The Utah Jazz have, in their history, drafted one player from Gonzaga University. And wouldn’t you know, Kelly Olynyk is on a first-name basis with him.
“That Gonzaga tie is huge,” Olynyk said after working out for the Jazz on Saturday, “with John being here.”
John is, of course, Stockton, the NBA’s all-time leader in assists and a guy who in Olynyk’s four years at Gonzaga has had the potential lottery pick’s ear.
“You’ve got to pick his brain whenever you get the chance,” Olynyk said, “because five minutes with him is like 10 years with a lot of other people, in terms of basketball knowledge.”
Olynyk headlined a workout that featured 12 players, including at least three post players who are projected to be drafted in the first round. The fact that the Jazz already have two promising young big men, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors, under contract, did not keep them from bringing in some top prospects.
In addition to Olynyk, the Jazz worked out 7-foot-1 French center Rudy Gobert and Louisville center Gorgui Dieng, who are both projected to go in the middle of the first round.
Brandon Davies, the former BYU forward whose draft stock has been on the rise since winning Most Valuable Player at the Portsmouth Invitational this spring, also participated in the workout.
“You’ve got to have more than two big guys,” said Jazz vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin. “So you look at who’s good and you always want to take the best player.”
The other advantage to selecting more big men, Perrin said, would be “now you’ve got the flexibility to move somebody to get something you may need.”
The Jazz have two first-rounds picks — No. 14 and 21 overall — in the draft and are widely expected to use one of them on a point guard.
Also participating in the workout were guards Isaiah Canaan (Murray State), Jamaal Franklin (San Diego State), Erick Green (Virginia Tech), Tony Snell (New Mexico), Kwame Vaughn (Cal State-Fullerton), Matthew Dellavedova (Saint Mary’s), and Oregon forward Arsalan Kazemi.