Can we bring this player in and work with him, probably play him a little bit with the (G League’s Salt Lake City) Stars, and how much better can we get him in, say, two or three years? —Utah Jazz vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin
SALT LAKE CITY — As Utah Jazz vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin began addressing the media scrum Monday at Zions Bank Basketball Campus after the team’s latest predraft workout, he noted that “in basketball there are no holidays.”
Indeed, another group of six players auditioned for Jazz brass on Memorial Day morning. Most notable from the perspective of prospects Utah might consider with the 21st overall pick in June’s draft was SMU guard Shake Milton and Villanova big man Omari Spellman.
Also present were likely second-round picks Theo Pinson, a wing from North Carolina, and Seton Hall big man Angel Delgado, along with USC wing Elijah Stewart and Western Michigan guard Thomas Wilder.
A key hallmark of the workout was the number of players who project to have the ability to play multiple positions in the NBA. Milton can play both guard spots, Pinson can be put at either shooting guard or small forward and Perrin said Delgado might be able to play both power forward and center at the next level.
At 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, Pinson feels his most value will come on the defensive end with the ability to guard anyone from a point guard to a power forward, a skill that is certainly in vogue in the NBA.
“I came into the league at the right time,” he said Monday.
The 6-foot-6, 207-pound Milton, on the other hand, has proven to be both a capable scorer and playmaker.
“The way the NBA game is transitioning to, it’s all positionless, so I think it’s important for me to be able to play without the ball and play with the ball as well,” he said, “and I think that’s one of my strengths.”
As far as the big men who worked out are concerned, Perrin said Spellman, a 6-foot-9, 245-pounder who can stretch the floor, shot the ball well. Delgado, a 6-foot-10, 245-pounder who finished his collegiate career fifth on the NCAA’s all-time rebounding list, “kind of surprised us a little bit with what he could do offensively, because you don’t see him doing many things at Seton Hall,” Perrin said.
Spellman was the lone underclassman at the workout who has not hired an agent. The deadline to either do that or return to school is Wednesday night.
“We’re not telling them what they should do in terms of staying in or going back,” Perrin said of underclassmen who come to work out before hiring an agent. “That’s entirely an individual decision, along with hopefully his parents and maybe the coaches. We’ll tell him what he needs to work on more than whether or not he should stay or go back to school.”
While the Jazz always maintain that they’ll select the best player available, Perrin was asked Monday if he and the rest of Utah’s front office will be looking for a player who might be more likely to contribute right away, or one who might take longer to make an impact but could have more upside.
“I think in any case, you look at all that,” Perrin said. “I think next year with the majority hopefully of our team coming back, if not all of them, you look at more upside. You’re looking more at, ‘Can we bring this player in and work with him, probably play him a little bit with the (G League’s Salt Lake City) Stars, and how much better can we get him in, say, two or three years?’”