After an uneventful first (and second) round, the Utah Jazz came fast and furious with a series of trades and selections at the tail end of the 2019 NBA Draft.
If you were a Utah Jazz fan tuning into Thursday night’s NBA Draft, you seemingly didn’t have a lot to look forward to. Although the Mike Conley trade has catapulted the team into the conversation of title contention, a byproduct of the deal was that it found itself without a first-round selection.
To say that the lack of a pick made for boring TV is putting it lightly. Jazz nation was forced to stand idly by as Adam Silver and, later, deputy commissioner Mark Tatum marched up to the podium to talk about some other team drafting the next player you probably didn’t care about.
Then, with only a handful of selections left to be made, Dennis Lindsey, Justin Zanik and the Jazz brain trust went to work.
Check that — went bananas.
With the 53rd pick in the draft, the Jazz selected Hofstra’s Justin Wright-Foreman, but they weren’t content to roll with just the one second-rounder. They also completed not one, but TWO trades at the back end of the draft.
As a result, they came away with Charleston forward Jarrell Brantley at No. 50 and Yale wing Miye Oni at No. 58 as well. The cumulative cost for Utah in the moves was cash considerations and a 2021 second-round pick.
While all three have work to do to become NBA players, the Jazz have more roster spots than usual to fill in the wake of the Conley trade. And, for his part, Zanik thinks they’ve got Jazz DNA.
“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 the Jazz GM.
As it happens, the three have some things in common. Specifically, scoring ability and length that could allow them to compete at the next level. As a 6-1 guard, Wright-Foreman has a wingspan approaching 6-8. Brantley checks in with a 7-2 wingspan as a shorter big man. Oni, meanwhile, has a 6-11 wingspan as a perimeter player.
Wright-Foreman may be the headliner in terms of collegiate production; he’s been one of the nation’s most electrifying scorers over the last two years, putting up over 24 and 27 points per game respectively over his junior and senior seasons.
Last season, Wright-Foreman led NCAA high-usage players (20-plus possessions used per game) in scoring efficiency at 1.160 points per possession. He was also in the 91st percentile in spot-up shooting (1.178 ppp) and the 95th percentile in the screen-roll (1.082 ppp); those are talents that could serve him well in Quin Snyder’s offense.