Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/2/14
NBA Draft Chances are if you know a Utah Jazz fan or have talked to one recently, you found out two things: first, this draft went really, really well. Second, Jazz fans are pumped for the 2014-2015 season. When I say pumped, I mean World Cup pumped. The NBA community was no less impressed with Utah’s picks in Dante Exum and Rodney Hood, and cruising down I-15 (from SLC to Nephi) there are huge billboards plastered with Exum and Hood with the huge words “Welcome to Utah” all over them. Yes, life is good as a Jazz fan. It feels like 1998 again. Stop me if I’ve gone too far, but I don’t think I’m alone. JD King likes Hood, although acknowledges his faults. He says: Hood brings a versatile skill set. He shoots well, he can drive, he can handle the ball and is a vastly superior defender to Parker. He probably won’t be an NBA sensation, but rather a reliable and valued contributor. His biggest problem will be his size. Guys like Kobe Bryant or Kawhi Leonard will give him fits until he bulks up. There may also be some questions about his bouts with nausea before and during games. King’s remarks are true, but I am not as concerned about his weight or size problem. As a forward, he has some lengths to go to bulk up, but KD destroys defenders every night and isn’t much more weighty than my 24-year-old sister. More importantly, Jazz fans want to see him succeed through his tenacity, his drives, and his willingness to go to the hoop knowing he’s going to get knocked around. Who cares about his size—when you can get a guy like Hood with a late pick like the Utah Jazz did (some mock drafts had him bumped into the top 15), you pull the trigger. Exum, on the other hand, is a bit more of an all around win. Even though he is only 18, he is 6-foot-5 and plays much bigger than that on the court. He is a true combo guard who plays incredibly aggressive defense and can take the ball in to the hoop a lot like Trey Burke. His shooting is incredibly ugly, but his all around play and work ethic must have made Jazz execs confident in his ability to learn to shoot well. As he is from Australia, there hasn’t been much to see from this young man. He was the Clapton at the Nike Hoop Summit, and the Jazz were lucky they had the fifth pick and not the sixth, because he would have been gone, gone, gone. He’ll be a good fit in Utah’s system, and his off-the-court endeavors indicate he will be a welcome locker room addition. Why are Jazz fans so excited? With a potential starting five of Burke, Exum, Hayward (if locked down in the coming days), Favors, and Kanter, the future of the Utah Jazz is looking incredibly bright. You can quote me on that. The post Utah Jazz draft review appeared first on isportsweb.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

PLAYERS: Dante Exum
TEAMS: Utah Jazz
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