TIPOFF—July 2—What is Gordon Hayward’s market?

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke looks at the market for Gordon Hayward and what the Jazz will have to do to keep him.


TIPOFF—July 1—The frenzy is upon us

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke walks you though the opening hours of NBA free agency. 

TIPOFF—June 30—Draft review and Gordon’s market

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke looks back at the draft and previews the free agent market for Gordon Hayward.

PODCAST—Locke with Exum, Hood and Snyder

Utah Jazz radio voice and NBA Insider David Locke sat down with Jazz draft picks Dante Exum and Rodney Hood, and Jazz coach Quin Snyder after the introductory press conference at the Zions Bank Baketball Center.

TIPOFF—Late night post-draft edition

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke looks back at draft night for the Utah Jazz.

INSIDER—Recap of draft night

How did it happen that the Jazz ended up with two players they never imagined would be available to them at their draft positions?

On TIPOFF this morning, we talked about Embiid going No. 3 to the Sixers as the key to the night. This meant the Jazz knew they would have their choice of Exum or Gordon. Utah’s draft board seemed to be Parker, Wiggins (maybe reversed), Exum, Gordon and Smart.

The front office had spent a lot of hours recently watching the film of Smart closely, in case Exum went three and Gordon went at 4. The Jazz were very concerned that this scenario would play out.

Instead, about an hour before the draft, this happened:


Suddenly, Exum was a possibility for the Jazz at #5. Sure enough, Aaron Gordon went at #4 and the young Australian, who at times this season was talked about as a potential #1 pick, was coming to Utah.

Exum is a lightening-fast 18-year-old who, at 6-foot-6, could be a unique piece as a point guard. It will take him some time to develop. He’s very raw, particularly on the defensive end. He’s not a sure thing. One scout called him the pendulum player in this draft—he could be a superstar and he could be a bust.

I found him to be delightful in our conversations. He was very sure of himself in the interview settings. He’s engaging. He’s crisp in his speech. He’ll be a fan favorite, and the accent certainly doesn’t hurt.

One scout said: “Big point guard. Ok shooter who will get better with strength. Long point guard—great handle with super vision. Can guard multiple positions. Excellant burst. Elite speed with and without ball.”

As we were going through the media car wash with Danté Exum, I looked at the draft board and realized that Rodney Hood was still on the board. From previous conversations with Jazz people, I knew he was very high on the Jazz board and one of the players the Jazz were willing to move up to grab.

The Jazz were sitting at #23 and as the draft hit about #17 the Jazz started to offer #23 and #35 to move up and draft Hood. A few teams said no, and as they were saying no other teams made their intentions known—and all of sudden it became clear to the Jazz they were going to get Hood by staying at #23.

One last issue had to be clarified—the Miami Heat were desperate to grab Shabazz Napier and they wanted Utah’s pick. However, Miami only offered second round picks in order to move those few spots, so the Jazz declined and took Hood.

Hood is left-handed and has good size for his position at 6-foot-9. He shoots it well for a small forward or shooting guard, and he controls the ball well. He averaged 16 points per game at Duke while shooting 42% from three.

One scout texted me: “Shooter, can guard the ball. Good floor game. Best  player that participated in Chicago.” Another said: “He can shoot and knows how to play.”

After those two wins, the Jazz weren’t able to find a player to stash overseas. The team didn’t want to go into camp with three rookies and nine players with four years or less of experience in the NBA, so they made a trade with Memphis. The numbers probably won’t work out on this deal, since Memphis’ pick could be worse than #35.

Frankly, I’m not sure the Jazz had many players they really liked at #35 because in some of the conversations during the week they were very concerned about #23 and how they didn’t have enough players they liked at #23. That became a non-issue when Hood fell into their laps.

There’s a really good chance that we look back at this draft five years from now as the turning point for the Jazz franchise.

PODCAST—Exum and Hood from Brooklyn

Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke was in Brooklyn for the NBA Draft, and here is a collection of sound bites from Danté Exum and Rodney Hood.

STORYLINE — Live from Barclays Center for the 2014 NBA Draft




UPDATED at 5:53 pm

Joel Embiid goes #3 – Jazz get either Dante Exum or Aaron Gordon whomever Orlando doesn’t take

UPDATED at 5:49 pm

No surprises in the first two picks.  Wiggins and Parker.

Woj just reported that Sacramento and Boston are talking about a deal to send Ben McLemore to Boston for the 6th pick.   What would Sacramento do with 6 and 8.

Jazz fans want to hear Joel Embiid with the 3rd pick

UPDATED at 5:19 pm

Chad Ford’s last mock draft has Embiid going 3 and Exum 4 with the Jazz taking Aaron Gordon at 5.  Ford earlier today had the Jazz taking Kentucky’s James Young but now has the Jazz taking elite athlete K.J. McDaniels.

McDaniels is a transition master.  He is a great finisher.  He needs to improve his jump shot.  Jazz are all about player development

UPDATED at 5:16 pm

As i have said all day I keep hearing Noah Vonleh could slip in the draft.  Also hearing either Shabazz Napier or Tyler Ennis could slip as teams are not looking for point guards.   The other talk around the Center is the amount of European stashing that is going to be done tonight leaving some solid players undrafted.

UPDATED at 5:13 pm

Draft Express last mock draft has Jazz taking Aaron Gordon at 5 and P.J. Hairston at 23.  This is one of the first time we have seen Hairston at 23.  It is a possibility.  James Young would still be on the board.  Draft Express has the Jazz taking CJ Wilcox at 35.


UPDATED at 5:12 pm

Is it possible Embiid doesn’t go 3.  That is what it sounds like out of Philadelphia from one of their best and longest running reporters



The Jazz would like Embiid to go 3 to keep all of their options open.


UPDATED 4:33 pm

My intel has Embiid going 3.  However, strange to me that his agent just released a statement and then moments later Scott Howard Cooper mentions a team with Embiid in the teens.  My feeling is 10 is Embiid’s backstop to Philly and Philly clearly thinks Boston or LA will take him so they are taking him at 3.

Could the Jazz trade to 3 to get Exum and Philly still gets Embiid at 5?  It makes sense on paper but what would Sixers want from the Jazz and what would the Jazz be willing to give up.

Embiid needs to go 3 for the Jazz to have the night they want.


UPDATED 3:52 pm

philly workout





This news comes at the same time it revealed that Philadelphia is no longer pursuing the #1 pick in the draft.  With the Afflalo deal  it would seem Orlando is out also.  Leaving just Boston and Utah to pursue the #1 pick.

Why would Philadelphia have Vonleh and Randle in for a workout?  If they are making a move down in the draft with Utah, Orlando  or LA they would need to consider these players.

I am hearing Vonleh could slip but I am not sure he would be able to get to 10.

UPDATED – 3:49 pm

Here is the latest I am hearing around the league.

The Philadelphia Sixers will take Joel Embiid at #3.  With most people expecting Dante Exum to go 4 to Orlando.

This leaves the Jazz choosing between Noah Vonleh, Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart and Julius Randle.

The #3 pick is a key one to watch for the Utah Jazz

I just talked with someone very close to the situation it is still not clear who is going 1 and who is going 2.