• Adam Bushman

Top 10 Prospects for the Utah Jazz: Players #10-#6

Updated: Nov 21, 2018


Photo Source: SB Nation

With the 2018 NBA Draft around the corner, the Utah Jazz have their work cut out for them trying to gather as much information about the players in the draft. They've been holding numerous workouts, interviews, and video sessions since the playoffs...and we're still over a week away from draft night.


The back end of the draft, where the Jazz have the 21st selection, is full of interesting prospects, many of whom have skills the team could use as they attempt to reach the Western Conference Finals after coming up short this past season.


In previous articles, we've looked at the type of player the Utah Jazz want: a do-it-all prospect. In this article, we'll look at those players most likely to be selected around the Utah Jazz's pick and rank them based upon their ability to fill the needs the Utah Jazz have and be that do-it-all prospect.


We'll offer analysis, stats, measurements, and an explanation as to their ranking. This edition will include prospects #10 - #5. Next week, as we close in on June 21st and the night of the draft, we'll debut our top 5 prospects for the Utah Jazz's 2018 selection.



#10 - Troy Brown

Oregon - Freshman

18 yrs, 6’ 7”, 215 lbs

11.3 pts, 6.2 rbs, 3.2 asts

29.1 3FG%, 3.1 3PA, 21.0 USG%



Pros:

The first thing you realize about Troy is the balance of finesse and aggression that he plays with. You can especially see it as he leads the fast break. As he rebounds and charges up court you see the power yet as he weaves in traffic and passes up the floor you see control. It’s really spectacular.

He has some great athleticism which aids him at the rim on offense and defense. The numbers show he doesn’t convert at the rim at an elite rate but few can get the opportunities he can because he is superior athletically.

Of the defensive film available, it’s clear he has defensive instincts. He averages 1.6 steals again which clearly helped his fast break game. He has the speed to stay in front of guys, the question will be if it’s still an area of focus at the next level.


Cons:

Watching Troy’s highlights can be deceptive because they lead you to believe he’s an average shooter. Far from it. Perimeter shooting is a clear weakness as we is sub 30%...below 30% from three. This leads you to be on the fence regarding how many threes he shoots: good because he could develop it or bad because he shoots so poorly.

If you can’t shoot from outside and you’re an elite athlete, you almost have to be able to create contact and get to the free throw line. Unfortunately, his free throw rate doesn’t match the expectation. At .342, he isn’t going to the line enough to swallow his poor outside shooting.


Why #10:

The Jazz need a prospect who can shoot and defend. Unfortunately, Troy doesn’t excel at either. He has great skills in other areas but no matter how great they are and how much they may shoot him up draft boards, even good shooters struggle to transition to the NBA three.



#9 - Aaron Holiday

UCLA - Junior

21 yrs, 6’ 1”, 185 lbs

20.3 pts, 3.7 rbs, 5.8 asts

42.9 3P%, 6.2 3PA, 26.7%



Pros:

The numbers speak for themselves. Aaron shoots a lot and boy does he shoot it well! At 6.2 attempts from behind the arc per game, he is one of the best guard shooters in the draft. He shoots off the pass, dribble, and picks. He’s got a good looking stroke to boot.

Not only can he shoot, but Aaron excels at creating his own shot. He works the picks correctly, breaks the paint, and is comfortable pulling up on his defender. His 20.3 ppg show he isn’t just a knockdown shooter.

Unlike some prospects in this draft, Aaron also has the ability to make the correct pass around the perimeter and


Cons:

Aaron Holiday should be a top 10 pick...the problem is he is so small. Not only is 6’ 1” small but word is he looks smaller (usually when that happens they are smaller). Today’s NBA, especially in the Western Conference, is filled with big, quick, and skilled guards, all of whom he’d have to guard at the next level at some point.

Aaron doesn’t have great athleticism which means when his smarts and skills aren’t enough, he gets in trouble. This happens particularly when he drives to the hoop. When the only choose is to go up and around, he instead opts for tough shots that don’t go down very often.


Why #9:

Aaron feels like a more skilled Raul Neto. His ceiling is probably a backup point guard in this league. The Jazz will try their best to keep Dante and if they succeed, they will have other needs. Aaron Holiday is awesome offensively but the Jazz need help on defense too.


#8 - Keita Bates-Diop

Ohio State - Junior

22 yrs, 6’ 7”, 236 lbs

19.8 pts, 8.7 rbs, 1.6 asts

35.9 3FG%, 5.4 3PA, 29.4 USG%



Pros:

The biggest plus for Keita is his ability on defense. He is able to remain in defensive position and while contesting well when the shot goes up. Most prospects are good at one or the other. He’s good at both.

In addition, Keita succeeds as an excellent rebounder. His size, length, and athleticism allows him to get a good number of rebounds. This is definitely an area where we is above average for his position.

Keita’s offensive game is all about leveraging his smarts, body, and length to score all over the floor. He is crafty in the post and skilled at the hoop. He has figured out how to score on those less athletic, smaller, and with weaknesses.


Cons:

As much as we love a clever scorer, the next level of competition will be much harder to outwit and outmuscle. Scoring by overpowering smaller, less smart defenders shows high IQ but it won’t scale to the next level as we hope.

Keita is able to make the perimeter shot. The weakness with the shot is his speed. It takes longer to release the shot than is comfortable at the next level. He’ll have less time and space to get the shot off, not to mention the NBA three will be a few feet back.


Why #8:

Keita slips in these rankings because of how he scores. He’s dominating physically and mentally over his competition and I don’t see that happening at the next level when his Western Conference defenders are PJ Tucker, Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Al Farouq-Aminu, etc. His defense is exciting but not at the expense of his offensive game. There are other prospects with more two-way game.


# 7 - Grayson Allen

Duke - Senior

22 yrs, 6’ 5”, 205 lbs

15.5 pts, 3.3 rbs, 4.6 asts

37.0 3FG%, 7.5 3PA, 20.7 USG%



Pros:

Just look at Grayson Allen’s shooting numbers. His three point percentage doesn’t jump out at you, but his three point attempts do. He is very comfortable shooting multiple threes a game and at a respectable 37%, he leverages most of his points from the perimeter...exactly what you want.

Grayson is also an athlete. He was one of the standouts with his performance at the NBA combine with his vertical and shuttle measurements. You can also see in his highlights how he is able to score at the rim thanks to his great leaping ability.

Making decisions is also a great pro for Grayson. He knows the system his coach has taught and he makes the correct reads. This is important because it’s something Quinn wants to see in his players.


Cons:

Discipline seems to be an issue with Grayson. There’s been enough reporting on his tripping and cheap shots. Although that’s a concern, let’s talk about his discipline on defense. It doesn’t seem like he commits to his assignment. That’s something Gobert demands, even from Mitchell.

Some skills might not translate to the NBA level. He’s very quick, but is he quick enough to get around Westbrook or Klay Thompson? His ceiling is probably a starter for a bad team or great rotation player on a good team.


Why #7:

The Jazz don’t like drama and wouldn’t like the “competitive outbursts” of Grayson Allen. They’ll have to be sure that’s behind him if they want him. Everything else seems like a great fit except for the defense. You’ll have to hope he can be coached enough and taught to buy into the defensive game plan.


#6 - Khyri Thomas

Creighton - Junior

22 yrs, 6’ 3”, 210 lbs

15.1 pts, 4.4 rbs, 2.8 asts

41.1 3FG%, 4.6 3PA, 21.0 USG%



Pros:

Khyri is a shooter. He is comfortable shooting a lot and he makes a good amount. He loves the catch and shoot three but has taken many off the bounce threes. Most likely his shooting will translate to the NBA. How quickly is the question.

Having won several defensive awards throughout his life, Khyri defends both guard positions well. He’s got long arms and excels at deflecting the ball. He also retains his defensive position very well.

Because he is such a threat from deep, Khyri has been able to effectively attack closeouts. He’s not great at the rim but he passes well off of defensive help in these situations.


Cons:

Upon attacking the closeout, if there’s no pass and he can’t get to the rim, he can get in trouble in the paint, non-restricted area. He’s good at long, two-point jump shots but the further he gets to the rim without getting all the way the more he struggles.

Again, for his position, finishing at the hoop is essential and he’s not great at it. It may be due to his size or average athleticism but it’s a concern since there’s better rim protection at the NBA level.


Why #6:

Khyri’s defensive abilities and strong shooting will help him fit in seamlessly with the Utah Jazz. He likely won’t play as much with the ball in his hands but he could capitalize off of others setting him up for perimeter shots. His defensive instincts will come in handy as he picks up second unit, defensive assignments, likely tag teaming it with Royce O’Neale.


***


Keep an eye out for next week's edition which will feature our top 5 selections for the Utah Jazz. Also, check out our other content here on our website. .


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