Utah Jazz 2004 Draft Preview
(Sports Network) - Utah surprised all of the experts this season by winning 42 games and missing the postseason by just one game. Head coach Jerry Sloan did a great job for the Jazz, who lost future Hall-of-Famers Karl Malone, who signed with the Lakers and John Stockton, who retired, during last offseason.
Andrei Kirilenko had a great year for Utah, as he made the All-Star Game for the first time in his three-year career. In 78 games this season, Kirilenko led the Jazz in scoring (16.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.5 rpg).
The Jazz played 51 games without Matt Harpring, who averaged 16.2 points and eight boards before a knee injury knocked him out for the rest of the season. Starting point guard Carlos Arroyo, who is a free agent, emerged from nowhere to average 12.6 points and a team-high five assists in 71 contests.
Sloan got the most out of his players this season. The draft will only help him add to his talent pool as Utah has three picks in the first round. It would not be a shock if the Jazz package two of their first-round picks and move up to get a player who can have an immediate impact on their roster.
Key Player(s): Carlos Arroyo (guard), Raja Bell (forward), Gordan Giricek (guard), Matt Harpring (guard/forward), Andrei Kirilenko (forward).
Team Needs: Center, size and toughness down low.
Draft picks: 1st round (14th overall), 1st round overall (16th overall), 1st round (21st overall).UTA