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Miller said his father, the fiery Jazz owner who died in 2009, would have been both upset and realistic about his franchise’s inclusion among the 14 teams that missed out on the playoffs this year.
"He was a competitor. But he was also a realist," Miller said. " … All things go in a cycle in the league, and I know that’s true in life. I think he would have taken it for what it is. It’s all part of the patient, strategic plan to be a championship-caliber team."
Here are the five most likely draft picks for the Utah Jazz
Noah Vonleh » Indiana, 6-10, power forward.
Why the Jazz may draft him » Vonleh has arguably the most upside out of any of the elite big men in this draft, other than Kansas center Joel Embiid. He’s skilled on the block, can rebound, can block shots and has elite size and athleticism. If the Jazz had their way, Dante Exum would be their selection, relative to their draft position. But Exum will probably be gone by the fourth pick. Vonleh would be the selection, and would immediately create a logjam in the frontcourt.
Julius Randle » Kentucky, 6-9, power forward
Why the Jazz may draft him » Simply put, Randle is relentless in the paint. He reminds many of a young, more athletic, Zach Randolph, and looks like a lock to average 18 points and 10 rebounds per game one day. Is a back-to-the-basket scorer, or a face-up guy as well, which would fit in well with Derrick Favors in the frontcourt. It’s likely the Jazz will choose between Randle and Vonleh. How each works out and interviews with the team will probably tell the tale.
Marcus Smart » Oklahoma State, 6-3, point guard
Why the Jazz may draft him » Yes, Utah has Trey Burke. But if Smart comes in and wows at a workout, the Jazz may take him anyway. He’s completely different from Burke, a bulldog at the point who can get into the lane and score and has the chance to be a defensive stopper. Plus, Smart is a winner, has won at every level, and is probably the most competitive player in the draft. Had he left Oklahoma State last year as a freshman, he would’ve been a top three selection. The fact that he’s the third player on this list at no. 5 shows just how deep and talented this draft is.
Aaron Gordon » Arizona, 6-9, power forward/small forward
Why the Jazz may draft him » Is a jack of all trades and a master of none. Except that he’s an elite athlete and has the chance to be an elite defender. Gordon has to refine his skill set and find himself a definitive position. But he’s another one who can work his way up through the draft with good workouts and interviews. Utah Utes fans know Gordon well. He tormented Utah in his one season with the Wildcats.
Dante Exum » Australia, 6-6, point guard/shooting guard
Why the Jazz may draft him » Utah would jump at the opportunity to take him. Unfortunately, it’s going to take a little bit of luck to get him. It could happen. One of the first four could impress and make their way into the top four. In that case, Exum could slide to the Jazz. He has the potential to be an elite point guard
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