Utah Jazz: Fledgling foursome could be future franchise staples

Published: Thursday, May 10 2012 9:12 p.m. MDT

Kanter didn't play that much for a No. 3 draft pick, but he had sat out the entire year before when he was on the Kentucky roster and not allowed to play by the NCAA. Corbin singled Kanter out as the player who had come the furthest during the season.

Kanter was a little lost at the start of the season, especially after the Jazz traded Mehmet Okur, a fellow countryman from Turkey. But he came out of his shell and joked around with his teammates and made a memorable dance appearance before a home game.

"This year I learned so much. I learned so much from Al, from the playoffs and (playing against) Duncan," he said. "When I wasn't on the court, I watched what other players did. I'm going to work on my post moves and my passes and get more faster."

Burks played the least of the four young Jazzmen, but he saw more minutes as the year wore on and after Raja Bell went out for good in late March, Burks' minutes picked up and he was often in the games in the fourth quarter.

The former Colorado star has a knack for getting to the basket and drawing fouls and many folks believe he can be an NBA starter if he develops a consistent jump shot. He said there's not one specific thing he's working on this summer.

"It's not just one thing, but I need to work on everything to become a more complete player," he said. "I need to get better by doing everything I can."

"Alec had a great year for a young guy and he'll continue to develop," said Corbin. "His upside is up to him — how much time he's willing to put in to work to get better and understand the game at both ends of the floor."

It's not hard to project a future Jazz starting lineup that includes all four of Utah's young lottery picks, with Kanter at center, Favors at power forward, Hayward at small forward and Burks as the shooting guard. Now all they need is a young point guard and the Jazz starting lineup could be set for a decade.

Corbin sees a bright future and said all his young guys need now is experience.

"You look at teams and how they've been together and had some battles," he said. "You look at Oklahoma City three years ago. They've had to grow to where they are. They've added personnel, but they've had that core group. It takes awhile to get through the process. If you don't go through the process, then it's difficult to get there. We're growing in it and expect to continue to get better."

Email: sor@desnews.com

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