The Utah Jazz have two lottery picks. The Utah Jazz are deficient in 3-point shooting. The Utah Jazz are rebuilding, so filling EnergySolutions Arena won’t be as easy as it was during the Mailman-Stockton-Sloan-Deron Williams era.
Enter BYU’s Jimmer Fredette.
Playing just a deep Fredette 3-pointer away from Salt Lake City (45 minutes), the Jazz were able to scout the country’s leading scorer “in person between 10 and 20 times,” according to the Salt Lake Tribune. The inevitable questions about Fredette’s lack of defense? He shrugs them off – “I don’t think I get as much credit as I deserve on the defensive end. I can play defense” – and it almost sounds like BYU coach Dave Rose designed things for Fredette to rest on defense since the Cougars were so reliant upon his offense.
My favorite part of this story?
It’s worth noting that 15 years back, one pro scouting report on an unproven prospect read like this: “Biggest weakness is his man-to-man defense. His average foot speed makes him an easy target for small, quick point guards to blow by.” And another: “Not slow, but not quick, improving but still a poor defender, had trouble getting his own shot against quality opponents.”
That prospect? Steve Nash.
Utah will probably burn its first pick (from New Jersey in the Deron Williams trade; the Nets currently have the 6th-worst record in the league and have lost seven of eight, most of them without Williams, who is hurt; they could easily wind up with the 4th worst record in the league) on an elite prospect with some upside who probably won’t contribute right away. Think Perry Jones of Baylor (SF), or even a European player they don’t need to have an immediate impact because Okur, Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson are a nice quartet at the 4-5. Gordon Hayward, who had a decent rookie year, could be given a shot at SF, where he might split time with CJ Miles. Devin Harris is set at point.
Enter Jimmer with Utah’s second lottery pick. Would the 6-3 Harris and the 6-2 Fredette be too small of a backcourt? As the Warriors, who start Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. And if it doesn’t work, Miles is a fine fit at SG, and Fredette can back up Harris