With the 12th pick in the 2015 NBA Draftt he Utah Jazz select Frank Kaminsky, Power Forward/Center Wisconsin.
The Jazz have one of the more unique roster situations in the league. The starting line up for all intents and purposes is set and is going nowhere anytime soon. Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, and Dante Exum are all 25 years-old or younger and they are all locked up for more than two years, if you take team options into account.
What makes the roster situation in Utah even more intriguing is after the starting five, only Trey Burke and Rodney Hood are two serviceable young players on rookie contracts, and are officially under contract for the next season. Everyone else either has a team option, is a restricted free agent or is an outright unrestricted free agent. Joe Ingles, the 27 year old big man from Australia, is probably the only guy the Jazz have under their control (RFA) that they would prioritize keeping in the fold. Point being, at this point in the draft no one is supplanting one of the starters and outside of drafting a PG for the third straight year with their top pick, the Jazz can pretty much take a player at any position.
With the flexibility in positional need, the Jazz can look at which aspects of their team could benefit the most from a crop of talented wings and big man. On its face, as a Nuggets fan who is diving into our closest rival's roster for the purpose of our community mock draft, this roster screams the need for outside shooting. I look at guys like Burks, Exum, Gobert, and Favors and I see guys who are best when getting to the rack for easy buckets on offense. I see guys like Hayward, Hood and Burke and I see guys who are decent three-point shooters, but no Kyle Korver. Examining the stats confirms this theory.
As a team the Jazz were middle of the road as far as three-point percentage, giving the verisimilitude that the team has at least some quality three point shooters, but a closer look at the individual stats reveals the team is essentially made up of mediocre 3pt shooters, with Burks leading the team last season at just over 38%, though he only played 27 games and is coming off shoulder surgery. Hood was the top 3pt shooter for the team among players who played the majority of the season for the Jazz at 36.5%. Not exactly en fuego.
With no three point shooting specialist and a team that presumably will be orchestrated by a point guard whose game is predicated on driving the lane and creating for others, a solid 3pt shooter who can help space the floor makes the most sense for Utah. I wanted to take Devin Booker in this spot, but alas he was taken at no. 9, Myles Turner was also an option but he went no. 11. The next best player on the board with consistent shooting ability is Frank Kaminsky. I won't rehash a breakdown of Kaminsky's skills, strengths and weaknesses. If you want to check that out I suggest excellent write up here on Stiffs by Mike Olson.
Kaminsky shot 54.7% from the field and 41.6% from three in his senior season and has shown that he can stroke it from outside. Additionally Frank the Tank's ball handling and passing ability paired with his overall size makes him intriguing as a playmaking four. His game is arguably the most polished of anyone in the draft and some have given him the unenviable moniker of "Most NBA ready" (a title I unfortunately bestowed on Jimmer Fredette a few years back).
Fundamentals, though not sexy, do translate well to the NBA. Beyond just the tangibles, Kaminsky seems to fit the Jazz culture very well. He relies on his highly polished fundamentals which he's improved dramatically over a four year college career to be successful. He's shown to be a player who consistently improves his game by working within the system of the team he plays on. A superstar in college by any measure last season, Frank let his game do the talking for him. That fits Jazz culture to a tee.
The fit is even stronger when you consider Kaminsky's weaknesses. His lack of strength and athleticism will become much more noticeable at the pro level. With poor athleticism Frank becomes a liability on defense as faster, more athletic forwards will be able to get by him and get to the hoop. Utah is one of the best equipped teams to be able to cover this weakness. Favors and Gobert are outstanding weakside help defenders and rim protectors in general which will greatly mitigate Kaminsky's defensive deficiencies.
Frank is also viewed by many to have one of the lower ceilings from a potential standpoint. He's shown so much improvement over his time at Wisconsin, one has to wonder how much juice is left to be squeezed from this orange. However, as I pointed out, Utah already has a young core they are building around so Kaminsky is only needed to be a solid role player who brings a different aspect the the team's overall game while staying within the overall game plan, something he excelled at in Wisconsin.
It's arguable that Kaminsky is the BPA here. Kelly Oubre is certainly an intriguing prospect but the Jazz are already filled with athletic wings who need to work on their shooting ability. I also considered Kevin Looney, but his overall game isn't as strong as Frank's. Among players in the Best Player Available argument, Kaminsky makes the most sense for this Jazz team, providing them with much needed floor spacing and scoring punch off the bench while fitting within the team's structure and culture.
*He's tall, he's a shooter, he looks like he just sold your teenager some really good weed ... HE'S FRANK KAMINSKY!*
|2015 Mock Draft||Player Taken||Team Pick||GM|
|2nd||D'Angelo Russell||Lakers||RKY MTN Way|
|9th||Devin Booker||Hornets||The LAW SON|