The unofficial start of the 2013-14 season is this Tuesday when the Draft Lottery takes place at 6:30 PM MDT on ESPN. The draft lottery can change the course of a franchise and those lucky enough to win can be set up for years to come.
The Utah Jazz finished the 2012-13 season with a 43-39 (the best record of any non-playoff team) record and missed the playoffs for only the fifth time in nearly 30 years.
With most of the team entering free agency, this off-season will be very important for the future of the franchise.
The Jazz have a 0.5% chance of moving up into the top spot in the draft. Only the top three are actual lottery picks, if the Jazz fail to move up into one of those spots they will draft 14th. The Jazz have a 0.59% chance of moving up to the #2 spot and a 0.72% chance of getting pick #3. They also own the Warriors pick this year so they have the chance to draft again at number 21. 14 & 21 are not exactly the most exciting places to pick, but some solid NBA starters have been picked at or after 14 in recent drafts.
2011: Kawhi Leonard (15), Kenneth Faried (22). 2010: Larry Sanders (15), Eric Bledsoe (18). 2009: Jrue Holiday (17), Ty Lawson (18), Jeff Teague (19). 2008: Roy Hibbert (17), Serge Ibaka (24) Nicolas Batum (25).
Bottom line is: even if the Jazz don’t move up into the top three, there are always impact players to be had in the middle of the first round.
The number 14 team in the lottery has never moved up into the top three of the draft, making it a perfect nine for nine (the lottery expanded to 14 times in 2004 with the addition of the Bobcats).
The following shows all the movement that has ever happened in the draft lottery.
According to history the Jazz don’t have the best chance of moving up into the top three of the draft, but stranger things have happened before.
So what should the Jazz do at 14?
Put together a collection of picks and/or players to move up
Putting together a trade to move up isn’t always easy but could be the best course of action for the Jazz. They will have a hard time because the two picks they own aren’t the most ideal spots to draft so a team giving up a top five pick is unlikely. The Jazz could also try to pair one of their picks with a player. This could be interesting, a sign and trade with Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap would definitely be enticing for a team in the lottery. Trades are always difficult to pull off but Utah has shown the ability to move up to get the guy they really want in the past.
If the Jazz aren’t able to move up there are a of couple players who might be there at 14 for them to pick that would energize the fan base and really help get the team where everyone expects them to be.
When Marcus Smart decided to stay another year at Oklahoma State Trey Burke started shooting up draft boards, breaking Jazz fan’s hearts at the same time. With Burke and C.J. McCollum most likely off the board Shane Larkin could be a possibility for the team here.
Larkin is the son of baseball Hall-of-Famer Barry Larkin. The sophomore out of Miami led the Hurricanes to one of their best seasons in school history.
Larkin is undersized at 5’-11’’ and 176 LBS but he plays tough and reminds me a lot of Ty Lawson. He is a smart player and was the unquestioned leader on his team last year as a sophomore. Larkin would fill a void for the Jazz and could come in and start right away or come off the bench behind a veteran for a couple of years.
Carter-Williams is a sophomore out of Syracuse with great size, 6’-5’’ and 175 lbs. Carter-Williams led the Orange to the Final Four before losing to Michigan.
The big knock on him is his jump shot but there is no denying his size and play-making ability. He would be able to come in and take over right away and hopefully improve his shot making.
Notice how both of these guys are point guards? The team is in desperate need of a franchise point guard that will give them and fans a sense of direction in where this team is going.
Some other potential picks could be:
- Shabazz Muhammad
- Kelly Olynyk
- Dennis Schroeder
- Mason Plumlee
- Jamaal Franklin
- Tim Hardaway, Jr.
- Isaiah Canaan
- Myck Kabongo
One thing we know for sure is that only a few people will know who the Jazz are picking until it’s announced. The organization is more tight-lipped than any other in the NBA so rumors or speculation before the draft will most likely just be guesswork.
It is an exciting and also nerve-racking time to be a Jazz fan but this should be a very interesting summer. Keep your fingers crossed that the ping pong balls fall in the Jazz’s favor on Tuesday night.