How ‘Bout This Jazz Newsletter: As the night wore on, some insights into the team’s three picks were revealed, and some context emerged about a promising prospect that the team had twice passed.
Although the Jazz eschewed headline-worthy trades Thursday night and simply went chalk picking them at numbers 9, 16 and 28, the NBA draft was still a fun and lively event.
That view may have been colored by watching it from inside a conference room on the Zions Bank basketball campus, where I was just a doorway and a flight of stairs away from the conference room where the team’s decision makers were looking for the best. shaping their future.
But even though Justin Zanic and Danny Ainge have opted to stay put, and even though some fans have questions about Taylor Hendricks’ upside, Keyonte George’s long-term competence and role, and Bryce Sensabeau’s defensive ability are excited about how things will develop.
I also enjoyed the aftermath, as we had formal interviews with the three players plus Zanik, followed by an informal chat with Ainge once all the formalities were over. So I thought I’d go through some odds and ends with the evening which I found intriguing.
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I was a little surprised during JZ’s interview to hear him reveal where Jazz ranked these guys on their board, with Hendricks at 9, George at 10, and Sensabaugh at “Top-18,” which is a random unrounded number I think we can sense it was At eighteen safely.
My motivation for this revelation is front office support – “Look, we got one of the guys we were looking at at 9, and then a couple more at really good value, without having to use any additional capital for assets” – but it’s not without risk. If, say, Jalen Hood-Schifino or… ummm… well, let’s just say it, Cam Whitmore ended up beating George, revealing that your guy was ahead of the others on your board, that calls your analysis into question.
Speaking of Cam Whitmore…
Why does it seem like a guy in conversations who is as high as 4th overall ends up being 20? And why did Jazz transfer it not once, but twice?
Speaking to some people around the league a few things kept coming up:
• It looks like the undone opinion of him started two weeks ago in many front offices, rather than the last few days before the draft, and some teams had mid-first-round scores on him.
• It is true that some of the training and interviews were not great, but they were secondary. The primary concerns were that his production at Villanova was poor relative to his athletic performance. The lack of skill stood out prominently; And so many teams had concerns about his knees that one team apparently flagged him outright.
• His slip may have been exacerbated by not working out with a team less than the Jazz at 9. So, Dallas at 10, OK at 12, Toronto at 13, New Orleans at 14, Atlanta at 15, Lakers at 17, Miami at 18, and Golden State At 19, they may have simply not gotten much information about him, and may not have been privy to his medical information, and thus felt like they were working in the dark too much to pull the trigger.
Why Keyonte George?
You could argue that the Jazz, having had a chance to work with Whitmore, could have swung to the upside at 16 just by passing at 9. But back to what Bart Taylor said the day before the draft, and what Zanic said afterward: it was The Jazz have nine players who were comfortable taking the ninth. Hendrix was ninth. George was ranked tenth on the board. So while they may have loved Whitmore, they put him lower than these two men.
As for George, both Zanik and Ainge praised his “shot creation,” meaning he has a unique playing style in that he can get open in ways other players can’t. They think these picks will go in at a higher rate in the NBA than they did in college — George seems to have had one of the best shooting performances of any prospect in his pro day, and his bad instincts might be mitigated by using the lowest turn. There’s also a belief that the work he’s done on his body — he’s said to have dropped from 220 pounds at the start of the season to 185 now — will enhance his athleticism.
And some personal details
I always like to ask jazz newbies what they’re like off the field, and what they’re doing when they’re not touring, just to get to know them a little bit as people.
Hendrix said he loves bowling, and hopes there are some good lanes near ZBBC.
While it’s a cliché for new players to say they’re fascinated by the mountains of Utah, George noted that he’s an avid hiker, and looks forward to taking his dog Duke out on the trails.
While he was quite a bookworm through high school and college, once he started doing pre-craft work in L.A., Sensabeau said, he really started getting into clothes and fashion — though he was more into thrift and going to flea markets than high-end stuff. .
(tags to translation) Utah Jazz