Jazz General Manager Justin Zanik Reacts To His First NBA Draft

Jun 21, 2019, 3:17 PM
Courtesy of Utah Jazz...
Courtesy of Utah Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Newly appointed Utah Jazz general manager Justin Zanik wrapped up his first NBA Draft in his new position by picking three second round selections on Thursday.

Zanik was prompted to the general manager position in May after years of working as an assistant general manager. In a related move, former GM Dennis Lindsey was moved up to work as the team’s executive vice president of basketball operations.

The Jazz, likely guided by Zanik, made a splash prior to the draft by making a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies for veteran point guard that reportedly involved Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Grayson Allen, the 23rd overall pick in this year’s draft and a future first rounder. Most national experts considered the trade to be a slam dunk.

Still it wasn’t the end of the Jazz’s dealing this week. Armed with only the 53rd selection, the Jazz traded with the Indiana Pacers for the 50th overall choice and then cut a deal with the Golden State Warriors for the 58th pick.

With the three second rounders, the Jazz got great scoring value in Jarrell Brantley of Charleston (50th overall), Justin Wright-Foreman from Hofstra (53th overall), and Miye Oni of Yale (58th overall).

Excited About Draft Picks

After the draft concluded, Zanik addressed the media and said the team felt excited about their choices and the chance to increase the team’s depth.

Before the team made its selections, they had their chance to see each of the three players up close and personal. Brantley and Wright-Foreman both had workouts with the Jazz while the team met and interviewed with Oni at the combine, according to Zanik.

“All those guys, we’re really excited to have them and they fit what we’re looking for as far as Jazz players now and going forward,” said Zanik.

Utah’s first choice in the draft, Brantley, was in Salt Lake City on Saturday for a work out. His performance sealed the deal for his case as a future Jazzman, in Zanik’s eyes. When asked what he like about his audition, Zanik listed several things he saw from Brantley.

“Great energy on the court, coming from a smaller conference, you see a guy who can dominate at times,” said Zanik.

But Brantley wasn’t the only member of the Colonial Athletic Association that the Jazz took in the draft. With the 53rd pick, the team choose Wright-Foreman, a two-time CAA Player of the Year at Hofstra. Both Brantley and Wright-Foreman played four years in college as well, something that gave them the opportunity to mature their games, according to Zanik. While he spent just three years at Yale, Oni also has a strong game. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski thought he would be a first round pick when asked about Oni in December.

While the Jazz have shored up their roster a bit and will give their three draft picks a chance to make the final team, Utah still plays on being aggressive in the upcoming free agency period, Zanik remarked.

Jazz fans will get their first look at the new additions to the team in the SLC Summer League, which will begin on July 1 at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

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