Jazz Notes Podcast Looks At Potential Draftees From Kentucky

May 29, 2019, 1:33 PM

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – This offseason, the Utah Jazz will be looking to add some new talent to the roster. The question is, which kind of player do they need the most?

Playmaker? Sniper?

The dream of finding one player with both skill sets when the Utah Jazz pick 23rd in the upcoming NBA Draft seems pretty remote.  But what about the dream of finding a player that is pretty good at one of those specialties and could eventually develop the other?  That’s the fantasy of new general manager Justin Zanik.  And he might find that “dreamy” guy coming out of the Bluegrass state.

Mock drafts show Kentucky’s Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro right in the range of potentially being picked by the Utah Jazz on June 20th.  The two freshman were the second and third leading scorers for the Wildcats (Herro 14.0 points per game, Johnson 13.5).  But while Johnson came in as a heralded prospect, Herro may be better equipped to help a team out sooner than Johnson.

Jon Hale of the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky told the Jazz Notes podcast that Kentucky head coach John Calipari praised Johnson as one of the top players in the nation after a preseason tour in the Bahamas.  The guard from South Hill, Virginia showed glimpses of greatness at times this season and shot relatively well, connecting on 46% of his field goals and 38% of his 3-point attempts.

“The question that came as the season went along was that (Johnson) was just not that consistent,” said Hale.  “He had games where he just disappeared.  He went scoreless against Georgia…but then there were times where he looked like the best player on the floor.”

Johnson’s NCAA tournament bares out the inconsistency.  He scored 25 points in the first round, but then only tallied single digits in the next two games before scoring 14 in the Elite Eight against Auburn.

Hale said people who have scouted Johnson have also questioned his ability to create his own shot.  Hale believes Johnson could become a useful cog to a team, but it may take some time in the NBA G League before he finally becomes that consistent contributor.

Meanwhile, Herro, who was the lowest rated recruit coming into Calipari’s program, turned heads when he lead the team in scoring during the same tour in the Bahamas.  And while Herro was known as an gunner before arriving at Kentucky, Hale said he’s proven to be more than just a chucker from the outside.

“(Herro) set out on a mission at Kentucky that he was more than just a jump shooter and I think he did that.  He showed the driving ability.  He’s got a lot of athleticism in terms of being able to dunk and he improved his defense as the year went along.  He’s also a better passer than people think.”

Hale said Herro has been unfairly compared to Phoenix Suns guard and former Kentucky Wildcat Devin Booker since they were both known as outside shooters when they arrived in Lexington and could leave as much better all around players.  But Hale did believe Herro has a chance to be a starter in the NBA and could be ready to help a team in his rookie campaign.

The Jazz Notes podcast drops at least weekly and can be found at KSLSports.com, the KSL Newsradio App, Apple Podcasts or other podcast providers.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz


Ben Anderson

Mailbag: Should Jazz Consider Zach LaVine In Trade Talks?

In the latest Utah Jazz mailbag we answer the question: Should the Jazz explore trade options for Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine?

1 hour ago

Utah Jazz Los Angeles LA Clippers Keyonte George...

Ben Anderson

Fontecchio Shines, George Struggles In Jazz Loss To Timberwolves

The Utah Jazz fell to 1-9 on the road after a 101-90 loss to the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Timberwolves.

19 hours ago


Ben Anderson

Blog: Timberwolves Put Clamps On Shorthanded Jazz

The Minnesota Timberwolves flexed their defensive muscle with a 101-90 win over the Utah Jazz led by 32 points from Karl-Anthony Towns.

20 hours ago


Kyle Ireland

Jazz Guard Talen Horton-Tucker Hits Spin Move Against Timberwolves

Jazz guard Talen Horton-Tucker pulled off a spin move before knocking down a shot during Utah's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

20 hours ago


Kyle Ireland

Collin Sexton Bursts For Fast Break Bucket During Jazz-Wolves Game

Jazz guard Collin Sexton flew down the court for a fast break bucket during the second half of Utah's game against the Timberwolves.

20 hours ago


Kyle Ireland

Jazz Center Walker Kessler Dunks On, Blocks Shots By T-Wolves

Jazz center Walker Kessler followed up a slam dunk by rejecting a shot attempt by the home team during Utah's game against the Timberwolves.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

Jazz Notes Podcast Looks At Potential Draftees From Kentucky