Now, about that other draft . . .
While the Jazz know they'll lose one player to Miami or Charlotte in Thursday's expansion draft, they're spending more time worrying about the three players they'll take in the June 28 college draft.The Jazz have the No. 17 choice in the first round of the three-round draft and, at the moment, chief scout Scott Layden has crossed only 10 players off his list as definitely going ahead of the Jazz. They include Kansas' Danny Manning, Marist's Rik Smits, Bradley's Hersey Hawkins, Pitt's Charles Smith, Syracuse's Rony Seikaly, Kansas State's Mitch Richmond, Kentucky's Rex Chapman, Auburn's Chris Morris, Temple's Tim Perry and Iowa State's Jeff Grayer.
"After that, we have to look at about everybody," notes Layden. "We're really giving the centers and point guards an extra look. When it's all said and done, those are the two positions that can affect your team."
The top point guard is either DePaul's Rod Strickland or Michigan's Gary Grant. "Both Grant and Strickland could get to us," says Layden. The next group includes Notre Dame's David Rivers, Purdue's Everette Stephens, Indiana's Keith Smart and Kentucky's Ed Davender, with Georgia's Willie Anderson a multi-position player also projected as a point guard.
After Smits, the top centers are Vanderbilt's Will Perdue, who won't likely reach the Jazz, and Wyoming's Eric Leckner and Miami's Tito Horford.
By draft day, the Jazz want an indication of whether they can sign 1987 first-round choice Jose Ortiz, who played professionally in Spain last season and could join the Jazz following the Olympic Games. Said Layden, "That might drastically change our thinking. If we found out he's in Spain for life, maybe we'd look at a kid like Mark Bryant."
- Kurt Kragthorpe