, but plays with an aggressive mindset that made him a stat stuffer for the Trojans. He averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1 block per game. He’s not physically imposing at this point, but his frame should fill out at the NBA level. Perrin said Melton’s shooting might be his quickest skill to translate to the NBA.
Musa is a scorer, though not necessarily a shooter at this point in his career. Perrin said Musa showed his ability to score during the workout, and had a good interview with the team. Though most mock drafts project Musa as a first round pick, I didn’t get the impression the Jazz felt that was an accurate ranking.
On Friday, the Jazz worked out three more potential first rounders in Jerome Robinson, Landry Shamet, and Josh Okogie.
Shamet might bet he draft’s best shooter outside of Trae Young, and at 6’5, has good size for a point guard. He lacks strength, and was banged up from a previous workout so he was limited in the drills he could complete, but could be a nice fit in the Jazz backcourt which lacks shooting. He’s 21, which is old for a sophomore, and may mean his upside his limited compared to other two year college players.
Robinson is an impressive shooter, but more of a combo guard than Shamet. He played some point guard at BC, but likely will play more off the ball in the NBA. He was a 40% shooter last year at BC on more than 5 attempts per game.
Okogie is a prototypical 3-D player in the NBA, and had a tremendous two year career at Georgia Tech. Okogie averaged 18.2 points, an impressive 6.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists as a sophomore, despite standing just 6’4. He averaged more than 6 FTA’s in both seasons at GT, while shooting 38% from the three point line. That’s an incredibly unique combo. Understanding the educational demands to attend Tech, Okogie cold be an intriguing prospect at 21 for the Jazz, and may have “Jazz DNA.”