A quick update on the Jazz ahead of tonight’s NBA draft.
3:30 EST: The Jazz big board appears to be done, at noon yesterday that was not the case, but as of this morning the Jazz know what their draft board looks like.
While there has been a lot of uncertainty around the league about what opposing team’s draft boards look like, one thing that hasn’t changed is the types of prospects each individual GM likes, and that gives the Jazz some understanding of what other teams may value before the Jazz pick. For example, the Orlando Magic tend to prefer players with elite measurables, as opposed to gaudy stats. In that sense, they may favor a Shai Gilgeous-Alexander over a Trae Young if they are taking a point guard in the top 10.
There has been “a lot” of talks about the Jazz moving up, but at this point, the Jazz are unsure if those options are realistic.
As the draft gets closer, asking prices may drop, and it would not be a surprise to see the Jazz moving up. It is within the Jazz MO to be aggressive in the draft, as they did to get both Donovan Mitchell and Tony Bradley last year, and Trey Burke before that.
I’ll update this page throughout the night from Barclays Center.
7:45 EST: We have the first two picks of the draft, and our first trade of the night. DeAndre Ayton and Marvin Bagley go with the first two picks, no surprise there.
Atlanta has traded the 3rd pick to the Dallas Mavericks for the 5th pick, and future picks according to Adrian Wojnarowksi. Dallas may be getting the top player in the draft in Luka Doncic at 3, and the Hawks get the player they have been long rumored to be coveting in Oklahoma’s Trae Young.
If Memphis trades their pick, you’ll have 3 of the top 5 picks traded to open the draft, a remarkable amount of movement for a draft that seemed quieter than most heading into the evening.
8:30 EST: The top 10 picks are in, and so far, there aren’t any glaring surprises for players that have been drafted.
Orlando covets measurables, and got that that in the longest player in combine history in Mo Bamba. They need a point guard still, and will likely have to address that through free agency or in a trade.
The Chicago Bulls take Wendell Carter out of Duke. I love Carter’s game, his stats might never blow you away, but he’s going to win a lot of games in his career. He draws comparisons to Al Horford, and we saw Horford’s impact int the Celtics run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Don’t be surprised if Carter has a more impactful, even if less visible career than Marvin Bagley, his Duke teammate.
The Cavaliers selected Collin Sexton, which I assume means they are starting to look to he future without LeBron. They have George Hill, but may look to move his expiring contract this summer to further rebuild with young pieces. Sexton might be the first actual reach of the draft.
The New York Knicks disappointed fans at Barclays Center by taking Kevin Knox over Michael Porter Junior. A top 10 pick playing at MSG is always going to carry huge expectations, and Knox will have to improve dramatically to get up to that point.
Mikal Bridges goes to the 76ers at 10. This has been the worst kept secret in the NBA for a while, but should plug and play alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
9:20 EST: The Jazz are just 4 picks away, and the board is breaking pretty favorably. Jerome Robinson and Troy Brown getting drafted earlier than expected has pushed talent down the board.
One of Robert Williams, Elie Okobo, Kevin Huerter, or Lonnie Walker will be available at 21, and the Jazz may even go in a different direction regardless.
The Denver Nuggets got perhaps the steal of the draft getting Michael Porter Jr. at 14, but there are real fears inside NBA front offices that his back may have long term problems.
Phoenix has traded Zhaire Smith to Philly for Mikal Bridges. Bridges might be the best 3-D wing prospect in this years draft, and ending up in Phoenix should be a nice landing spot for a team in need of maturity. Former Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov may have just gotten a proven ally to help him along. Smith is an athletic freak to pair with Ben Simmons, but will need to prove his three point shooter percentage wasn’t a fluke at Texas Tech.