Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Kragthorpe: Lindsey delivers in his first Jazz draft (with video)

By Kurt Kragthorpe

| Tribune Columnist

First Published Jun 27 2013 10:06 pm • Last Updated Jun 28 2013 02:03 am

In his first draft as the Jazz’s general manager, Dennis Lindsey immediately made his imprint Thursday.

Or maybe this transaction should be viewed as a tribute to Jazz executive Kevin O’Connor, modeling the signature draft of his tenure. Either way, it works for me.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Eight years after packaging two first-round picks to draft Deron Williams, the Jazz similarly maneuvered their way into landing Michigan’s Trey Burke. It’s a bold move, and I like it. Rather than playing safe, the Jazz went after an impact player.

They jumped five spots to No. 9, grabbing the point guard this franchise needed. My published No. 1 wish for this draft was that the Jazz would find somebody they really liked in the top 10 and go and get him. They did so, at a very reasonable cost.

"Trey was one of a few guys that we targeted that if he did slip, we were going to make some calls," Lindsey said.

And then Lindsey kept dealing aggressively. He took 7-foot-2 center Rudy Gobert from France with the No. 27 selection, acquired from Denver for the Jazz’s second-round pick (No. 46) and cash — which sure seems like another bargain, considering it’s not my money.

So is Alfonso Clark Burke III another John Stockton? Or even another D-Will? Not likely. But he just might become another Rickey Green, as an NBA All-Star who once led Michigan to the NCAA championship game. Burke scored 24 points in that loss to Louisville in April, after taking a young team on a remarkable ride.

Next stop: Utah. "This is a new journey for me, but I’m looking forward to making an impact right away and helping this team go far," Burke said at the draft headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The book on Burke is that he cares about winning and he’s as NBA-ready as a sophomore point guard could be, having played in a Michigan system that uses the pick-and-roll extensively — which earned Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin’s endorsement of him. He’s slightly less than 6 feet tall, which is somewhat disconcerting, but how big is Tony Parker?

And now, after all those years of discovering and developing players who lasted deep into the draft, the Jazz have five players taken in the top 12 of the last four drafts: Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks and Burke. Ideally, they’ll grow together, while causing some confusion for broadcasters.

story continues below
story continues below

O’Connor, who’s technically Lindsey’s boss, once used the Nos. 6 and 27 picks to take Williams at No. 3. That’s comparable to trading the Nos. 14 and 21 picks to get Burke at No. 9.

So would you rather have Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng, or Burke? Judging by the giddy response during the Jazz’s draft party at EnergySolutions Arena, that’s not even a question.

Just remember, this process is going to require some patience. Burke will still be 20 years old on Opening Night, when the Jazz are likely to field the youngest starting lineup in franchise history. But this could be fun, too.

Burke believes he’s better than a No. 9 pick, and that’s good. After waiting to hear his name called, Burke said, "The type of player that I am, I definitely get motivated by things like that."

After the Jazz’s final pre-draft workout session last week, vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin made two observations that resonated Thursday: He wished he could have brought in Burke — who figured he was beyond the Jazz’s reach — and also suggested this was a year when moving up was more reasonable than usual.

Lindsey made it happen.


Twitter: @tribkurt

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.