Commentary: The worst first-round picks in Utah Jazz franchise history

Published: Tuesday, July 16 2013 11:17 a.m. MDT

The Orlando Summer League came to an end with more questions than answers regarding new Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke.

During his time on the floor in Orlando, Burke struggled to adjust to the speed of the game, affecting his decision-making. He also struggled with his outside shot, causing some Jazz fans to wonder if Burke can succeed in the NBA.

One week of summer league does not an NBA career make, but it got me thinking about the players that the Jazz have missed on in the past. Looking back over the years, the Utah Jazz have made some wonderful selections, like John Stockton, Karl Malone, Andrei Kirilenko and even Greg Ostertag (only because he was the best player left on the board when the Jazz drafted him), but not all their picks have been home runs.

The Jazz have missed on their fair share of first-round picks, and this a list of the biggest miscues to date.

While deciding how to construct this, three factors were taken into consideration. The first is how a player performed as a member of the Jazz. The second is how a player performed over his entire NBA career, and third is who the Jazz could have had instead of that player. With that, even if a player was solid during his time with the Jazz, he could still be on this list because Utah could’ve taken a better player.

The last four years worth of draft picks are not included on this list. There isn’t enough evidence as of yet to suggest whether they were good or bad picks.

Jay Yeomans is a courier by day and a freelance writer by night. He is the creator and lone contributor to the blog jmoney34sports.wordpress.com. Contact him at jmoney34@hotmail.com

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Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

Id forgotten how many complete "busts" the Jazz have drafted. The way the Jazz handled Luther Wright is very commendable.

Poplar Grove, UT

I think the bottom 5 aren't busts. Many of the "better" players on that list have comparable skills/careers as the players the Jazz passed up. The top 10.....ya those were busts.

Provo, UT

Luther Wright, without question! Not even close.

Uncle Rico
Provo, UT

What about Trey Burke?

Morgan, UT

Please keep a list of who was available after we drafted Burke...you can use it in your next article under the same headline.

Mountain Bird
West Jordan, UT

What about Dan Schayes? He struggled in Utah and heard his share of boos, but eventually became a solid player.

Idaho Falls, ID

I hate articles like this. Every team has a history of draft busts just as bad as ours. Also, why would we have drafted Nick Van Exel or Sam Cassel when we had John Stockton?

To those who are already calling Trey Burke a bust......have you nothing better to do than find something to whine about? You whined about Sloan until he left. You whined about DWill until he was gone. You whined Al Jefferson away. You are whining about Corbin. And now you have put a target on the back of a player who has not even played a regular season game for our team? Is he going to be a bust? You don't know. Is he going to be an all-star? You don't know. Stop pretending that you can see the future.

Bountiful, UT

Lots of misses but in all fairness, teams try and draft for need, especially in the NBA where the draft is only 2 rounds but even 2nd round players don't really have much value. Sure there were a lot of better players available when the Jazz drafted Morris Almond in 2007 (wow, was it really that long ago?!?) but they didn't need bigs, etc. What they needed was outside shooting and they were trying to get the best available outside shooter left on the board.

Maybe Jazz leadership should consider just taking the best available player left on the board and forget about the holes on the team they need to fill. That's certainly a philosophy that will reduce the number of draft busts.

Man in Charge
Washington, DC

I don't get how Eric Maynor was a bad draft pick. He was a solid backup here and he dropped 24 points against Lebron and the cavs. The only reason the jazz traded him was because OKC wanted a sweetener in the deal that traded a retired Matt Harpring and his contract. He had that ACL injury in OKC and never really was the same after that.

Wellsville, UT

Tony Parker would have been a great pick in 2001. Things that could of been?

Watching, UT

If wishes were fishes we'd all have a fry. If fishes were wishes we'd eat till we die…..

Salt Lake City, UT

I think one big thing to consider is what positions the Jazz were looking for at the time. Also, salary has something to do with it.

Richfield, UT

Being a Golden State Warrior fan from the late 60's to early 90's I have a hard time feeling like the Jazz did that bad. The Warriors had as many disasters only theirs were first picks in the draft. Just to mention a few, passing on Kevin Garnett and several other stars to take Joe Smith (pick #1), Kobe to take Todd Fuller, Tracy McGrady to take Adonel Foyle, and the list goes on. Don't forget they traded Robert Parish and the $3 pick (Kevin McHale) for the #1 pick they used on Joe Barry Carroll. Oh yes almost forgot, they traded Wilt Chamberlain away also.

Riverton, UT

i cant believe that people are saying that Trey Burke is already a bust. he hasnt even played an NBA game yet. ridiculous

Mark from Montana
Aurora, CO

I have no idea how Trey will fare, but I suspect that the same ones saying he is a bust were saying it after Stockton was drafted. When they called Stock's name, there were many boos heard in Salt Lake....along with a number of 'Who?'

Bastrop, TX

As I scroll through this list of "so-called" busts, I can't help but remember how many of them were victims of "Sloan Syndrome".....Jerry Sloan, for reasons of his own, had his mental list of players he liked, and players he didn't like...Players like Quincy Lewis, Greg Ostertag, Kris Humphries,Gordon Giracek, etc. were Sloan's "whipping boys"...I have a mental picture as I type this....The Jazz drafted Kris Humphries because he led the Big 10 in scoring....Then every time he shot the ball while in a Jazz uniform, he was immediately yanked out of the game. He's since proven that he belongs in the league, but his career was severely held back by the domineering Sloan.

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