A lot has been made of Kevin O’Connor’s… um… “drafting skills,” especially with the fact that most of his first round picks are no longer with the Jazz. So, with the draft rapidly approaching, I decided to take a quick look at the drafting since O’Connor took over (I guess it might say something about the scouts as well). Not really a number crunching exercise… more just a “Who? When? Where? Why?” approach (yep… no “What”). Just FYI… if you’re looking for trends, 6 of the 8 drafts headed by KOC have featured a 2-guard being taken by the Jazz… and of those 6, only CJ wasn’t a 1st-round SG (he went #4 in the 2nd-round).
|2000||1||SG DeShawn Stevenson||4+||Kyle Korver (via Gordan Giricek)||Yes|
|2000||2||PF Kaniel Dickens||0||-||NBDL|
|2001||1||PG Raul Lopez||2||Greg Ostertag||No|
|2001||2||C Jarron Collins||7||Still here||Yes|
|2002||1||PF Ryan Humphrey||0||Curtis Borchardt||No|
|2002||2||PF Jamal Sampson||0||Curtis Borchardt||No|
|2003||1||SG Sasha Pavlovic||1||-||Yes|
|2003||2||PG Maurice Williams||1||-||Yes|
|2004||1||PF Kris Humphries||2||Rafael Araujo||Yes|
|2004||1||SG Kirk Snyder||1||Greg Ostertag||Yes|
|2004||1||C Pavel Podkolzine||0||Deron Williams (via 1st rounder)||No|
|2005||1||PG Deron Williams||3||Still here||Yes|
|2005||2||SG CJ Miles||3||Still here||Yes|
|2005||2||PF Robert Whaley||1||Rafael Araujo||NBDL|
|2006||1||SG Ronnie Brewer||2||Still here||Yes|
|2006||2||PG Dee Brown||1||-||No|
|2006||2||PF Paul Millsap||2||Still here||Yes|
|2007||1||SG Morris Almond||1||Still here||Yes|
|2007||2||PF Herbert Hill||0||Kyrylo Fesenko||Yes|
It’s simple really… year is the year drafted, rd. is the round drafted. Player is the player’s name (and position), Jazz years is the number of years spent with the Jazz, return is who the Jazz got if they traded him, and NBA? is whether or not he’s still in the NBA. Oh, and if the NBA? column says ‘NBDL’… he played in the NBDL last year. Simple enough. I hope. (It’ll be the same below, with the for column stating who was traded for the players.)
Just for fun, here’s the 2 rookies (at the time) that the Jazz acquired in the draft-day trades.
|2002||1||PF Curtis Borchardt||3||Humphrey, Sampson||Greg Ostertag||No|
|2007||2||C Kyrylo Fesenko||1||Herbert Hill||Still here||Yes|
- O’Connor was hired as GM in August 1999, so the 2000 draft was his first one with the Jazz.
- Stevenson got into some legal trouble on draft night, and never really got going in the Jazz offense. Something about Sloan & youngsters… especially high-schoolers. He was eventually dealt for Giricek, who disappointed and spent much time in the doghouse before being dealt for Korver.
- Raul Lopez was drafted in 2001, but didn’t come over from Europe until 2003. His staying there was part of the reason the Jazz took him over one Tony Parker.
- Humphrey and Sampson were both traded on draft night for Borchardt. The Magic took Borchardt at #18, the Jazz took Humphrey at #19 & Sampson at #47. None of the players are in the league right now, according the player pages at NBA.com and NBDL.com.
- Borchardt & Lopez are both in Spain, as far as I know.
- Pavlovic was allowed to leave after 1 year via the expansion draft.
- Mo Williams was allowed to leave after his surprising rookie year because the Jazz had Carlos Arroyo (traded early into the next season for a quickly-released Elden Campbell) and Keith McLeod or someone.
- Podkolzine was traded on draft night to Dallas for a future pick. That pick, along with the Jazz’s own pick and pick received in trading for the contracts of Keon Clark, John Amaechi & Tom Gugliotta were all dealt to Portland as the Jazz moved up from #6 to #3 to take Deron Williams.
- Humphries & Whaley were both dealt for draft-bust Rafael Araujo… who “impressed” the Jazz in practice for 1 year but rarely played. He’s now in Russia.
- Dee Brown was a fan favorite for 1 year… LHM didn’t resign him because he was worried about Dee’s lifestyle (he was single) clashing with Deron’s (he was married). Dee is now in Turkey, and we’re stuck with Jason Hart.
- Herbert Hill (taken #55) was dealt on draft day (with “future considerations”) for Kyrylo Fesenko (taken #38 by Philly).
In the years since KOC became the GM, the Jazz have had 10 first-round picks (DeShawn, Lopez, Humphrey, Sasha, Humphries, Snyder, Pavel, Deron, Brewer & Almond) and 9 second-rounders (Dickens, Flop, Sampson, Maurice, CJ, Whaley, Dee, ‘Sap, Hill). Of those 19, 4 were traded on draft day (Humphrey, Sampson, Pavel, Hill), with the Jazz getting 2 players in return (Borchardt, Fesenko). If you look at it, the Jazz have “drafted” 21 players (the 19 they actually drafted and the 2 they traded for). I’m guessing they drafted Humphrey, Sampson & Podkolzine for other teams, but I’m not sure… so I’ll pretend that they didn’t.
Of these 21 players, 7 of them are still on the Jazz. That’s 33% when you combine both 1st & 2nd rounders. Just a note… of those 7, 6 were taken in the last 3 drafts (where the Jazz have used 8 picks). That’s 75% in the last 3 drafts, which is good. The 2 that aren’t still around… one is playing professionally in Turkey, the other was in the NBDL last year. I’d say that’s some fairly good drafting… though you really can’t judge last year’s draft yet. Of course, given the first 5 years of drafts… 1 success for the Jazz (Flop) in 11 picks (9%), maybe it’d look better if we did count last year’s draft to raise the average.
Anyhow, back to the 21. Counting the 7 still on the Jazz, 13 of the players are still in the league (61.9%). Plus there are 2 in the NBDL.
The recent drafts have helped the Jazz out a lot (Deron, Brewer, CJ, ‘Sap… plus Almond & Fesenko now and Flop way back when). KOC’s previous drafts have helped out other teams (DeShawn in Washington, Pavlovic in Cleveland, Mo Williams in Milwaukee, Humphries in Toronto, Snyder in Minnesota… and now Hill in Philly).
A round-by-round look…
KOC has used 10 1st-round picks… 1 of the players was dealt to Dallas, another was used in a trade to land Curtis Borchardt. Of these 10 picks, 3 of the players are still with the Jazz (the 3 most recent). That’s a 30% success rate, which might be partially skewed by always having low picks. Even then, you’d hope for a better rate. Seven of the players are still in the league though (70%), having various degrees of success (DeShawn & Mo are starting, Snyder & Humphries not so much). The other 3 are Lopez (promising before injuries derailed him and sent him to Spain), Podkolzine (drafted for Dallas?) & Humphrey (drafted for Orlando?). Of course, the 11th player here is Borchardt, who KOC traded for. He’s also out of the league, his career derailed by injuries as well.
During the same span, the Jazz have had 9 2nd-round picks… 1 of the players was included in the deal for Borchardt, another was dealt for Fesenko. Of these 9, 3 are still on the team (33%), and that’s 4 of 9 if you consider that Fesenko came straight-up for Hill (44%). Not a bad rate for the 2nd round. Six of the 10 players (60%) are still in the league (5 of the 9… 55%… if you take Fesenko out of the equation because KOC didn’t draft him). Plus the 2 in the NBDL… giving you 7 of the 9 (77%). That’s an amazing percentage for the 2nd round. Maybe the Jazz should just stick to 2nd-round picks.
A look at the players that are still in the NBA…
- DeShawn Stevenson. Starter for Washington (82 starts in 82 games), 31.3 mpg.
- Jarron Collins. Back-up for the Jazz, 10.0 mpg.
- Sasha Pavlovic. Starter for Cleveland (45 stars in 51 games), 23.3 mpg.
- Maurice Williams. Starter for Milwaukee (66 starts in 66 games), 36.5 mpg.
- Kris Humphries. Back-up for Toronto. 13.2 mpg.
- Kirk Snyder. Starter for Minnesota (18 starts in 27 games), 25.2 mpg.
- Deron Williams. Starter for the Jazz (82 starts in 82 games), 37.3 mpg.
- CJ Miles. Back-up for the Jazz. 11.5 mpg.
- Ronnie Brewer. Starter for the Jazz (76 starts in 76 games), 27.5 mpg.
- Paul Millsap. Back-up for the Jazz. 20.8 mpg.
- Morris Almond. Back-up for the Jazz. 4.3 mpg (9 games).
- Herbert Hill. Back-up for Philadelphia. 0 mpg (0 games).
- Kyrylo Fesenko. Back-up for the Jazz. 7.8 mpg (9 games).
The Jazz have their own 1st-rounder this year, along with two 2nd-rounders (their own, and the Sixer’s pick). They owe their 2009 1st-rounder to the Sixers (protected) via the Giricek for Korver deal. They also owe future considerations (a future 2nd-rounder?) to the Sixers for the Fesenko deal. Meanwhile, the Knicks owe the Jazz a future 1st-rounder (top-22 protected in 2009, unprotected in 2010) from a trade a while back in which the Jazz agreed to take on Tom Gugliotta’s contract for the Knicks.
While KOC’s drafting leaves something to be desired if you look back to past drafts (DeShawn, Sasha & Mo all could’ve contributed if they’d stuck around longer and been given playing time; the others not so much), the recent drafts are working on reversing the previous trend (draft players, let them leave because they don’t fit well). And while the 1st-round success rate (3 of the 10 still on the team) is kind of disappointing (not too bad because Deron & Brewer are both starters very early in their careers), the 2nd-round rate (4 of the 9 still with the team… via 1 trade) makes things a bit better. Especially given the success ‘Sap has had already, along with the fact that Fesenko & CJ could get solid minutes very soon. Recent drafts have to give us hope that the Jazz won’t screw up the 1st-round pick, while looking too far back makes it seem that the pick is insignificant this year because the player will be gone in a couple of years anyways. Meanwhile, the last 2 years with two 2nd-round picks have resulted in a 50% success rate (’05 had CJ & Whaley, ’06 had ‘Sap & Shorty)… and this year the Jazz again have two 2nd-rounders. Of course, there might not be space on the roster for the 2nd-rounders unless someone is traded or let-go.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Jazz handle this… extra picks but very few rosters spots. Will they go with a guy that can stay abroad for a few years (Raul Lopez didn’t workout so well)? Will they just pick 2nd-rounders and not sign them? Will they trade their picks for future picks? Will they make a bigger deal than that and clear some roster space? We probably won’t know until the draft on Thursday… but I’m sure there will be plenty of speculation before then. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.