Ryan Smith Buys Jazz, Draft Options, And The Mailbag
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In the latest Jazz Notes Podcast, Ben Anderson looks at the biggest stories from the last week for the Utah Jazz and the NBA. This week, the podcast discusses the Miller’s sale of the Jazz to Ryan Smith, four more draft prospects, NBA facilities reopening, and answers to your mailbag questions.
You can listen to the entire podcast in the player below, or subscribe to the podcast at the link at the bottom of the article.
Sale Of The Jazz To Ryan Smith
In the biggest news of the week, and what would have been the biggest news in recent team memory had it not been for a global pandemic rearranging life as we know, the Miller family announced they were selling the Jazz after 35 years to Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith.
Smith brings a shakeup to the status quo for the Jazz which should add new energy to the franchise. However, he’d be wise to follow some of the same principles the Miller’s installed into the team over the last four decades.
The Jazz aren’t in a spot where they have to radically fix anything. The Miller’s were great owners. So Ryan Smith now steps in and inherits a good product, a very well functioning machine that should continue to work.
Four New NBA Draft Prospects
Theo Maledon: 6’4, 175 lbs G – 19 – France
Theo Maledon is a long 6’4 guard from France with an intriguing feel for the point guard position. Excels as a distributor in the pick and roll game finding his teammates all over the floor, and finishing efficiently at the rim.
Maledon rarely looks sped up and keeps defenders off balance with subtle change of pace dribble moves that are unique for a player his size and age. His slower pace allows offense plays to unfold more completely, where he can recognize weaknesses in the opposing defense before making nifty passes.
Leandro Bolmaro: 6’7, 180 lbs G – 19 – Barcelona
Leandro Bolmaro is an extremely gifted ball-handler and distributor for his size. Very few players have his change of direction and dribble moves at 6’7. He’s is incredibly shifty for a player at his position which gives him excellent potential as a scorer and playmaker.
Makes some very impressive passes for a non-point guard, and his height allows him to see the floor and create passing lanes over defenders in a way unique even to the NBA.
The most glaring concerns about Bolmaro are the poor shooting percentages that have plagued him throughout his career. The versatile guard shot just 42 percent from the floor and 29 percent from the three-point line across all of his play in 2018-19.
Yam Madar: 6’3, 180 lbs G – 19 – Israel
Yam Madar is a hyper-aggressive point guard that plays with swagger n both ends of the floor. Offensively his game is reminiscent of Deron Williams, albeit without the strength that allowed the former Jazz guard to bully smaller guards.
Madar has sharp handles and a crossover dribble that allows him to create space on the attack. The point guard likes to set up teammates in the pick and roll, or finish near the hoop with floaters and pull up jump shots.
His sizzle appears to get in the way of simply making the right play at times on both ends of the floor. He can get caught turning the ball over by being overly ambitious as a passer and ball-handler.
Kira Lewis: 6’3, 165 lbs G – So – Alabama
Kira Lewis is an absolute blur in transition, knifing past opposing defenses with incredible speed. It’s not difficult to see how his ability to cover ground in college will translate to the NBA. Davis moves quickly and in control with the ball in his hands in the open court, leading to easy layups on the offensive end.
Lewis’ speed is also apparent in the halfcourt, where the Alabama sophomore easily blows past defenders and turns the corner off the dribble to create driving lanes. Between De’Aaron Fox, Lou Williams, Dennis Schroder, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, there’s a blueprint for players with Lewis speed and size to succeed in the NBA.
While Lewis has an excellent ability to breakdown opposing defenses with his dribble penetration, he lacks stellar vision as a playmaker, despite his five assists per game average. Alabama’s offensive scheme may have inflated his numbers due to the pace of play and high three-point shooting totals that other guards didn’t benefit from in college. He’s not a stellar pick and roll initiator and turned the ball over 3.5 times per game.
NBA Facilities Reopening, Negotiations Continue
The NBA is allowing its teams to reopen their practice facilities. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the facilities will be made available to players for offseason workouts amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The NBA will continue to test players who choose to return to their team’s practice facilities. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, a league memo indicated the tests were mandatory.
The NBA Board of Governors and the league’s Players Association are expected to extend the deadline to negotiate the remaining offseason schedule and the beginning of the 2020-21 NBA season. The original deadline was set for the last Friday of October.
Among the issues that must be sorted out between the league’s owners and players are the remaining dates for the NBA offseason. The NBA Draft is set for November 18, but little beyond that is known.
The league must determine when the free agency period will begin before the regular season schedule can be set. Earlier this month there was a strong push among the league’s owners to have the season begin on December 22 with training camps opening on December 1.
However, Michele Roberts, the executive director of the NBA’s Players Association said players strongly opposed the proposed start date.
Anderson: Yes, I think it probably increases the value a little bit. I think the Jazz would love to get a nother second-round pick, especially if they get an early second-rounder.
I won’t be surprised if they look at trading Ed Davis and trying to get that $5 million off the books. Then, adding a second-round pick in return and having some cost control deals that way.
Anderson: I think free agency movement takes a real hit. But maybe we see more trades because that becomes the easiest way to make a deal. If you don’t feel confident you’re going to be able to get a meeting with a free agent in the shortened window before training camp starts, trades might make more sense. So draft night might be awesome for fans of trades.
Anderson: I’m going go with Donovan Mitchell to the Deron Williams teams because I think the Jazz were closer to being the best team in the league. Mitchell could have potentially put them over the top. Okur on this team is similar to a poor man’s Bojan Bogdanovic.
However, one of the Jazz biggest problems in the late 2000s was a lack of length upfront and Mitchell doesn’t really fix that.
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