The Utah Jazz will once again open the doors to the Energy Solutions Arena welcoming in the fans for their annual NBA Draft party. The question is whether the faithful will actually see the Jazz do something or just stuff hot dogs down their throats with nothing better to do waiting for them to make their only pick–the 47th selection in the second round.
As Salt Lake Tribune Jazz reporter Brian T. Smith astutely pointed out General Manager Kevin O’Connor has pulled the trigger on just one major draft deal in his 11 years in control. Of course it was a big one when he acquired the third overall pick in 2005 from Portland to draft Deron Williams. Otherwise really nothing.
With that said O’Connor has had some success finding solid players in the second round in Paul Millsap, Mo Williams and C.J. Miles although you can argue whether that latter really was a successful pick. One could argue that his second round selections have turned out better than many of his first round picks–remember Raul Lopez, Curtis Borchardt, Kirk Snyder, Morris Almond, Kosta Koufos, and Eric Maynor?
Meanwhile O’Connor continues to be a tease saying they’re talking with other teams if a player they like is available and can get a favorable deal. The Jazz definitely have the assets with five expiring contracts, including four starters (Al Jefferson, Millsap, Devin Harris and Raja Bell) as well as a $10 million trade exception not to mention an extra first round pick next year from Golden State they could possibly package in.
So will O’Connor actually make a deal to get into the first round? I would say based on his and the Jazz track record it’s doubtful and if he doesn’t that’s fine. That means he and his staff didn’t feel there was a player worthy to give up assets for and that’s why he earns the big bucks. Unfortunately though for you Jazz fans that attend the draft party you’ll just be left with a case of indigestion from those hot dogs. Bring the tums.