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Fan reaction: No Jimmer, but Kanter and Burks bring hope to Jazz Nation

Fan reaction: No Jimmer, but Kanter and Burks bring hope to Jazz Nation

By Shalom Boutwell, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Jun. 24, 2011 at 4:02 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY - After a roller coaster season for the Jazz - losing head Coach Jerry Sloan after 23 seasons, along with All-star point guard Derron Williams - this NBA draft was a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel for Jazz fans.

Although we didn't get local star Jimmer Fredette last night like we had hoped, the players that will be making Salt Lake their new home are going to be a nice addition to the Jazz roster.

Utah Jazz President Randy Rigby stated this morning his confidence in both draft picks - Enes Kanter third and Alec Burks No. 10.

"We think we did a wonderful job. We think we've got some great elements that are really going to add to a young, exciting and very talented team," said Rigby.


"We think we did a wonderful job. We think we've got some great elements that are really going to add to a young, exciting and very talented team," said Rigby.

The draft was a bit of a shock the way things panned out. Brandon Knight was projected to be picked in the top three, and with the Jazz making it pretty obvious that they had their eye on him everyone assumed that it was a done deal if he was still available. However, the Jazz went with Kanter and Knight wasn't picked until the eighth spot by the Detroit Pistons, who weren't necessarily in need of a guard, but have been desperate for talent in any form. The opportunity to snatch Knight at the eighth spot should put the Pistons into celebration.

Marshon Brooks, who had an average of 24.6 points per game and seven rebounds, was projected to be an early first round pick as well, but wasn't picked up until the Celtics got lucky and chose him at spot 25.

The biggest upset would have to be Derrick Williams being the second pick for the Minnesota Timberwolves in place of 6-10 Kanter. Minnesota is already stacked with smaller players. They can still trade Williams, but as time goes on it will become less likely that a trade will happen. Williams might end up being the best player on the Minnesota roster, but they are still going to be in need of some big power from down low.

For the Jazz, it was a win/win situation. The fact that we were able to obtain the third pick in the first place was such an unexpected outcome, but getting Kanter could very well be the best thing for Utah. How long has it been that we've needed a big man underneath who can shoot the ball, snatch rebounds and have knowledge for the game like Kanter does?

Because of his ineligibility to play last year for Kentucky, he had everyone second guessing about whether or not he'd be an asset to their team. Kanter's ability to muscle his way to the basket and his passion for rebounding is something the will benefit the Jazz in so many ways. It's confidence in dominance that we as fans really respect out of our team and with statements that Kanter has made. It's obvious that he has the confidence to prove himself as basketball player.

Utah Jazz 2010-11 stats

"I will bring the team toughness and post moves, rebounding, everything," Kanter told the Jazz after the workout session. He also was able to bring a spark of excitement to the table when he added that he would "try to do everything to make the playoffs."

After he was picked by the Jazz, Kanter gave Jazz Nation one of the best compliments any one could by saying, "I'm so excited, I know the Utah Jazz fans are crazy and I love them."

When Milwaukee's 10th pick came and went, the Jazz Nation had to come to terms with the fact that the longed for Fredette wasn't an option for the Jazz 12th pick. Although we weren't able to obtain our prized player, we were given the opportunity to choose Colorado University sophomore Alec Burks.

The 6-6 185 pound shooting guard at first glance might not have been the first choice for the Jazz, but with his 20.5 points per game and 6.5 rebounds it is safe to say he is going to add a whole new flavor to the Jazz roster.

Completing his workout with the Jazz only three days before the draft, he had a lot to prove to Coach Corbin. "I feel like (I will bring) versatility, scoring, athleticism," Burks assured.

Burks has strengths that are not typical for a shooting guard, at least not that Utah has seen. Because of his skills with ball movement and control, he can play either guard and to add has a very high rebounding average for a guard. His foot movement and speed gives him the ability to guard smaller guards really well and stay in front on defense, which is something that not even our All-Star Deron Williams could consider as one of his strengths.

"With my athleticism and the way I handle the ball, I just feel like there aren't a lot of people that can stay in front of me," Burks stated in confidence.

With the draft well over and two more rookies being added to the Jazz roster, joining Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors from last year, the Jazz have a lot of new young talent to work with and I think it's safe to say that we have the potential to be a playoff team this year.

With a solid guard like Devin Harris to bring the new young guard Burks under his wing, and the consistency from both Favors and Kanter in the middle and the shooting ability of Hayward, I think our young team is going to blow a lot of the older teams out of the water.

With a starting lineup looking like Harris, Hayward, Paul Millsap, Favors and Big Al Jefferson, Utah could be near impossible to overcome with a bench including C.J. Miles, Andrei Kirilenko, Kanter, Raja Bell and Burks.

Here's to the 2011-2012 season. Jazz Nation, we're looking good, and as long as we stay strong and keep confidence in dominance, we can easily become a playoff team once again.

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Shalom Boutwell

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