Each Wednesday, we’ll be assessing how the top prospects of the 2013 NBA Draft are faring in college and overseas. Stick with us each week for assorted thoughts, including the biggest risers and fallers, the standouts, the sleepers and what we know and don’t know about the next NBA Draft class…
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Floating on the fringe of the NBA Playoffs is traditionally a one-way street to mediocrity. There is no hope in the draft and clearly you are not talented enough to make the playoffs with the status quo. That is where the Utah Jazz are right now and where they have been over the past few years.
Here is the NBA Draft Fast Five.
ONE: What Do We Know About The Utah Jazz?
One topic that is not discussed at length about teams rebuilding is that they get to make a lot of radical changes to get in position for their vision. Whether that vision is building through the draft or through free agency, or some combination of the two, teams can clear their roster to create a blank canvas to play with. That is what the Jazz have done. This summer, the team will have only one player under contract who isn’t on a rookie contract.
Marvin Williams has an early termination option ($7.5 million) that he can and will likely exercise, but the core of the team is the draft picks they have made or acquired over the past three years. Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Jeremy Evans and Kevin Murphy are the core of the team. There are no stars in that group, but it’s a cast ready to be taken over and subsequently led. The team has built the roster from the inside-out like a football team builds from the line out with Favors, Kanter and Hayward creating a need on the perimeter.
TWO: What Do They Need?
The past two years have been about the Jazz getting things back on track with the cast they assembled from the Deron Williams trade. In that trade, they avoided a drastic rebuild, but entered into the rebuilding process with some young assets.
Point guard is the biggest void on the roster, obviously, and will be the focus in the upcoming NBA Draft. Losing Williams left a void that if filled could turn the Jazz into a viable playoff team with the depth of talent on the roster. The organization has a proven track record of building a roster that can compete for the playoffs and have a head coach in Tyrone Corbin that has the ability to lead them there.
THREE: Stock Rising
One of the things Lehigh point guard C.J. McCollum should consider doing with his first rookie paychecks is sending Stephen Curry a modest “thank you.” That is not an indictment on McCollum’s game — he would be a first-round pick, regardless — but the success of Curry has created a “what if?” question to NBA decision-makers on the potential of the small-school scoring dynamo. He is being discussed as high as No. 4 overall, which would be the highest a Patriot League player has gone since “The Admiral” David Robinson went No. 1 overall in 1987.