Skokie, IL 60076
nah. we should trade down and get a PG, tell Okur to toughen up and tone his muscles. I say grab a toughbodied backup center.Now the Jazz are in a similar circumstance, with a reasonable shot at winning the right to select a player who has earned national acclaim just a couple of miles from the Delta Center. It will likely take about an 8-to-1 jackpot in next month's lottery, but the Jazz could find themselves able to keep Andrew Bogut in Utah.
But should they?
Bogut, who led the University of Utah to a 29-6 record and the Sweet 16 over the winter, already likes the idea, both because he is comfortable in Salt Lake City and he admires the Jazz's organization. "Definitely, it would be a good situation for me," the national player of the year said Friday. "I wouldn't have to get used to a new city or anything like that. . . . [And Jerry] Sloan is the kind of coach I would love to play for."
Utah, however, is virtually certain, by virtue of its last-place season, to own the franchise's highest draft pick since it selected (and traded) Dominique Wilkins with the third pick in 1982. The pressure to secure a cornerstone with that pick is high, certainly more than the need to placate fans with a local hero.
So the opportunity to draft Bogut, should it materialize, will be evaluated in the harsh light of objectivity. "We'll take the player who we feel is best for our future," said Kevin O'Connor, who will make the call at the June 28 draft.
Is that Bogut? The consensus of six talent evaluators contacted last week -- three Western Conference personnel directors, one Eastern Conference general manager and a scout from each conference -- was strongly positive, though not unanimous.
The 7-foot Australian "will be a good fit anywhere he goes because he's a good passer," said one NBA professional, "but especially there. Phil's [Johnson] offense works so well with a high-post big man who can pass. They used to be so effective when Karl Malone could start off at the high post, and they would cut off guys from there. They can't do that much anymore, but Bogut would be very good at it because he can find open guys."