Utah Jazz draft picks arrive rarin' to go
Maynor and Suton ready to make NBA dreams come true
Having grown up in a trailer at the end of a dirt road as a self-described "country guy" from the tiny town of Raeford, N.C., the 22-year-old Maynor looks forward to the challenge and opportunity. Heck, he's been telling his dad since they started playing basketball together when Maynor was 5 or 6 years old that he was going to be drafted. And now that that's happened, and even though he's a big Chris Paul fan, Maynor can't wait to start playing with and learning from Williams, another point guard he admires. He even planned on calling Williams on Friday to get the ball rolling.
"I think it's going to do me real good," Maynor said, "because I get to compete against one of the best in the world every day, and I think that's going to make me better."
Suton's winding path to Utah actually started in Sarajevo, Bosnia. That's where the center grew up — he even played with the national team as a 14-year-old — before his family left the battle-plagued country for good and landed in Lansing, Mich., as refugees. Family members already in Michigan helped the Sutons relocate just before he entered high school.
"We just kind of looked for a new beginning, for a better life," Suton said. "In Bosnia, it (was) a very hard situation and my parents wanted to get a better opportunity for me and my brother."
Suton wound up at nearby Michigan State, where he continued to blossom as a big man and eventually helped the Spartans make it to last spring's NCAA championship game.
The Jazz like that Suton, a solid rebounder who has good outside range, excelled under a tough and talented coach in Tom Izzo. Suton also credits current Ute coach and former Spartan assistant Jim Boylen for helping him — both in losing body fat and improving his basketball game — during their one year together at MSU.
The Jazz re-emphasized Friday that they are plenty pleased with their late pick-up. O'Connor even challenged Suton, who was just here on Monday for a workout, to earn playing time by following the hard-working example of late second-round draftee Paul Millsap (47th overall in 2006).
"If you want to do something, turn on the games in the NCAA Tournaments and watch him play and those answer a lot of questions on why we drafted him," O'Connor said. "He brings a lot of things to the table and he had a terrific (college) career. … He's somebody who's a willing worker."
Suton, who doesn't have a guaranteed contract as a second-round pick and possibly could end up in Europe, will get a chance to impress his new team next week when the Jazz begin training camp for their Orlando summer league.
That, Sloan jokingly suggested to him, leaves him no time to waste.
"He has four days to get into shape," Sloan said.
Like Maynor, a lanky 164-pounder who says he also needs to hit the weight room pretty hard, Suton says he's up to that challenge of working his way into the Jazz's hearts and playing plans.
"I think this is the best thing that's ever happened to me," Suton said. "I worked to get here. I tell myself don't worry where you've been, but where you're about to go. That's my motive — just staying humble, working every day, not taking things for granted."
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