Morning links: Mitchell, Kuzma most likely to outshine draft spot; Jamaal Williams up, Joe Williams down

Morning links: Mitchell, Kuzma most likely to outshine draft spot; Jamaal Williams up, Joe Williams down


ESPN’s Mike Schmitz looked at six NBA draft picks most likely to outshine their draft pick and both Donovan Mitchell and Kyle Kuzma made the list.

Speaking of Mitchell’s upside, Schmitz wrote, “Mitchell is a long, energetic and physical athlete who will find his way onto the floor with his defense and provide an instant spark offensively with his shot-making.”

After looking at some of the players that were drafted ahead of Mitchell, Schmitz continued, “Mitchell should play an important role on a fairly successful team while showing the potential to become a top-10 player out of the 2017 class.”

Schmitz was also very high on Kuzma, saying, “Kuzma is a skilled modern 4 who can push in transition, make a spot-up 3, attack off the dribble and make plays on the move.”

Schmitz then looked at Kuzma’s fit with the Lakers, saying, “Kuzma is in a perfect situation to thrive as the Lakers have no stretch-4 on the roster and want to push in transition and move the ball quickly.”

Utah Jazz had a bottom 10 offseason

NBA.com and TNT’s David Aldridge released his offseason rankings for all 30 NBA teams and the Jazz came in at No. 21.

He first looked at who the Jazz added and lost during the summer before breaking down who the Jazz could use to replace the minutes left by the departure of Gordon Hayward.

“No one is going to make up Hayward’s 21.9 points, 5.4 boards and 3.5 assists by himself,” wrote Aldridge. “Coach Quin Snyder could go traditional and pick Sefolosha, a starter on several good Oklahoma City teams through 2014, or go small(er) ball with the likes of Rodney Hood at the three. He could, conceivably, even opt for 71-year-old Joe Johnson in a pinch.”

He then explained why the Jazz ranked so low for the offseason, saying, “No matter the spin — and Utah did very well after July 4 to fill out its roster — losing an All-Star and franchise player in Hayward cancels out any notion that the Jazz had a ‘good’ offseason.”

He then took an expanded look at who the Jazz added to the roster and what they bring to the table before turning back to what the loss of Hayward means to the organization.

“Hayward did so many seen and unseen things to lift Utah to where it was when he left — a team that was ready to be a perennial top-four squad in the West,” wrote Aldridge. “He had become a go-to guy, a beast of a scorer, a more than willing rebounder, a leader, all of it. It’s a gut punch, pure and simple.”

Other links

And finally…

Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News looked at the stock of the NFL’s rookie running backs, and both Jamaal Williams and Joe Williams were mentioned.

Iyer has the stock for Jamaal going up thanks in part to his strong play in pass protection.

“Williams has been quickly praised in that area (pass protection), and he also showed off his power running to emerge as the team’s strongest complement to Montgomery,” wrote Iyer. “With some first-team reps and clear separation from quicker rookie fifth-rounder Aaron Jones, Williams is on his way to seeing some key early-down work.”

Iyer wasn’t as high on Joe Williams who has plenty of competition for reps with Carlos Hyde and Tim Hightower.

“What a difference a full offseason makes,” wrote Iyer. “When Williams was drafted, he was seen as the ideal speedster and quick back for Kyle Shanahan’s zone running with a lot more Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in him than Carlos Hyde. But so much for all the Williams love and Hyde hate.”

After talking about Hyde, Iyer continued talking about Joe Williams, saying, “Williams has shown more of his inexperience than his expected burst. He’s not close to push for No. 1 as a shaky, overwhelmed No. 3 so far.”

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Published at Tue, 08 Aug 2017 14:40:00 +0000