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The real key to this draft: What do the Jazz do at No. 3?

Jun 22, 2011, 11:23 AM EDT

enes Kanter Getty Images

Kyrie Irving will go No. 1 overall to the Cavaliers. Minnesota may be shopping the No. 2 pick like Vince “ShamWow guy” Shlomi, but if they keep asking for Steve Nash and Andrew Bynum they will be making the pick themselves. And taking Derrick Williams.

Then things get interesting.

The Jazz will set the tone the rest of the way with their pick (or trade) at No. 3.

The conventional wisdom is that they will take Kentucky’s Brandon Knight, but ESPN’s Andy Katz heard different things.

Utah is deciding among four players at No. 3 with two of them likely not within its reach. If Irving and Williams are indeed gone by the time they come on the clock, the Jazz are leaning toward (Enes) Kanter over Brandon Knight of Kentucky, but that remains a fluid discussion for management.

Be careful about what teams are saying right now — everyone is blowing smoke to hide their intentions. My bet is the Jazz have their board set right now. But the Jazz do not want to tip their hand (in the same way the Cavaliers are saying they have not yet made a commitment to Irving).

Knight makes the most sense — with Deron Williams gone the Jazz need a point guard of the future. Knight can be that guy. Kanter kind of duplicates what they already get from Paul Millsap (at least in terms of position, not in terms of type of game). But the Jazz do go with the “best player available” theory, and if they have Kanter higher they would take him.

That pick impacts what happens next — a lot of the rumored trades up in the draft are because teams have interest in Kanter. A lot of movement in this draft is about teams who like Kanter and Jonas Valanciunas. The real fun of this draft starts at No. 3.

  1. themanchine - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Jazz take Irving #3. Williams goes #1 (The Outcome), with Kanter going to Minny.
    That way Cleveland gets the best of both worlds, taking Williams 1st, and either Knight/Walker 4th.

    • Justin - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      Kahn said he would for sure take Irving if they take Williams first

      • themanchine - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:55 AM

        That’s called “make your best offer for the #2 pick”

      • almzor - Jun 22, 2011 at 4:45 PM

        And then his diabolical plan to field an all-PG team will finally become a reality.


  2. ac0117 - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    “Jazz take Irving #3. Williams goes #1 (The Outcome), with Kanter going to Minny.
    That way Cleveland gets the best of both worlds, taking Williams 1st, and either Knight/Walker 4th.”

    Minny has made it abundantly clear that they will take whoever the Cavs don’t take (Williams or Irving). While I’m not sold on the pro prospects of Kyrie, it is pretty wishful thinking to think he won’t be gone by the time Utah picks. Utah has apparently wanted Knight since halfway through this past NBA season.

  3. redbear18 - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    I think they’ll trade with the wizards for the sixth and 18th picks. The wizards will take Kanter to pair with javale McGee in the frontcourt. Jazz will take Jimmer at six right before the kings would to sit behind Devin Harris for a season or two, Alec Burks at 12 to switch off with Raja Bell at 2, and the best player available at 18, maybe a small forward behind AK-47.

    • buckybadger - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:31 PM

      No chance Jimmer gets taken 6th. The kid isn’t that good. Plays no defense and his shooting % is erratic. Not good enough to start and doesn’t play defense or consistent enough to come off the bench. I don’t think this kid lasts in the NBA at all.

      Alec Burks won’t get past 10 where the Bucks pick. I don’t think he gets even past the Pistons at 8.

  4. buckybadger - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Alec Burks should be their pick. He will be the guy that every one will be saying, “How did he drop so far?”. A 6’6″ shooting guard who can score. They don’t come out of the draft every year.

  5. purdueman - Jun 22, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    With the draft tomorrow night, I have to laugh thinking back a few years when greaser Pat Riley scrambled to decimate the Heat roster of everyone but D-Wade in order to throw as many games as possible to maximize the number of ping pong balls he’d have in the lottery so that he could draft D-Rose #1 overall.

    Well, Riley achieved his goal, getting the maximum 25% in the lottery but the Chicago Bulls with only a 1.7% chance spoiled his plan, got the pick and the rest as they say is history.

    But here’s the best part of the story… Riley then take Michael Beasley at #2 and passes up taking emerging superstar Kevin Love, who went to the T-Wolves three picks later.

    Riley… sleezy, greasy, unethical, unlucky AND stupid!!!!

  6. ac0117 - Jun 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    I would love for the Wiz to get the number 2 pick but if that happened they would take Williams not Kanter, SF is their biggest need. Burks is good off the dribble but he can’t shoot at all, I’d be really surprised if he ended up being a star.

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