The 2014 NBA Lottery took place Tuesday night, and the Utah Jazz walked away with the fifth pick in this year’s draft. A team featuring a young core of Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors, the Jazz could look to stockpile depth to add to the roster. The frontline combination of Favors and Enes Kanter have a chance to mature into one of the NBA’s best tandems, given their young age. Kanter will be entering his third season in the league next season, at only 22 years old. He finished the year averaging 12.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Favors was signed to a four-year deal, worth $49 million last season. The 22-year-old forward posted 13.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
Utah is slated in the fifth spot, where a host of talent is expected to be available. Names include Kentucky’s Julius Randle, Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, and Arizona’s Aaron Gordon. Each of these prospects offer a plethora of size, speed, and athleticism, that fits into today’s up-tempo NBA style. With talented interior players already, adding depth is never a bad thing, considering the rosters in the Western Conference where the Jazz compete.
Randle is a load in the post, where he uses excellent footwork and strength to finish at the rim. Averaging a double-double (15 points and 10.4 rebounds), his offensive potential is high. Randle also possesses solid ball-handling skills for a big man. The only question marks lie on Randle’s length, and ability to adapt to the strength of other NBA athletes playing the forward position.
Noah Vonleh is an intriguing player, with some great physical qualities. He is 6’9 with a 7”4 wingspan, which he uses on the defensive end (1.4 blocks per game). Vonleh averaged 11.3 points and nine rebounds per game on an efficient 52.3 percent shooting. Inexperience (second youngest draft candidate) seems to be team’s concern with Vonleh, only playing one year of college basketball. His assertiveness in games is also something to watch, as he makes the NBA leap.
Aaron Gordon is a combination forward that uses his quickness and size to create mismatches against teams. Gordon displays high motor and activity, going above the rim for alley oops, and contests shots on the defensive end. Averaging 12.4 points per game, Gordon will look to work on his ball-handling and mid-range to make himself suitable against stretch forwards, while becoming a potent scorer. He is also a one-and-done freshman, entering the draft as the youngest prospect.
Utah will take a long hard look at each player, and as they continue to round out their roster, one of the three will likely be taken off the board and look to revive Jazz basketball.