Locke's Jazz Report, 2009-10

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6/24/10

It is time to do it. This is only done with your understanding that my college basketball knowledge is solely off watching two or three game films of players leading up to the draft. With your understanding that I don’t have the years of expertise of Kevin O’Connor, Walt Perrin or Dave Freedman on the draft and on what players can work in our system. With your understanding that I have not been a part of any of the interviews or inside information on these players. Finally, with your understanding that this is in no way representative of what the Utah Jazz will do or should do today.

The David Locke Utah Jazz Draft Board

  • Greg Monroe - big body, fits well into how the Jazz play. Amazing passer. Comes from a system and looks prepared to understand the Jazz system. Not a great athlete and turnover prone off the dribble. Believe he will be an NBA starting center and could depending on Memo Okur’s health start for the Jazz to open the season.
  • Al-Farouq Aminu – won’t get past the Clippers so this is irrelevant but this is the type of athlete you don’t get unless you are in the top 10 of the draft. Young, very young at 19 but a freakish athlete with insane length. Vicious on the boards got 11 a game at Wake Forest.
  • Patrick Patterson – as one scout said a complete professional. He was the numerous teams best interview. A nice body that is NBA ready. May never be a NBA star but will be a solid pro. Could step into the Jazz rotation immediately. Will be a 15 pt 8 reb power forward at some point in his career. Doesn’t have the wow factor that makes you say he will be more but if his evolution from the player he was as a sophomore to a junior at Kentucky might mean he could evolve more than anticipated. If the Jazz lose Boozer he could fill Millsap’s role immediately.
  • Epke Udoh – good length and a solid offensive game that just arose this year at Baylor. Will be able to score in the NBA. Blocked shots at Baylor. Lack of lower body strength at 23 years old is a bit concerning. In the right fit could come in and score immediately. Not sure he will ever be a long post banger. Good handle for a big, good bad control for a big and nice passing off the dribble.
  • Xavier Henry – A scout told me that I saw good games rather than the complete view. The games I saw he was terrific. He has an NBA body. He was impactful on the defensive end. His shot looks good but not great, fair to assume it will approve. Underwhelmed by his ability to dribble. Straight lines most of his dribble work. Has a hard time getting off the floor when his route is altered. If he develops a dribble I believe he could be Caron Butler. Yes, this is the first player I have mentioned who I believe has a chance to be an all-star
  • Luke Babbitt – Can put the ball in the hole. Solid shooter. The “you think it is going in every time” type shooter at the college level. Can put it on the floor. Decent stop and pop game. Concerned his dribble game could disappear under pressure defense in the NBA. Plays under control. Not a defensive player
  • Gordon Hayward – Are intelligence and making your teammates and winning better draftable skills? This is where I am lost on Hayward. I can’t see his obvious NBA skill. His shooting was off this season. He lacks some strength. So his dribble game will be limited because I think he will struggle off contact.
  • Ed Davis – This is about potential. And I don’t have the expertise to know how to evaluate that. Some scouts think he could still be growing. He is a jumping jack. His dad was 6’10 but only 225 and played 10 years in the NBA. Supposedly, showed a better rounded game in his workouts than what he showed at UNC. Can impact games defensively if he is big enough and strong enough to handle the pressure. Don’t think he is ready to contribute 20 minutes a night.
  • Cole Aldrich – He is ready to play and plays defense and rebounds. However, I have serious concerns if he will ever be able to get his shot off offensively. The NBA game gets down to the ability of everyone being guarded on the offensive end and Aldrich will be guarded since he is around the rim but if you have another post player he will clog things up. Solid. If the Jazz draft him he could play starting center opening night if Memo is not ready and could play 20 minutes a night immediately. Doubt he will evolve to more than that.

SCOUTING REPORTS:
Hassan Whiteside | Cole Aldrich | Ekpe Udoh | Greg Monroe | Xavier Henry | Luke Babbitt


Good morning from New York.

Yesterday I interviewed all of the Green Room players and those interviews are available at UtahJazz.com.

The visual part of seeing each of these guys was really interesting. John Wall and Evan Turner, the #1 and #2 picks, both had a “pop” to them that the other guys didn’t have. Turner was easily the most engaging person of the draftees.

Both Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins were impressive in their size and stature. Wow they are huge. Favors has broad shoulders and a huge frame and is only 19 years old. He could really be a beast in this league. Cousins is a wall.

Ed Davis was the opposite. He was shockingly slender. He only weighs around 220 and said he doesn’t want to gain a lot of weight because he doesn’t want to lose his jump. He is going to need to be a lot stronger to be effective in the league.

Patrick Patterson was an impressive interview and physical specimen. The more I watch him (I am re-watching him today and going to file a last minute scouting report) I think he would be a good addition to the Jazz.

I thought this would be an interesting thing to look at in regards to the bigs on the table for the Jazz on draft day. These numbers to me question why Patrick Patterson is not thought of more highly.

NAME

AGE

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

WINGSPAN

STANDING REACH

MAX VERTICAL JUMP

Court Sprint

Bench Press

Greg Monroe

20

6’11

247

7’2.25

9’0.5

29.0

3.35

15

Epke Udoh

23

6’9.75

237

7’4.5

8’10.5

33.5

3.29

10

Patrick Patterson

21

6’9.25

240

7’1.25

8’11

33.5

3.25

17

Cole Aldrich

21

6’11.25

236

7’4.25

9’3.5

28.0

3.35

10

Ed Davis

21

6’9.75

227

7’0

9’0

36.0

3.21

NA

Derrick Favors

18

6’10.25

245

7’4

9’2

35.5

3.25

14

Kevin O’Connor told us that standing reach is a more important number for a big man. Derrick Favors is clearly in a different class of player than player in measurable. Ed Davis has an athletic ability that is superior to the other guys with a 36 max vertical jump. Other than those two I think Patrick Patterson looks like a lot more solid than the others.

It is worth nothing on Patterson that his sophomore year at University of Kentucky he averaged 18 pts and 9 rebs a game, while shooting 60% His freshman year he averaged 36 minutes a night and averaged 16 pts and 8 rebs. Over his entire career at Kentucky he shot over 57%. In his junior year he added an outside game shooting 69 college three’s making 24 (35%) after having only attempted 4 without a make in his first two years.

2010 DRAFT INDEX | FIRST ROUND PROFILES


6/23/10

Greetings from New York. This afternoon I will sit down with most of the lottery picks in tomorrow’s draft. What an amazing 24 hours this will be for these young men and one of them is bound to making a new home on the Wasatch Front.

The draft is beginning to take shape. The top 5 picks seem clear, John Wall, Evan Turner, Wesley Johnson, DeMarcus Cousins and Derek Favors. It is at pick #6 things will begin to pick up for the Utah Jazz.

My personal favorite for the Utah Jazz is 19 year 6’11 Greg Monroe from Georgetown. He is not a finished product and has some things that are concerning when I scouted him. However, he comes from a system that mirrors the Jazz flex offense. He is a fabulous passer. He is big. And he improved in the largest moments last year at Georgetown.

Things are beginning to break in a manner where Monroe could be on the board at 9. What I don’t know is if he is a Jazz personal favorite.

The Warriors, who yesterday traded Corey Maggette, are sitting at 6. The word is they will likely take power forward from Baylor Ekpe Udoh. I have scouted Udoh and really liked his offensive game. He blocks shots as well. He is not very strong and is already 23 years of age. If I were in the GM chair and had to make a choice of Monroe, or Udoh I would find that a difficult decision.

The other scenario with Golden State is that due to the Maggette trade they will take a wing player.

Detroit is next on the clock. If Golden State holds with Udoh, they will be deciding between the upside of North Carolina’s Ed Davis and Monroe. Numerous sources believe that the Pistons will take Ed Davis. Davis has good length and great athleticism. He is shot blocker and is showing an improved offensive game in his workout. However, he is still far from a finished product or a sure thing.

If the Pistons take Davis, the Clippers at 8 are expected to take a wing player. If the Warriors go big with Udoh this would leave Wake Forest product Al-Farouq Aminu on the board for the Clippers. His athleticism, which is freakish, coupled with Blake Griffin, Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon and Baron Davis and the Clippers could be much improved in the upcoming seasons.

If this takes place as anticipated, and a lot can change in 24 hours, the Jazz would have Monroe on the board along with center Cole Aldrich, power forward Patrick Patterson and wing players Luke Babbitt, Gordon Hayward or Xavier Henry.

Should be a fun and check back for interviews and updates.

2010 DRAFT INDEX | FIRST ROUND PROFILES


5/26/10

The easy conclusion of a sports fan is that a first round draft pick should pan out. However, the NBA is not the NFL. In the NBA after the 11th pick of the draft 56% of the players never become consistent rotation players.

I have gone through the NBA drafts from 1997-2007 and classified every pick as an all-pro, all-star, starter, rotation player, fringe player or a zero. Here are the results from those 11 NBA drafts.

NBA Draft 1997-2007

Picks 1-5

Picks 6-10

Picks 11-15

Picks 16-20

Picks 21-30

11-end

Second Round

TOTAL

All Pro

15%

7%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

2%

All Star

18%

11%

0%

4%

3%

2%

2%

4%

Starter

33%

25%

11%

13%

17%

14%

3%

11%

Rotation

20%

29%

35%

22%

27%

28%

11%

19%

Fringe

5%

13%

18%

18%

13%

16%

6%

10%

Zero

9%

15%

36%

44%

39%

40%

78%

54%

Total

1

1

1

1

1

1

Non-contributor

15%

27%

55%

62%

53%

56%

0.84

1.00

Here are some of the more interesting finds

  • Jazz 9th pick gives you a rotation player or better 73% of the time and a starter or better 43%.
  • Kevin O’Connor has picked 10 of his 11 Jazz draft picks after the 11th pick and on average 56% of those picks never contributes.
  • Top 5 picks seem to be the only close to certain thing in the NBA.
  • Getting an all star is almost impossible after the 10th pick and an all-pro is impossible.

5/13/10

FREE AGENTS 2010 - THE BOOZER SITUATION

MONEY
1. Do the Jazz have Cap Space without Boozer?
If the Jazz let Boozer go can they use money for another free agent? No.
Why not - the Jazz have 7 players under contract for $55 million which takes to within $1 million of salary cap plus cap holds they have no cap space to sign another free agent.

Leaving only the mid level exception of $5.5 million to sign a player or the see below the trade exception.

2. Can they sign and trade Boozer
Yes but that is really no different than signing boozer money wise. The Jazz would have to bring back the same amount of money that Boozer signs for. So if you are going to sign and trade you better be doing it with a player that makes you better. The best you can do on the money front is sign Boozer and trade for 75% of his salary.

3. What can the Jazz offer Boozer without going over luxury tax?
This is more fluid - the luxury tax for next year is around $68 million. With the 7 players under contract at $55 plus the draft pick which is a cap hold of $2 million. You must have 13 players on your roster. Lets re-sign Wesley at about $3 million - now you have 9 players at $60 million. Therefore, it seems almost impossible to sign Boozer and stay under the luxury tax.

4. Could Jazz extend Carlos prior to July 1?
yes but they would either have to blow his doors off or he would have to believe their is no market for him. As we just showed the Jazz can’t afford to blow his doors off and he will have a market.


SUITORS
1. Who has the Cap Space to sign Boozer?
Knicks - 2 max slots ($32-36 million)
Miami - 1 max slots as long as Wade stays, two if he goes ($21 million)
Chicago- 1 max slot ($18 million)
Nets - 1 max slot + $(26 million)
Washington - 1 max slot ($19 million)
Clippers - 1 max slot
Sacramento - ($17 million)
Minnesota - ($17 million)
OKC - ($11 million)

2. Where does Boozer rank?
1. LBJ
2. Wade
3. Amare
4. Bosh
5. Johnson
6. David Lee and Carlos Boozer

3. Who wants Boozer
I don’t think the Knicks, Sacramento or the Clippers are interested due to personnel and style.

Nets, Miami, Washington and Chicago would all be assisted greatly by adding him but have others on the list ahead of them. If the Knicks strike out on the bigger name Boozer could recirculate in New York since they have to get something but I would be surprised if at that point they wouldn’t just re-sign David Lee.

4. What is the best scenario for the Jazz
A. Amare needs to go to Miami
B. Bosh goes to Chicago, then New Jersey has to decide they want Lee instead of Boozer
C. Washington would be the last remaining suitor

5. Most likely scenario
Almost no scenario where Boozer goes into free agency without a suitor bidding for him which means no way the Jazz sign Boozer on the cheap, which means no way the Jazz stay under the luxury tax and re-sign Carlos. Also probably means it is going to be impossible to keep the # of years within reason.

6. So if Jazz lose Boozer what can they do?
At that point they will stay under the tax at $68 million. If Wesley is signed at 3 and Fesenko and Korver are let go the Jazz would have $62 million in 12 players so they Jazz could use their mid-level exception or their trade exception from Matt Harpring which more than mid-level to acquire a $6 million dollar big.


5/1/10

Here are some thoughts from LA as we get ready for Game 1...

Lakers aren’t the same – This Lakers team is not the same as the last two years Lakers team. They have slipped offensively. In the past the Lakers were able to beat you both offensively and defensively. However, this season they have only been able to beat people defensively. Therefore, when they have been fatigued during the season they have slumped.

This year the Lakers only won 4 more games than the Jazz. They did it with 6 buzzer beaters by Kobe Bryant. The difference between these two teams is not what it was in the years past.

Length is an issue -- Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap were dominate in game 6 against Denver. However, against the length of the Lakers both of these guys have struggled. During the regular season Paul Millsap shot just 10 of 33 v. the Lakers and Boozer averaged just 14 points a game. Without Memo Okur, who also struggled against the Lakers, Boozer and Millsap have to find a way to have success.

Two years ago, Boozer had his worst playoff series ever against the Lakers. That summer Boozer went to the Olympics with the likes of Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh and worked on his offensive game against length. In addition, he watched the film of that playoff series numerous times trying to decipher how to attack the Lakers.

In what was an otherwise disappointing season for Boozer, he was very strong in last year’s playoffs v. the Lakers putting up some big numbers and carrying the team to a win in Game 3.

Lamar Odom – If the Jazz are going to have any success in this series they must figure out a way to slow down Lamar Odom. Odom has ripped the Jazz apart for most of the last two years. He is simply unguardable for the Jazz. However, Odom is not a consistent player so the Jazz need to find a way to knock him off his game.

Wesley and CJ -- The 23 years old will have another tough task, defending Kobe Bryant. Equally important is making Kobe paying for not defending. In previous match-ups Kobe has left then Jazzman Ronnie Brewer and freelanced. Brewer had some decent games but was never able to exploit Kobe’s defense. CJ and Wesley need to force Kobe to guard them thus freeing Deron to conduct the offense and give Boozer and Millsap room to work.

Get Game 1 – I like the Jazz chances in game 1. The Lakers played a tough series against OKC. As I mentioned before when they are fatigued they are not as good defensively and the Jazz should be able to slow down their offense. Moreover, the Jazz are a tough team to play without preparation.

The way to win this game is twofold. The Lakers blew the Jazz out of the game early in a bunch of playoff games over the past two years and in 4 of the 6 games against OKC had double digit leads in the first round. The Jazz must hold off the early burst. Secondly, the Jazz need to minimize the runs of the Lakers. The Jazz have played with the Lakers but have been unable to slow their runs which have usually been spurred defensively.