As Randy Rigby walked to the podium to announce the Jazz's first draft pick Thursday night, lightning cracked in clouds of electricity hanging thick in EnergySolutions Arena. Or so it seemed. Kyrie Irving had been taken at No. 1, Derrick Williams at No. 2. With the third pick, Rigby said, the Jazz were taking … were taking … while we're young … taking … Enes Kanter. Thunder followed the lightning. A crowd of thousands in the building exploded with applause … for good reason. It was a smart move. Not only did the Jazz finally fill a severe need — remember Greg Ostertag, Curtis Borchardt, Kosta Koufos, Robert Whaley, and Kyrylo Fesenko — with a talented, natural 6-foot-11, 259-pound center, they also kept alive for many Jazz fans the hope for a chance at Jimmer Fredette. Jimmer's BYU jersey, after all, was not only hanging in bulk on racks in stores on ESA's main concourse, it was on the backs of many in attendance. The shot had grown longer and longer throughout the afternoon, though, as word leaked that Sacramento had essentially moved down in the draft from No. 7 to No. 10, presumably set on taking Fredette. But Jimmer in recent times had specialized, more than anyone else, in the art of hitting the long shot. The Jazz, however, had not, finishing in the bottom third of the NBA last season in 3-point shooting. And they couldn't hit this one, either, despite the fact that Kevin O'Connor said afterward Fredette was "in our top 10 on the board."
Even without Jimmer, Jazz draft stars
Salt Lake Tribune | Jun 24