2014 NBA Draft: 5 Players Utah Jazz Should Target
5 Players the Utah Jazz Should Target In the Draft
When the Utah Jazz allowed former stars Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson to walk in free agency, the team proved themselves to be in full rebuilding mode. Some would call it tanking, but it is actually just looking towards the future. Realistically, Utah was not going to win a championship with their former team as they were constantly stuck in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference.
As we all are aware of, mediocre is the absolute worst position any franchise could be in. An opportunity at a quality draft pick is out of the question and so is competing for a championship. In order to be successful, the Jazz made the correct decision in sacrificing this season in attempts of drafting a future superstar. Of course nothing is a guarantee, but in a city where it is difficult to lure marquee free agents, building through the draft is the way to do it.
A model organization is the Indiana Pacers who have built the majority of their team through the draft. The process has been a lengthy one, but it has unquestionably paid off. The roster can be partially accredited to the genius mind of Larry Bird as well as the quality coaching of Frank Vogel. Utah has a long road ahead of them to get to the same point as Indiana, yet they are off to a good start.
Trading for Trey Burke and re-signing Derrick Favors last offseason were the perfect moves to kick off the rebuilding process. Adding one more star in this year's draft can be the beginning of something special. The other young players on the Jazz are going to have to step up, continue to develop and eventually this team should be back into the playoff race. It is all a matter of scoring a home run this summer.
5. Noah Vonleh - Indiana
Not a household name coming into this season, Noah Vonleh has been the prospect to boost his draft stock the most this year. Vonleh is almost a seven footer, so pairing him with Derrick Favors in the frontcourt may very well be the next coming of the Millsap, Jefferson duo. Although not the greatest option in the draft, if Vonleh were to fall to Utah this summer, the Jazz would certainly have nothing to complain about. He is a fantastic rebounder and has the potential to be an outstanding stretch four.
4. Julius Randle - Kentucky
Julius Randle may be a little bit short for the power forward position, but he is an absolute beast in the paint. Randle relies heavily on his strength and effort to crash the boards, getting tons on put backs. If the Jazz want a player that will do everything in his power to win a game, Randle is their guy. He can hold his own against anybody, so in a conference with players such as Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin, Randle is a must.
3. Andrew Wiggins - Kansas
One of the major deficiencies in the Utah roster is a solid small forward. The Trey Burke, Alec Burks backcourt appears to be the duo moving forward, however Richard Jefferson is not the small forward for the future. Andrew Wiggins is has potential to be an elite defender in addition to his unbelievable explosiveness on the offensive end. Drafting Wiggins may be their best shot at acquiring a future superstar.
2. Joel Embiid - Kansas
Although Joel Embiid most likely will not fall far enough to be drafted by Utah, he is most definitely worth looking into. Embiid has great size at seven feet tall and can run the floor like other elite centers in the game. Drafting him would force Favors to play the power forward position, but this frontcourt tandem would have potential of being the NBA's best in a couple of years. To acquire the rights to Embiid, the Jazz will have to look to trade up in the draft. However, doing so would be totally worth it.
1. Jabari Parker - Duke
Finally, we reach currently the best player in college basketball, Jabari Parker. Scouts have stated that Parker possibly has the best chance to develop into a superstar as he has been compared to Carmelo Anthony numerous times. If you look at his numbers, they are about identical to those of Anthony while attended Syracuse University. Again, Utah would likely have to trade up in the draft and again it would undoubtedly worth it.