Now that the Utah Jazz have hired Quin Snyder as its new head coach it is also time for the team to turn their attention towards potential first round picks at the 2014 NBA Draft. On Saturday, June 7 several first-round prospects visited the Zions Bank Basketball Center hoping to gain favor with the Jazz who own the No. 5 and No. 23 selections. The word for Saturday's workout participants is potential.
Arizona forward Aaron Gordon led Saturday’s cast of characters. In addition to being the first lottery pick the Jazz have laid eyes on at the ZBBC this year, he was not the only likely first round selection working out in Utah on Saturday.
Gordon is intriguing because he’s young and his ceiling of potential is still very high, according to scouts. Though Sports Illustrated says that Boston--who owns the No. 6 pick--is “locked in” on this player, the Jazz have the No. 5 selection so if things stay the way they are right now, Gordon could be in a Jazz jersey. He averaged a double-double at Arizona before turning pro early.
Gordon wasn’t the only “potential lottery” pick coming to Salt Lake City Saturday. You’ll want to keep an eye out for Michigan State Adreian Payne as the draft gets closer.
According to SI.com, Payne could go at No. 13. He’s intriguing because if the Jazz really want to play Derrick Favors at center, it would make perfect sense to grab Payne if he falls a bit and is available at No. 23. At 6-10 and 239 pounds, Payne can play a stretch four and scored about 17 points per game to go with seven rebounds.
Jerami Grant of Syracuse is a bit smaller than Payne at 6-8 and 214 but will most likely be available at No. 23 according to DraftExpress.com’s latest Mock Draft board. The word on Grant is that he can play great defense--but his shooting touch needs work. He only averaged 13 and 7 as a sophomore.
David Stockton of Gonzaga, son of Jazz legend John, is the other notable to work out for the Jazz on Saturday. While he isn’t on any Mock Draft boards he is a sentimental favorite among Jazz fans and one that Utah could select in the second round. Like Gordon, there is a sense that Stockton's ceiling is high and that he hasn't reached his full potential. At 5-10 and 160 pounds he averaged just eight points and four assists as a senior.
Others attending the ZBBC for pre-draft workouts included Baylor forward Cory Jefferson, UNLV forward Khem Birch, Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes, Iowa guard Roy Devyn Marble and Tennessee State guard Patrick Miller.