The Utah Jazz are clearly a team that’s looking towards their future. They are going to be rolling out an extremely young team next year with the likes of Trey Burke, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Gordon Hayward for the 2013-2014 NBA season with the aim of developing these young guys and of getting a pick in the high lottery of the 2014 NBA Draft.
However, one young player that won’t be with the Jazz for next season is second-round draft pick Raul Neto. According to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News, Neto plans to continue playing in Spain next season rather than come to the NBA and suit up for Utah. Neto was originally selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 47th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but was traded to the Jazz.
Neto played with the Jazz at the Orlando NBA Summer League, appearing in three games. He played just 16.3 minutes per game and averaged only 3.7 points, three assists and two rebounds per game while shooting a paltry 27.3 percent from the field, missing all three of his three-point attempts, and turning the ball over twice per game.
At just 21 years old, Neto has spent the last two seasons playing for San Sebastian in Spain. In 34 games last season, Neto averaged 8.5 points, 2.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds and one steal per game while converting on 48.5 percent of his two-point field goals and 39 percent of his three-point attempts.
As a young player, Neto is at his best when he’s out in the open floor. He is a creative scorer in transition and also when he’s slashing, which is aided by his solid ball-handling skills. However, his jump shot still needs to improve as does his willingness to pass. However, there’s no denying his potential as a point guard.
Going back to Spain is probably the best thing for him at this time, though. The Jazz already have a decent amount of depth at the guard position, so there wouldn’t be many minutes available for Neto to collect and use to continue developing. He’s going to be much better off in Spain where he can see the floor more, work on his weaknesses, and possibly join the Jazz in 2014.