Jimmermania in Utah has officially been downsized from every day to a couple times a year. BYU fans are depressed, Ute fans most likely happy or undecided, and the Jazz brass can breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Phew, it’s over!
The most intriguing and most important draft in Utah Jazz history didn’t come without a bang. Every eye in the state who bleeds blue, red, or purple was glued to the TV June 23. The anticipation, the build, the emotion, and the thoughts of little ones dressed in Jimmer Jazz jerseys of a future of half-court threes and 52-point outbursts were dashed to pieces when the Kings acquired Jimmer via the Milwaukee Bucks’ No. 10 pick ina trade.
No riots. Just boos, saddened hearts, and lowly countenances for most. Meanwhile nothing but rejoice and grins from Jazz Jimmer-haters. But secretly, somewhere deep inside, I think all true Jazz fans like these two picks. And here’s why you should too.
Enes Kanter, the No. 3 pick from Turkey, is 6-11, 259 pounds, boasts a 7-foot one-and-one-half-inch wingspan, with a vertical of 32 inches. This guy moves his body very well and put up very impressive numbers at the Nike Hoop Summit against other highly touted prospects just a year ago. He had 34 points and 13 rebounds in the game, and has been intriguing NBA GM’s ever since. His height gives him recognition, but his athleticism and ability is what put him at No. 3 overall and as the most solid big man and top international prospect in this draft.
Kanter is an asset to have alongside Jefferson, Millsap, and Favors (assuming no trades). Mehmet Okur, also a native from Turkey, can show Kanter the ropes, making his transition to the NBA game a little easier.
Alec Burks, the No. 12 pick, played at the University of Colorado. As a sophomore this past season he averaged 20.5 points and six boards per game and shot 46 percent from the field, 30 percent from three. He stands at 6-6, 195 pounds, and had a career-high 36 points.
Jimmer’s career high as a sophomore was 28 points, just to give you an idea of his potential.
The question rises, what do the Jazz do now? How do the Jazz manage minutes between Kanter, Favors, Jefferson, and Millsap? This puts the Jazz in a wonderful position, and this is why:
The Jazz can now trade Millsap, which opens up a starting position for Kanter or Favors, with the backup role given to the one that doesn’t start. Jefferson played like an All-Star last season and is new to the franchise. He isn’t expendable, but rather a key piece to the winning puzzle.
Millsap provides trade value. His 17 and seven a night, with occasional outbursts, make him a valuable asset and good trade bait. The Jazz could trade him, Raja, Okur, next year’s pick, etc to get either a star for either backcourt position.
Andre Iguadala’s name has been buzzing around. Could the Jazz land him? Tayshaun Prince? Tony Parker? Monta Ellis? Options are limitless now as this draft gives the Jazz chances to make a great trade.
Jimmer to the Jazz was a cute idea, more on paper than anything. He may start for the Kings, meanwhile the Jazz will definitely utilize their two nuggets they mined in this draft.
Good work, Jazz brass. You may have struck gold.