Jazz workout prelude to trading down?
As much as they've talked about taking a more targeted approach to this year's draft as owners of the No. 9 pick, the Jazz brought in a handful of players to work out Wednesday seemingly destined to be selected in the middle to late first round.
Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson remains in consideration to be taken No. 9 and has worked out for one team in Golden State that holds the No. 6 pick. Some recent projections, though, have Patterson not being chosen until the 20s.
Virginia Commonwealth forward Larry Sanders has worked out for two other teams with lottery picks -- Indiana (No. 10) and Toronto (No. 13) -- but might have to wait even longer than Patterson to hear his name called on draft night, according to projections.
The Jazz also worked out Georgia Tech forward Gani Lawal, who might not even be taken in the first round. All of which raised the question of whether the Jazz were preparing for the possibility of trading down in the draft.
"We like to bring in six guys [for a workout] and sometimes you can't get everybody you want to get in," said Walt Perrin, the Jazz's vice president of player personnel. "But we're looking -- just in case something may happen -- at a lot of different players."
"Everything's open right now," added Perrin, with Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor talking to his counterparts around the league. "Whatever he's hearing, if it makes sense that it will make the team better, we will listen to it."
Patterson averaged 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds before leaving Kentucky after his junior season. He's one of five Wildcats players along with John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton who could be selected in the first round.
"I definitely believe we all could go first round, should go first round, and hopefully we can all go top 20 together," said Patterson, who also played on the same Huntington, W.Va., high school team with current NBA players O.J. Mayo and Bill Walker.
Patterson talked about adding a perimeter game to his low post game during the season he played for coach John Calipari at Kentucky. He also referred to soon-to-be 26-year-old Jazz point guard Deron Williams as "Mr. Williams."
Sanders, meanwhile, was a college teammate of 2009 Jazz first-round pick Eric Maynor and said Maynor spoke highly of Utah despite being traded in December.
"They love their Utah Jazz here, so he said it was a great place to play," Sanders said.
The Jazz, who hold the No. 55 pick in the second round, also worked out Ryan Richards, a 6-foot-11 forward from England. Richards played in Spain last season and could return with an NBA team retaining his rights, but he is already 23.
Also working out was Jerome Randle, a 5-foot-10 guard from Calfornia who will look to follow Darren Collison as an undersized game changer with his speed.
"I just feel like if that guy can do it," Randle said of Collison, a former UCLA product, "and you have all these other small guys out here, if they can be able to compete and be successful in this league, I feel like I can too."
The Jazz also invited Utah State guard Jared Quayle to work out, with Quayle hoping to head to summer league with an NBA team in the hopes of attracting interest from an overseas team for next season.
Quayle joked about wearing Jazz practice gear -- "It'd be nice if I could keep it on for another 10 years" -- and said he and his wife were looking forward to living in Europe: "It'll be a great opportunity and a great experience for the both of us."