The Utah Jazz hold the fourth-overall selection in next week’s NBA draft and many believe they are focusing on former Indiana Hoosiers’ big man Noah Vonleh.
Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders likes Australian point guard Dante Exum and former Oklahoma State Cowboys’ point guard Marcus Smart as fits for the Jazz rather than Vonleh.
They are listed as drafting Vonleh right now by some drafts, but I think that would be a mistake. I’m not going to predict what they are going to do, but I don’t think they have the horses to move up for Jabari, or the willingness to commit them even if they did. Who on that roster do you want if you’re Milwaukee for the privilege, plus 5 and 23 of course.
I’d say they should take Exum if he’s there. He could totally flame out and won’t be anything close to ready right away, especially on defense where he’s used to just walking around the court, but his blinding quickness gives him superstar potential. The Jazz should be better next year, so they may not be in the range to get a star in the draft. They need to swing for the fences now. Smart would be my other choice if Exum is gone. They have Burke, and I like him, but Smart is probably a better prospect. They could also play together with Burke’s shooting ability and Smart’s defense.
Exum measured in at 6’6 and 196 lbs. with a wingspan of 6’9.5 at the NBA’s Scouting Combine. Exum is ranked by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express as the fifth-best prospect in the draft and is currently projected to be selected with the sixth-overall pick in the draft by the Boston Celtics.
Smart is ranked as the sixth-best prospect in the draft by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express. He averaged 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game last season and shot 42.2% from the field, 29.9% from beyond the arc and 72.8% from the charity stripe. Smart measured in at 6’3.25 and 227 lbs. with a wingspan of 6’9.25.
The Jazz could simply wind up with whichever of the two the Orlando Magic don’t select with the fourth-overall pick because they are very high on both point guards.