The Jazz also could opt to select Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart, but the lottery-bound playmaker's agent spurned Utah’s invitation for him to work out in Salt Lake City four different times, according to vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin.
Utah might also have to decide if it's willing to take the risk on drafting an injured Embiid, who was a likely No. 1 pick before it was discovered that he needed surgery last week for a fractured foot. That navicular bone injury has derailed multiple big men's careers, including the likes of Bill Walton, Yao Ming and Curtis Borchardt.
In all, Utah brought in 89 different players for pre-draft tryouts, and that was in addition to spending the past year scouting hundreds of NCAA and international games, attending private workout sessions, observing prospects at the annual NBA draft combine in Chicago, and watching oodles of game film.
And that came after the Jazz let veteran leaders Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap go elsewhere before last season while kicking the door wide open for a franchise rebuild. It was not a coincidence that Utah allowed itself to be nearly historically bad, a third-worst 25-57 record, leading up to a loaded draft.
The goal has been clear.
“Franchise players, All-Stars. That’s what we’re looking to get,” Perrin said. “But we also understand that we need depth. We need rotation players. We have a lot of needs in terms of shooting, in terms of defense, also in terms of rebounding. We’re looking at a lot of different things.”
Now the Jazz are down to hours before they're on the clock to try to make that happen.
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