The Utah Jazz prospects at grabbing a top four pick in the 2014 NBA Draft seem to be improving by the game. The Jazz are mired in a five-game losing streak as of Tuesday, April 1 -- and currently stand a 12 percent chance at getting the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery in May.
Rumors persist -- particularly on local sports talk radio -- that the Jazz may be open to selecting any player at any position, including point guards.
While this may seem like an April Fool’s Day joke to many the NBA is rapidly changing -- and a two-point-guard system may be the next wave of the future for NBA teams.
Think playing alongside Trey Burke is a stretch? This draft alone features a 6-6 Australian drawing comparisons to the great Steve Nash and a 6-9 “point-forward” out of UCLA who is also a product of Bob Hurley’s St. Anthony high school basketball dynasty -- in addition to several smaller but equally good players.
To that end, the Jazz may not be immune from entertaining such an idea of drafting a point guard -- especially when some great options may be available to the Jazz at their (currently) No.4, 23, and 34 selections.
Here’s a brief breakdown of some top point guard prospects at this year’s draft.
Dante Exum, Australia
Versatile enough to play both guard positions, the 6-foot-6 Aussie is drawing high praise for not only his ball handling -- but for his play making ability.
He has been mentioned as a high lottery pick for months -- and rumors persist that the Los Angeles Lakers -- home of Steve Nash -- may be “tanking” in order to move up in the draft to take him.
If Jabari and Wiggins go before Exum in the draft, the Jazz could also consider him at No. 4. He is the first of two “point-forward” prospects in this draft.
Kyle Anderson, UCLA
A product of the great high school basketball dynasty that sired many NBA talents, Anderson is a another in a long line of St. Anthony High School (Jersey City, N.J.) greats who played for Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley Sr.
After a sterling career at that school, Anderson moved on to UCLA where under a great former guard (Steve Alford) he flourished as the Bruins’ “point-forward” -- leading them to the NCAA Tournament.
He averaged over 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists per game -- eye-popping numbers for a sophomore. This draft board has the Jazz choosing him at No. 5.
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
Smart would have been No. 1 in this list -- and possibly the 2013 NBA Draft -- had he chosen to come out last year. Instead, the 6-4 star returned for his sophomore year at OSU -- and endured a sophomore slump.
Also, Smart had to compete for attention in his own conference with Kansas star Andrew Wiggins, this year's projected No. 1 pick.
To that end, Smart scored just 17 points per game -- and lost a ton of brownie points with NBA teams after shoving a fan.This draft board thinks he’s coming to Utah at No. 5.
Tyler Ennis, Syracuse
Ennis is interesting, primarily because he elicits comparisons to Tony Parker. Like Parker, Ennis commands the offense like a general -- which is odd, considering he’s a freshman.
One knock on the Canadian is he isn’t flashy -- but that’s a good thing in the Jazz’ system. He can get his own shot, has a nice mid-range game and can slash to the hoop.
If he’s available at No. 23 -- which is the area in which he’s projected to go -- the Jazz could make a move.
Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafayette
Payton is this year’s Damian Lillard. Nobody knows a thing about this guy. But what they do know intrigues them.
The 6-3 junior had great numbers at the World Championships in Prague this past summer, leading the U.S. Under-19 team to gold.
As a potential mid-round pick the Jazz could snag him at No. 23 if Ennis is gone. He averaged 19 points and six assists per game, helping lead ULL to the NCAA Tournament.