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It's decision-making time for Jazz as pre-draft workouts wrap up

Walt Perrin, Jazz Vice President of Player Personnel, is interviewed at Zions Bank Basketball Center in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, May 6, 2015.
Walt Perrin, Jazz Vice President of Player Personnel, is interviewed at Zions Bank Basketball Center in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, May 6, 2015.
Ravell Call,

SALT LAKE CITY — Walt Perrin, the Utah Jazz's vice president of player personnel, was asked how he's holding up a few days ago.

"Not very good," he said, only half-jokingly.

Perrin, as pleasant a person as you'll meet in NBA circles, loves his job and enjoys the scouting process, but he and the Jazz staff have been clocking some serious hours in the past month and a half while preparing for Thursday's draft.

The Jazz worked out three more potential draftees on Saturday morning, bringing their announced total of pre-draft workout participants to 97 in 18 sessions — from Adams (Josh) to Zizic (Ante) between May 5 and June 18.

That number of players doesn't include at least one private tryout session the organization held for underclassmen last month.

Perrin, by the way, is the man in charge of working with agents and Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey to set up all of the workouts during this exhaustive and exhausting process.

"I’m looking forward to next Thursday so we can finalize the process," Perrin said. "It’s been a long year, especially a long five weeks here trying to get all of these players in."

Barring a late, surprise workout, this part of the process should be complete for the year.

Perrin said the Jazz have had four to six players work out for them in their practice facility who have a legitimate shot at being drafted by the franchise at No. 12. The rest of the players were brought in so Lindsey, Quin Snyder and their staffs will have a working file of information on players who could potentially be drafted in the second round, signed as free agents, called up from the D-League or assigned to their affiliate, the SLC Stars.

Just because the Jazz weren't able to get some projected late lottery picks in for a workout and interview doesn't mean they won't be drafted by the club, though. Utah interviewed 18 players at the NBA Combine in Chicago last month and the player personnel department has gathered stockpiles of video on all possible picks to be watched in the Zions Bank Basketball Center theater room.

Perrin agreed with the notion that the actual draft won't resemble the mock drafts, and especially after the first eight selections.

"I think the mock drafts that I've seen, they’ve got players that they’ve listed in the second round who I think (are) going to go in the first round and may go in the middle of the first round," Perrin said. "I think (with) the uncertainty of the draft where the mock draft people have put players is not real. I think there's going to be some surprises draft night on where players go."

That could be good news for Weber State forward Joel Bolomboy (whose agent wouldn't let him work out for the Jazz) and an intriguing wildcard like Aussie big Thon Maker.

Or maybe not.

"I think there’s a general consensus around the league of who the so-called top eight are," Perrin said. "Then there’s the uncertainty where the rest of those players go."

At this point last year, Perrin was more certain and comfortable about whom the Jazz might pick than he is this time around because of that unknown factor.

"We’re working on it and we’re going to see what happens come Thursday," Perrin said. "I think there’s a little bit more uncertainty on my part at this stage of the game than there was last year."

Then again, the Jazz still had plenty of studying and debating to do in the final five days leading up to their decision to draft then-Kentucky freshman Trey Lyles.

"Not to say at this part of the process last year that Trey was definitely our No. 1 (option)," Perrin added. "But I think we had a better feel for him and for some of the other guys that could be at No. 12 than I do at this point this year."

The good news for Jazz fans? Perrin believes there will be good players available when Utah is on the clock late in the lottery.

"Yeah. Yeah," he said when asked about that. "We’ll figure it out by Thursday."

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