2013 NBA Draft: Shane Larkin an Intriguing Option for Utah Jazz

By Ryan Heckman


JD Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz were one of the last teams out of the 2013 NBA Playoff race this year, and with the 14th overall pick in the Draft they are looking to get over that final hump by selecting a guy who can come in right away and contribute. Sitting right in the middle of the pack, the Jazz will surely have their options.

There are likely guys who could drop to them as a surprise, but also a few reaches that still may be worth a look. One of those reaches includes Miami point guard Shane Larkin.

Last season, Larkin was one of the most entertaining players in college basketball to watch, if you ask me. He plays the game with such tenacity that it is impossible not to be entertained.

Larkin would give the Jazz three things right away. First, he presents the ability to create his own offense. Larkin was one of the best last year at both pulling up and stepping back into his jumpers. He possesses the talent to hit quickly-released, off-balanced shots from almost any range.

Second, the Jazz would get an excellent three point shooter. Last season with the Hurricanes he shot over 40 percent from long distance, flashing a range even beyond the NBA-level three pointer. The Jazz could use the ability to knock down shots like this especially when things get tight down the stretch. Utah was one of the worst at closing out games, and Larkin my friend, is a closer.

Last, Larkin is a phenomenal guard off the pick-and-roll. Whoever is down low for the Jazz next season – Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are both free agents – will greatly appreciate this. Whether he takes it to the hole or creates a shot for his teammate, Larkin has great ability to see what the defense does in response to this type of play.

Overall, Larkin is a winner. He may be a reach, but he is one of the best available players towards the middle of the first round. That for one, cannot be argued. His ceiling is high, and the Jazz have to like that. At number 14, Larkin will definitely have to be in consideration.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA writer for RantSports.com also contributing to the NFL. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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