As Thursday night time’s NBA draft approached, there was exponentially-growing curiosity about whether or not the Utah Jazz would use the often-freewheeling affair to make some type of seismic transfer.
Turns out, there was solely a touch of a tremor.
Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley, Royce O’Neale, and Jordan Clarkson are all nonetheless on the roster for now. No draft picks have been acquired or made.
And so, the one distinction with the workforce in the meanwhile is the addition of UCLA guard Johnny Juzang, who — after going undrafted — agreed to a two-way contract with the workforce, per a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Two-way offers enable gamers to separate time between NBA golf equipment and their G League associates.
The Jazz additionally signed Illinois heart Kofi Cockburn to an Exhibit 10 contract, per a report from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. An Exhibit 10 deal is a non-guaranteed deal that primarily quantities to a coaching camp invite, and which permits the participant to earn a $50,000 bonus if, when minimize by the NBA workforce, they subsequently signal with the G League affiliate and stay on the roster for a minimum of 60 days.
And Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Georgia Tech ahead Jordan Usher — who made an impression with a spirited media session following his predraft exercise — has agreed to a summer season league cope with the Jazz.
Thursday’s lack of an enormous transfer isn’t to say that CEO Danny Ainge and basic supervisor Justin Zanik gained’t but shake up the make-up of a workforce coming off back-to-back early playoff exits, however a minimum of on draft night time, the workforce’s front-office braintrust didn’t see a substantive deal price making.
That prolonged to getting concerned within the draft itself. Utah was certainly one of three groups that didn’t have a decide in both the primary or second spherical, together with the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns. (The Los Angeles Lakers entered the day with out one, however bought the No. 35 decide from the Orlando Magic early within the day.)
There had been a couple of rumors that the workforce would attempt to transfer certainly one of its rotation items for a first-round decide, or, extra merely, think about shopping for a second-round decide. Jazz proprietor Ryan Smith mentioned on Tuesday within the aftermath of a promotional occasion for UFC 278 at Vivint Arena that he was amenable to spending the cash to accumulate such a decide if the entrance workplace requested it.
That didn’t wind up taking place, which is maybe not an enormous shock, contemplating the workforce dramatically de-emphasized its annual predraft course of this season. In previous years, the workforce has hosted greater than 100 prospects in numerous exercises. This yr, it introduced in a couple of dozen, only some of whom wound up listening to their names referred to as.
Juzang was among the many preliminary six gamers the Jazz had in for predraft exercises. The 6-foot-5, 209-pound guard with a 6-11 wingspan spent his freshman season at Kentucky, however burst onto the nationwide scene as a sophomore throughout UCLA’s run by way of the NCAA Tournament.
That season, he averaged 16.0 factors, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 32.1 minutes, and made the All-Pac-12 Second Team. He then led UCLA on a Cinderella run by way of March Madness, because the Bruins went from the First Four to the Final Four. Along the way in which, he scored 23 factors vs. Michigan State, 27 in an upset of BYU, 28 in opposition to Michigan, and 29 in UCLA’s near-upset of No. 1-seeded Gonzaga.
In UCLA’s six tourney video games, he averaged 22.8 factors on 50.9% capturing. He declared for the 2021 draft, however after some tough predraft exercises, he subsequently determined to return to highschool for his junior season.
Juzang would common 15.6 factors, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 31.7 minutes, and make the All-Pac-12 First Team as a junior, however scouts reportedly got here away underwhelmed along with his lack of total progress. He shot simply 43.2% from the sector and 36.0% from 3-point vary this previous season.
As for Cockburn, he’s a 7-foot, 285-pound behemoth who averaged 20.9 factors and 10.6 rebounds rebounds per sport as a junior. He additionally shot 59.3% from the sector and 65.5% on free throws this previous season. The 22-year-old native of Jamaica is believed to have an underdeveloped offensive sport, and is maybe too gradual and motionless to match up with NBA gamers.
Usher is a 6-7, 213-pound ahead who grew to become famend for his potential to change 1 by way of 5, defending opposing level guards and facilities equally effectively. As a senior, he averaged 14.8 factors, 6.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.5 steals per sport. He’s additionally made substantial progress in his capturing, going from 20.5% on 3s as a redshirt sophomore to 34.2% as a senior.
As for the draft itself, there have been a minimum of a couple of fireworks within the early going, beginning proper at No. 1.
The Magic had been broadly anticipated to pick out smooth-shooting Auburn ahead Jabari Smith, however hoodwinked the whole league — together with the NBA’s info retailers — by as an alternative taking Duke massive man Paolo Banchero.
The Thunder, then again, held to prognostications and took Gonzaga’s wispy 7-footer, Chet Holmgren, whereas the Rockets have been the beneficiaries of Smith’s slight slide, and took him third.
The fourth decide, held by Sacramento, was considered out there for a commerce, but when not, Purdue guard Jaden Ivey was broadly thought-about the favourite to go there. The Kings as an alternative went for filling a necessity by deciding on Iowa ahead Keegan Murray, and the Detroit Pistons fortunately nabbed Ivey at No. 5.
Still, anybody hoping for the kind of large offers that shake up the league undoubtedly got here away upset.
There have been a couple of trades alongside the way in which, however largely they concerned picks within the teenagers and 20s altering arms. A handful of NBA gamers have been relocated in associated offers, however they have been primarily salary-shedding strikes involving the likes of non-headliners comparable to Kemba Walker going to Detroit, whereas Danny Green and De’Anthony Melton traded locations in Philly and Memphis, respectively, together with the No. 23 choice.