Last time a plummeting big man dropped to the Jazz, he had foot issues.
Major foot issues.
Curtis Borchardt selected 18th overall out of Stanford University in the 2002 NBA draft but expected to go higher was plagued by a stress fracture in his right foot while in college.
The 7-foot center missed his entire 2002-03 rookie season with the Jazz due to a stress fracture in the same foot, which was held together by surgical screws.
He wound up logging just 83 games over the next two seasons, and his NBA career cut short, in part because of the foot eventually embarked on a playing career in Spain.
Flash forward to Thursday.
The Jazz drafted 7-foot Ohio State freshman center Kosta Koufos, who was expected to go higher.
As it turns out, Koufos sustained a broken right foot that limited him to 11 games during his junior season at GlenOaks High School in Canton, Ohio.
That fact was considered but did not at all dissuade the Jazz from selecting Koufos with their No. 23 overall pick in the draft's first round.
"All the physicals show nothing," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said Friday.
"We put it in the hopper but he played two years after that, and a lot of people have done that," O'Connor added. "It's not something that's happened recently, and he's played a lot of games since. It's a clean bill of health."Koufos went on to average 25.9 points, 15.4 rebounds and 5.2 blocks during a full senior season at GlenOaks.
GOOD GRADES: Grades and analysis are in, and the Jazz's report card is worth bringing home.
Longtime ESPN.com draft analyst Chad Ford gave Utah an A- for its selections of not only Koufos but also Croatian center Ante Tomic and Serbian power forward Tadija Dragicevic in the draft's second round.
Ford wrote that "Koufos is a steal here he's a little like the second coming of Mehmet Okur, a big guy who likes to face the basket but who can mix it up inside," and that "Tomic reminds me of a young Pau Gasol very skilled but lacks the strength to play in the post."
NBADraft.net's analysis: "Utah must really like what Mehmet Okur gives them because Koufos is essentially the same player. He might not be the toughest 7-footer around, but he is a lights-out perimeter shooter and a legitimate zone buster. He can play pick-and-pop with Deron Williams when Okur needs a breather or gets into foul trouble."
ESPN.com said Dragicevic was "not exactly a household name" Ford, who is as well-versed on the draft as any in cyberspace, admitted to never having seen him and NBADraft.net called him a "mysterious Serbian forward with good size and strong face-up ball skills."
Though he won't come to the NBA from Croatia for at least another year or two, Ford was high on Tomic, calling him "one of the most skilled bigs in this draft" but someone who "needs to get much, much stronger."And he was especially high on Koufos, writing that if he had stayed at Ohio State, "he would have been projected as a top-10 pick in 2009, so I don't think the Jazz could have done much better at 23."
OOPS: So much for a DraftExpress.com report that the Jazz "apparently fancy Goran Dragic as a potential backup for (point) Deron Williams a few years down the road, and could take him with the No. 44 pick."The Jazz instead took Tomic at 44, and the Slovenian Dragic went one pick later, taken by San Antonio for Houston.
OOPS II: ESPN.com reported that the Jazz "seriously considered drafting Tomic with the No. 23 pick," but O'Connor said Thursday he was never a consideration for them at that spot.
HE SAID IT: O'Connor, at the Jazz's practice facility after the draft: "We're sick of looking at each other, we're sick of having pizza, we're sick of being in this building. But it's turned out pretty well for us."
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