The Utah Jazz made the playoffs for the first time in five years last season. The Jazz were able to pull of a first-round surprise by defeating the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games in the NBA Western Conference. Now, the Jazz must deal with maintaining their success even though Gordon Hayward went to the Boston Celtics in free agency. Let’s take a look at who Utah picked this season.
13. Donovan Mitchell – SG – Louisville. 6’3″, 210 lbs. (15.6 ppg,, 4.9 rpg, 2 spg, .354 3PT).
28. Tony Bradley – C – North Carolina. 6’11”, 249 lbs. (7.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg).
55. Nigel Williams-Goss – PG – Gonzaga. 6’3″, 195 lbs. (16.8 ppg, 6 rpg, 4.7 apg, .368 3PT, .867 FT).
Mitchell made a huge jump in his sophomore season from a reserve player to the go-to guy at Louisville. His relentlessness and his fearlessness at both ends of the court will serve him well in the NBA since he will probably have a chance to start at shooting guard. If he is able to adjust to NBA play against other shooting guards that are bigger than him, then he has a good chance at being Rookie of the Year next season.
Bradley will not being see much time on the court due to the Jazz having a stacked frontcourt. However, Bradley will need the time to develop his post skills and his strength. Nevertheless, taking him late in the first round is a good investment for the future if he continues to improve because he has the ability to become a double-double guy within the next five years.
Williams-Goss was able to lead Gonzaga to its first-ever NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game. Although Gonzaga lost, his skills as a competitor and a leader were on display at the national level. His ability to control the tempo of a game will allow for him to step in and possibly get some minutes off of the bench at point.
Grade: B+. Although Utah has the weirdest nickname in sports (“When I think of Utah, I think of the Jazz!” – Bob Costas), they drafted pretty well this past offseason. Whenever you can add three potential players to a winning team, then that is always a good thing.
All stats are from NBA.com. The image of the saxophone is from Pixabay.com.