Utah Jazz Summer League
We start with the host team of this four-team league. They owned the 12th pick in this draft.
Yes, it was ten years ago when the Jazz, with the third pick in the 2005 NBA draft, selected John Stockton’s heir apparent in Illinois’ standout, Deron Williams. It took him a while to develop, but D-Will looked like he was on his way to justify the Jazz bypassing Chris Paul in this draft.
And then suddenly, Williams did not want to stay in Utah and would eventually get traded to New Jersey. He was part of one of the most quizzical stints a superstar-caliber player ever experienced, mostly because Williams brought a lot of the wrong attention to himself.
Who can forget the time when Williams, on the record, waxed nostalgically about his halcyon days in Utah?
C.J. Miles was picked out of high school with the 34th overall pick. He’s been a solid backup in his 10 years in the league.
Once again, in 2011, the Jazz owned the third pick overall. They selected Enes Kanter out of Turkey. Like Williams, Kanter also was not very fond of Utah. He was very happy he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Another lottery selection, 12th pick overall, Alec Burks was also picked by Utah. He has averaged about 14.0 points per game in the last two seasons.
Traditional Point Guard (think Chris Paul), 3-and-D Wing (i.e. DeMarre Carroll), Stretch Four (like Kevin Love).
Trey Lyles, 6-10, 241 lbs, power forward, Kentucky. Lyles ranked anywhere between 15-21 as far as prospects go. But Utah needed a Stretch Four and Lyles fits the description (per bballbreakdown.com).
As far as the mock drafts go, predictions were mixed, but Myles Turner’s name showed up a few more times than others.
Scouting Report (per NBAdraft.net and Draft Express)
NBA Comparison: Carlos Boozer
Good: “…Has good size, strength, and an excellent frame…Very smooth player with good touch…”
Bad: “…Not a high flyer. A smooth athlete, but not very explosive…Not especially quick, lacks speed … Needs to improve his on-ball defense…”
Thoughts: A highly skilled offensive player, the only thing Lyles seems to lack is a consistent, three-point shot. Otherwise, there are plenty of concerns about his lack of quickness and athleticism, especially on defense.
Olivier Hanlan, 6-4, 186 lbs, guard from Boston College. A combo guard with good size, but lacks athleticism. Hanlan struggles to score off-the-dribble and highly depends on screens to create space. Defensively, lack of athleticism and length makes him a liability.
Boston selected Gerald Green with the 18th pick in this draft. Known for his above-the-rim game, it took Green a long time to find his niche in the NBA. He’s averaged close to 14.0 points per game in his last two seasons with the Phoenix Suns.
Ryan Gomes (50th overall) is the other player worth mentioning here. Beginning in his second season, his last in Boston, he began a streak of four consecutive years averaging more than 10 points per game.
Boston selected two Seniors from Purdue: JaJuan Johnson (27th) and E’twaun Moore (55th). Johnson lasted only 36 games in the league. Moore rarely sees time on the court.
High Usage Shooting Guard (James Harden-type), Two-Way Wing (Jimmy Butler), Rim Protector (Rudy Gobert).
Terry Rozier, 6-2, 190 lbs point guard from Louisville. This was a totally unexpected pick. Rozier was expected to go very late in the first round, as some mocks had him going to the champion Golden State Warriors. Many mocks had the Celtics selecting Sam Dekker. They basically picked the 30th best prospect halfway through the first round.
Scouting Report (per NBAdraft.net and DraftExpress.com).
NBA Comp: Trey Burke and Mookie Blaylock
Good: “…Rozier best attribute as a pro prospect is his tenacious defense…”
Bad: “…doesn’t always see the floor to make proper decisions and keep the ball moving within the flow of the offense…”
Thoughts: A relentless defender, Rozier is an aggressive combo guard looking to score. He’s quick and athletic and takes good care of the ball and is a good rebounder. His lack of size had scouts wondering if he can finish strong going to the hoop, though he can get to the paint area with regularity.
Aside from improving his point guard skills, a more consistent, three-point shot would be ideal. Nevertheless, Rozier has the potential to succeed at both point and shooting guard positions.
Similar Demographic: Eric Bledsoe, 18th pick in 2010.
R.J. Hunter, 6-6, 185 lbs guard from Georgia State (28th overall). The guy can shoot for days as he’s seemingly a threat from anywhere on the court. He also has a good feel for the game and received high marks for his passing ability.
Problems with him include the inability to create his own shot, lack of explosiveness and toughness, he’s slow, and needs more strength. Add it all up and concerns about his defense are imminent, but he does have ideal length so there’s hope there.
Similar Demos: Alex Abrines, 32nd overall in 2013 Draft.
Jordan Mickey, 6-8, 238 lbs, power forward out of LSU (33rd). What R.J. Hunter lacks in defense, the Celtics made up for it by picking Mickey. He lacks size, but has length and quickness to block shots and containt perimeter players. Of course, a guy like him, offense is a problem.
Similar Demos: DaJuan Summers, 35th pick in 2009.
Marcus Thornton, 6-3, 177 lbs, point guard from William and Mary (45th). Not to be confused with NBA veteran, Marcus Thornton, Boston went ahead and selected another small guard in the second round. Just like Rozier, Thornton lacks size and strength, but has the quickness and athleticism along with the offensive know-how to play both guard positions. Nevertheless, defense is a problem and will need to show improvement in this area.