4) The Epic Fail of 2011
The wounds are still pretty fresh with this one.
2011 could’ve been a huge draft year for the Jazz, potentially spring-boarding them into the upper crust of the Western Conference. Thanks to the Deron Williams trade, the Jazz were drafting in the Top 3 and seemingly had a chance to bring a real difference-maker into the fold. Instead, they drafted Enes Kanter.
They could’ve picked Williams’ replacement in Kemba Walker — an All-Star this past season — or Brandon Knight, who has averaged 15 points, four assists and three rebounds during his career. It would’ve seemed like a stretch at the time, but Klay Thompson was available as well.
Instead, they went big with a guy who, just a few short years later, would go on to kill his own value by demanding a trade and get himself shipped off to Oklahoma City for what has essentially amounted to nothing.
Then, in the late lottery, the Jazz picked Alec Burks at No. 12 instead of Kawhi Leonard, a favorite of Jazz fans after his duels with BYU star Jimmer Fredette in the Mountain West Conference. Burks has gone on to be perpetually injured and a financial burden for the Jazz while Leonard is one of the 10 best players in the NBA.
You try to cut Jazz brass some slack given the fact that Kawhi kind of came out of nowhere and his landing in San Antonio played a large role in his evolution as a player. But the Burks pick in tandem with Enes the Menace make it hard to shake the memories of the ’11 draft.
Next: No. 3