Utah Jazz summer play offers useful insights
I love the year-round cycle of the NBA. I love that the draft is at the end of the same month of the Finals. I love that summer league showcase the rookies and sophomores in July. And before we know it, pre-season arrives.
The Rocky Mountain Revue gave the chance for the Utah Jazz to get an idea of what they really have with their draft picks. Here's what I saw:
Deron Williams – PG – 2nd season – He only played the first two games, and that’s all he needed to do. He played like a man among boys. He dominated whenever he was on the court. He looks ready for the preseason to start.
CJ Miles – SG – 2nd season – CJ’s put on some weight and made it clear he’s serious about wanting to stay in the NBA. His court vision and shooting touch gave the Jazz some things to consider. He’s got good speed and decent defensive capabilities. He was turnover prone when he tried to be a passer.
Rafael Araujo – C – 3rd season – Hafa is grateful for the opportunity to start over, but the 8th selection of the 2004 draft should be better than this. His first few games, he got into foul trouble early, his shot was off, and he made some poor decisions. The last couple games he got his head in the game and was able to contribute more. He has some good moves close to the basket and is capable of hitting the 15-foot jumper.
Ronnie Brewer – SG – Rookie – The Jazz never worked Brewer out, but they went by faith and scouting reports when he fell to them at #14. Brewer has excellent foot speed and anticipation. His shot isn’t as bad as advertised, and he did best when driving to the basket. He looks like a promising pick-up.
Paul Millsap – PF – Rookie – He’s looking like a second-round steal. He’s a rebounding specialist and willing to fight for the basket, but he plays bigger than his 6’8” frame suggests, getting some good blocks, being active in the low post, and he even hit a couple outside jumpers. Not a lottery pick type steal, but a guy that plays like he should’ve gone somewhere in the bottom of the first round. I’d be surprised if he didn’t make the team.
Dee Brown – PG – Rookie – He struggled this revue and seems more like a shooting guard in a point guard’s body. There’s no denying his speed, but he didn’t space the floor well on pick and rolls, he threw the ball away a lot, and there were many times he dribbled for 20 seconds trying to find his own shot (ask Carlos Arroyo how Jerry Sloan feels about point guards who play like that). Brown was pretty dependable from the outside, so with more work, I can see him making the squad, where he’ll be buried nicely behind Deron Williams and Derek Fisher.
Robert Whaley – C – 2nd season – They traded him away and can get him back for cheap if they want. He showed occasional flashes of promise, running the floor well for a big man, getting a couple good dunks. I don’t know if they’re willing to overlook his off-court behavior to bring him back. If they can get Lorenzen Wright or another big-man free agent, I don’t see Whaley coming back unless they trade Boozer away.
That makes the Jazz depth chart as follows:
PG – Deron Williams, Derek Fisher, Dee Brown
SG – Ronnie Brewer, Gordon Giricek, CJ Miles
SF – Andrei Kirilenko, Matt Harpring
PF – Carlos Boozer, Paul Millsap
C – Mehmet Okur, Jarron Collins, Rafael Araujo, Robert Whaley
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