Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Over the past month and half, the Utah Jazz have held several pre-draft workout sessions to get a look at some of the prospects available for this year's NBA Draft.
There's plenty of anticipation because the Jazz hold the fifth, 23rd and 35th picks in Thursday's draft. Will Utah try to trade up to try and grab Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker or will they stay put at No. 5 and grab a Noah Vonleh or Aaron Gordon?
What kind of talent will be available to Utah in the late first and early second rounds of the draft?
Here's a look back at the Deseret News' coverage of this year's Jazz pre-draft workouts, including links to extended workout stories (click on the in-story links) and profiles on each player (click on the dates):
Beginning the workout evaluation process for this year’s draft, the Jazz brought in guards Bryce Cotton (Providence) and Stephen Holt (Saint Mary’s), as well as forwards Taylor Braun (North Dakota State), Akil Mitchell (Virginia), Mike Moser (Oregon) and Ronald Roberts Jr. (Saint Joseph’s) for the team’s first player workouts.
“I’m just working my butt off,” Mitchell told the Deseret News. “I feel like everything will work itself out in the end.”
Another six players rolled in to Salt Lake City to work out in front of the Jazz brass one day after the team’s first player workouts. They included guards Travis Bader (Oakland), Justin Cobbs (Cal) and Joe Jackson (Memphis), guard-forwards Cameron Clark (Oklahoma) and Fuquan Edwin (Seton Hall) and forward Josh Huestis (Stanford).
“Teams are expecting me to come in and be a defender. That’s what I’m known for — defense,” Huestis said. “I’m going to be a hustle guy, a hard-worker. I have a good motor.”
A pair of athletes who played against BYU last season — Iowa State forward Melvin Ejim and Gonzaga center Sam Dower — were among those who participated in Utah’s third player workout. Also at the workout were guards Jake Odum (Indiana State) and Scotty Wilbekin (Florida), guard-forward Niels Giffey (Connecticut) and forward Jerrelle Benimon (Towson).
“I’ve had a great reception here. I think that that’s in the past and it was something that happened and I apologized for it and moved on,” said Ejim, who flipped off the BYU crowd during the Cyclones’ victory over the Cougars in November. “Even after that situation, a lot of BYU fans forgave me and were great about it. I put that in the past, moved on, and I’m just ready to work out and hopefully I’ll continue to play well."
Several big-name programs were represented at this Jazz player workout, including guards Semaj Christon (Xavier) and DeAndre Kane (Iowa State), as well as forwards Luke Hancock (Louisville), Wally Judge (Rutgers), Travis Wear (UCLA) and Jamil Wilson (Marquette).
“We’re all looking for the next Wes Matthews,” Jazz vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin said afterward. The former Jazzman Matthews went undrafted, a likely destination for these six players who worked out, but he is now a starter with Portland.
A pair of Ohio State stars — guard Aaron Craft and forward LaQuinton Ross — highlighted this group. Other players included guards Billy Baron (Canisius) and James Bell (Villanova), as well as forwards Cameron Bairstow (New Mexico) and Roscoe Smith (UNLV).
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