Picking at 12.
What should the Utah Jazz do with their lottery draft pick? Seriously though, let’s talk this out.
To the surprise and amazement of nobody, the Utah Jazz did not move up from their projected draft position by some fluke of the lottery yesterday. The team will be picking at 12, and in a draft this deep, there are likely to be some really promising young talents at that spot.
But what do you do with the pick if you are Dennis Lindsey? You have a nice young core of players, but a need for quality veteran guard play. At the same time you don’t want to take too much playing time away from your YOUNG guards. That would only hinder their development. Also, the fan base seems to be excited about progress, and not pressing too hard to make a hasty move that might spoil the chance for this team to mature as a unit into a Memphis-esque Western Conference playoff staple.
So do you draft another youthful piece? Add one more puppy to the kennel and hope that he fits in nicely and grows at least as fast as his teammates? Do you potentially trade a quality player or the pick away in favor of a solid (but certainly not superstar) veteran and hope that whoever it is likes what you are doing enough not to rock the boat?
If the Jazz were to bring in a shooter or a veteran point guard, how good would that player have to be, and for how long, to justify trading away the potential of a guy like Trey Lyles or Kevon Looney? What about a Willie Cauley-Stein? Don’t we expect him to be an elite defensive talent even at the next level? If there is no real hurry to win NOW, why bring in a decent vet instead of rolling the dice on a superior young athlete. The Jazz coaching staff has a reputation already for developing players, that’s half the reason they were all brought in. Should the franchise stick with what they know and keep stockpiling youth, athleticism, upside?
Trades and free-agency are as much of a gamble as the draft in some respects, because there is no guarantee you’ll get what you expect from a guy who you’ve seen film on. I say draft a talent and see if you can make him fit in. No number 12 has ever been TRADED for a superstar, but we’ve seen some 12 picks grow into them.