Utah Jazz: Tyrone Corbin can't wait to get up-close look at draft prospects

Published: Wednesday, May 18 2011 8:00 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Tyrone Corbin was a bit too busy this past season coaching a basketball team in his neighborhood to pay close attention to players from the college and international hoops scenes.

That's about to change.

Over the next month, the Utah Jazz head coach — and the rest of the organization's front-office personnel — will have ample up-close-and-personal opportunities to get a good look at the best prospects the upcoming NBA Draft has to offer.

Owners of the third and 12th picks, the Jazz will amp up their evaluation process for their pivotal June 23 selections beginning today at the annual Chicago pre-draft camp.

And Corbin can't wait.

The Jazz coach and his assistants, Scott Layden and Jeff Hornacek, joined general manager Kevin O'Connor and the organization's scouting staff at the four-day combine that officially began with meetings Wednesday.

Fifty-five players were invited to participate in the critical camp, including top locks Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams and promising first-round prospects Enes Kanter, Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker and, of course, NCAA player of the year Jimmer Fredette.

"For me," Corbin said, "it's the first chance that I get to actually see a lot of these guys physically."

Players will be measured and go through a variety of drills so teams can assess their skills, size and potential (or lack thereof).

"It's a pretty condensed version of what the combine might be in football," O'Connor explained.

Corbin said he's eager to see how NBA wannabes stack up against each other. He's interested to check out players' "mannerisms," their shooting strokes and to begin envisioning which guys will best mesh with the Jazz.

"I think we'll have an opportunity to see a lot of guys," Corbin said.

Without going into specifics, both O'Connor and Corbin said the Jazz are open to exploring all options with their two picks. That could even mean Utah might do some wheeling and dealing.

Corbin also admitted the Jazz's draft board is open.

"Rightfully so," he said. "It has to be because we get a chance to go and see all of the guys in Chicago."

Not only that, but the Jazz will also invite a steady stream of players to work out in their training facility in the next couple of weeks.

The coach only hopes players' agents will allow Utah to set up these tryout sessions the way the organization would like, which would include pitting players from similar positions against one another to allow Jazz brass to make the best decisions.

Seeing how players play on the court is just a part of this intensive evaluation process.

Interviews also play a big role and could make or break players' chances with the Jazz. Utah's staff will get opportunities for personal conversations and Q&A sessions with prospects in the Windy City and in Salt Lake City.

"The stuff on the floor is good, but I think because of this community and the kind of people that we try to bring in here the interview is an important part of that (process)," Corbin said. "We really evaluate on how a guy carry himself and (try to determine) can you trust a guy to do what he says he's going to do?

"Everybody makes some mistakes," the Jazz coach added, "but we put a lot of weight on the interview and the background stuff."

After Tuesday night's fortuitous lottery happenings, Corbin admitted moving up from the No. 6 spot to third overall has energized the franchise.

He's excited about players the Jazz have coming back, and he is intrigued to find out who they'll bring in through the draft and free agency.

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