Utah Jazz: No lottery luck, so Jazz remain in No. 14 spot for NBA draft
Jason DeCrow, Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz now know how every person who drove to Idaho to buy lottery tickets felt this past weekend.
The Jazz did not defy the odds in the NBA's lottery and remained in the No. 14 position for the 2013 draft on June 27.
Utah, which only had a 1.82 percent chance of moving up into the top three, also has the 21st pick in the first round, which it received from the Warriors via the Nets to complete the 2011 Deron Williams deal. The Jazz own the 46th selection in the second round as well.
"Hopefully, we aren't going to be there too often to be doing this," said Jazz president Randy Rigby via a phone interview with Utah media after representing the organization on the stand for the live broadcast from ESPN's Times Square Studios.
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the lottery after jumping up two spots. Orlando, which had the worst record in the NBA at 20-62, dropped down to No. 2.
The Wizards were fortunate enough to move up from the No. 8 position to win the third pick, while the Bobcats slipped to No. 4.
Despite the lack of luck, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey remains positive about the franchise having two picks in the middle of the first round.
"It certainly gives us clarity. We had done all of our work up to this point with 14 in mind, and if we moved up we're playing with the house's money," said Lindsey, who was also in New York City. "It doesn't really change our preparations."
The Jazz like that they have multiple options, including possibly making a move into a higher position, doing other wheeling and dealing, bringing in attractive free agents or standing pat with their picks in a draft that Lindsey believes is better than some give it credit for.
"There's some athleticism in this draft," Lindsey said. "It's our job to find some guys who can contribute to our club."
Utah has massive roster rebuilding to do this offseason, considering only Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks and Jeremy Evans have guaranteed contracts for the 2013-14 season.
The Jazz don't have any point guards signed for next year — a fact players "were very aware of" in last week's pre-draft combine in Chicago.
Utah found itself in the worst spot of this lottery. The Jazz finished 43-39 and weren't quite good enough to get in the playoffs, but they weren't bad enough to give themselves decent odds of a high lottery pick.
Utah only had a 0.5 percent chance of winning the top selection, a 0.58 percent chance of gaining the No. 2 position and a 0.7 percent chance of grabbing the third pick.
This was the sixth lottery appearance for the Jazz, who fortuitously moved up from No. 6 to No. 3 in 2011. Utah then picked Kanter.
Utah's previous No. 14 picks include Kris Humphries (2004) and Ronnie Brewer (2006). Clyde Drexler, Tim Hardaway, Dan Majerle and Peja Stojakovic are among the success stories at No. 14. But recently, that position has been much more miss than hit. The last five No. 14 picks include the Bucks' John Henson, Houston's Marcus Morris and Patrick Patterson, Phoenix's Earl Clark and Golden State's Anthony Randolph.
This is the second time in the past three years the Cavaliers have claimed the top spot, and both times Cleveland was represented by bow-tie-sporting Nick Gilbert, owner Dan Gilbert's son. The Cavs picked up Kyrie Irving with the first selection in 2011, and Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel is considered a likely candidate for the top spot this time around.
As for the Jazz, Lindsey said he's remaining back East for a two-day player workout in Brooklyn. Utah will then bring a wide variety of players to try out at its training facility over the next few weeks leading up to the draft.
"Back to work," Lindsey said.
Here is the lottery order for the upcoming draft:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers 2. Orlando Magic 3. Washington Wizards 4. Charlotte Bobcats 5. Phoenix Suns 6. New Orleans Pelicans 7. Sacramento Kings 8. Detroit Pistons 9. Minnesota Timberwolves 10. Portland Trail Blazers 11. Philadelphia 76ers 12. Oklahoma City (from Toronto via Houston) 13. Dallas Mavericks 14. Utah Jazz
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