From SLC Dunk: The Jazz are in a funny situation; not quite a bubble Western Conference playoff team, but still not a team that wants to be in the lottery for much longer. Utah has many assets; primarily a ton of future picks (5 firsts and 11 seconds in the next four drafts). However, Utah would rather be in the second round of the playoffs within the next four seasons, and not be still relying on the draft. A failure to do that could influence players like Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert to Deron Williams their way out of town. Winning solves a lot of problems. And this trade helps the Jazz move towards winning a little sooner.
In a perfect world one of the top two Jazz targets would have still been on the board at #9, but Mario Hezonja and Kristaps Porzingis went early. While Stanley Johnson is probably the best player available, the Jazz need depth inside; especially after trading away the only other big on the roster (6’8 Trevor Booker) and one of their Euro-n-stash prospects (the 7’2 Ante Tomic) to Charlotte.
Myles Turner appears to be one of the best, last bigmen standing. The 19 year old (Texas – FR) isn’t anything beyond raw at this point. Though the Jazz are only looking for a back-up here who will be behind two guys playing 30+ mpg. In Utah he will be challenged while still being allowed to grow at his own pace. There just aren’t a lot of big men with 7’4 wingspans who can rebound like a beast, protect the rim, and hit spot up threes. If he is able to reach some of his potential he will be worth the short term cost.
Oh, and a wing rotation of Hayward, Alec Burks, Lance Stephenson, Rodney Hood, Dante Exum, and Elijah Millsap? Not bad.
Taylor: Finally, a pick I love. While Rudy Gobert’s starting job should not be in jeopardy, their only backup is someone named Jack Cooley. He sounds like a CEO. Turner can also spend time at the 4, and his game is similar enough to Favors to not see much of a difference when the two trade places.
Kevin: I have to disagree with you here, Taylor. He’s going to spend a lot of time backing up both Gobert and Favors. He’s not a starter in the NBA. The Jazz don’t need a starter at this point, but they do need depth. I have more questions with their backcourt than their front court.
Taylor: Wait… you have questions about their backcourt? That’s Trey Burke and Dante Exum! They’re your boys! That’s basically my point. There isn’t anyone available here that would take a starting spot on the Jazz. They need depth at the center position and Turner is the best available.
Kevin: That’s a good point. I would have leaned more toward a guard here though, but the Jazz just traded away half their draft picks the next few years.
I do love Burke and Exum. I’m wearing my Trey Burke shirt under this suit and tie right now. Disregard the Melo Trimble jersey over the top of the suit and tie though.
Lucas: The Jazz are in a bit of an odd position they finished at 38-44 last season, and seemed to find their niche as an imposing defense team, led by 7’2" Rudy Gobert’s go-go gadget arms. The team showed flashes of becoming a playoff team in the near future, and look to bolster their playoff hopes by trading for the talented but anemic Lance Stephenson.The addition of the former Charlotte guard will hopefully bring the Jazz a boost on offense-they ranked 26th in points per game in the NBA last season.
The addition of Turner adds to their wealth of length,as he measures in at 7’0" with a 7’4" wingspan, and at a minimum should be able to provide rim protection for the Jazz off the bench next season. Turner should be an upgrade over Booker, and has the potential to play next to Favors or Gobert and stretch the floor, opening up Favors post game, and Gobert’s rolling lanes on the pick and roll.
Dontae: If you are going to trade away so many draft picks in the future, could you at least do it for a player that has the ceiling of "best player in the draft?" A trade up to grab Porzingis or Hezonja, maybe? This is baffling to me. Reaching for need by giving away three first round picks is not a move these Jazz should be doing at this point. With their young core they could have afforded to wait and grab role players in FA or through trades.
They obviously thought otherwise. I couple this pick with Lance Stephenson, may give them the depth they need to charge into the playoffs. Turner is a PF/C that should be able to fill in for 25-30 minutes per night behind Favors and Gobert. I say "should," because Turner at this moment is solid all the way around, but he isn't necessarily great at any one thing. He'll be a good shot blocker, he can post up, shoot respectfully from the midrange, and uses his length on the boards well. If this was about 5 picks later, I'd love this pick, but alas the trade tempers my enthusiasm.