With rumors swirling all around the Utah Jazz and the 2014 NBA Draft, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said today: “If we stay at [pick #5] we know the group and we are comfortable with the group.”
In an interview with David James and Patrick Kinihan on 97.5 FM, Lindsey explained that whomever the Jazz draft, the key will be the work done after the draft—not before the draft.
“There is no perfect prospect; there are a bunch of very good prospects,” Lindsey said. “Much of this draft is how good you are as an organization developing the prospect you take. We’re going to have to do a really good diagnosis look under the hood, look at their skill set and support them because they are really young men.”
LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW WITH DENNIS LINDSEY ON 97.5 FM
The group the Jazz will be choosing from at #5 will likely include some combination of 18-year-olds Noah Vonleh and Aaron Gordon, 19-year-old Julius Randle and 20-year-old Marcus Smart.
Lindsey also commented: “There are many different prospects that add different athletic attributes and mindsets.”
Lindsey would not comment on trade rumors or if the Jazz had any players in for an extra workout.
Last season, Jazz forward Marvin Williams showed a sense of leadership that makes him appealing to be a part of Utah’s future. However, Williams may have other options in the upcoming seasons.
As a highly coveted stretch 4, teams will look closely at Williams. One team most experts anticipate making a run at Williams is the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, where Williams would fit their Matt Bonner-type role.
However, Grantland’s Zack Lowe mentions Marvin as a possibility to the vanquished Miami Heat in his piece about LeBron’s future.
Teams being interested in a class act like Marvin Williams is not surprising. The surprise here is the mention of a full mid-level for Marvin Williams. Some execs I talked to late last year mentioned the idea of a three-year, $9 million dollar deal, and others mentioned nothing more than two years.
What’s clear is that Marvin earned the right last year to be a veteran leader for a young Jazz team if he so desires.
Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey is keeping all of his options open for Thursday’s NBA Draft. In an exclusive interview with Spence Checkets and Gordon Monsen on 97.5 FM, Lindsey made it clear the choices for the Utah Jazz are not cut-and-dried.
“When you order the players, that’s when you get violent disagreement (amongst basketball professionals). We (Jazz front office) are in the middle of lots of deliberations and conversations.”
LISTEN TO LINDSEY INTERVIEW ON 97.5 FM HOME OF THE UTAH JAZZ
A signature of R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich’s front office in San Antonio is open discussion and strong, opinionated discussion. Lindsey has brought the same to the Utah Jazz.
If the Jazz hold tight at the #5 position, they are looking at the likes of Noah Vonleh, Dante Exum, Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart and Julius Randle. When the players being discussed are ranging in age from 18 (until December) to 20, there’s a lot of room for opinions, because nothing is set in stone for these players.
Orginally, it was the big three in the 2014 NBA Draft—Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid. With the injury to Embiid, we are down to two.
The Philadelphia 76ers, in a game of musical chairs, has had the music stop without a chair. It’s clear that general manager Sam Hinkie has been forced to hit the reset button.
Last night, reports surfaced (that I have not confirmed) that the Sixers were willing to move Michael Carter-Williams to the Lakers for the #7 pick, giving the Sixers the #3, #7 and #10 picks in this draft.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown has a relationship with Dante Exum from their time together in Australia. Smart at #3 is a new possibility. Orlando is supposedly desperate for a point guard but may have soured on Marcus Smart. If Smart were to go #3, most people believe that Exum would go #4.
However, a throwaway line in a Bleacher Report story about Aaron Gordon’s workout today in Los Angeles throws the Sixers plans into even more doubt.
Is Aaron Gordon a possibility at #3, or is this a sign they may make the trade with the Lakers for the #7 pick, therefore making it almost certain the #3 pick would be Smart or Exum?
Much of how Utah’s night on Thursday develops will be predicated on what happens in Philly.
Another mock draft is out post the Joel Embiid injury. CBS Sports Zach Harper places Embiid in Philadelphia and this means the Jazz are still playing off Orlando pick at 4.
Under this scenario the Jazz are deciding between Smart, Vonleh, Gordon and Randle
Zach Harper mock draft
LOCKE TAKE: Vonleh is impressive and the national media seems to have zeroed in on this as the draft pick. I think it is still a large discussion inside the Jazz office about Vonleh, Gordon, Smart or Randle. No way is this a done deal in the Jazz front office
Zach Harper has the Jazz are #23 going with 3 and D Cleanothy Early
LOCKE TAKE: Interesting names around 23. Early, Harrison, Wilcox all worked out for the Jazz. Wilcox is the best shooter of the group. Early is ready. He and Wilcox are both older and both can shoot. Wilcox is a natural 2 and Early is a 3
The news of the foot surgery for projected No. 1 pick Joel Embiid has rocked the NBA Draft. Mock drafts are being re-done everywhere.
The crew at Basketball Insiders re-did their mock drafts—and look who is most likely to take Joel Embiid.
LOCKE’S TAKE—I have a hard time believing the Jazz can afford this type of risk. There is no question that a healthy Embiid is a franchise changer. However, an Embiid that never gets healthy for a franchise that must hit on the draft because free agency is not an option seems to be too big of a risk. This is also the first time we see the name Julius Randle lined to the Jazz. It’s worth nothing that Aaron Gordon is on the board for the Jazz pick and according to these men the team passes on Gordon every time.
Draft Express released another mock draft after the stunning injury to Joel Embiid.
NBA Draft Express says ..
LOCKE’S TAKE—Same as below, I’m surprised that Orlando goes with Embiid. Focussing on the Jazz, the decision may come down to how the Jazz want to play. If they are going up-tempo with Quin Snyder and playing a lot of early offense, do they believe that Vonleh can run? If they are concerned, then the question becomes: Do they think Aaron Gordon can shoot enough to be an effective player? A stretch 4 is not only on the offensive end, it is also on the defensive end. Gordon may move more naturally for a defensive stretch 4, but at this point he doesn’t have the offensive skills that Vonleh does.
Marcus Smart is the wild card.
Due to the incredible news that Joel Embiid has a stress fracture to his foot, ESPN’s Chad Ford has updated his mock draft.
Here is Chad Ford’s latest mock draft
Here is his result and summation for the Jazz:
Click here for the Video Breakdown of Noah Vonleh
LOCKE’S TAKE—I would be surprised if Embiid is taken at No. 4 by Orlando. Unless they think No. 12 gives them enough security to do it. Orlando can’t afford a miss, and there is a real chance that Embiid is Bowie, Oden, etc.
If Vonleh is on the board, the Jazz will strongly consider the mammoth 18-year-old with a versatile skill set.