SALT LAKE CITY — Nigel Williams-Goss has played a lot of games in Utah over the past three years — twice against the University of Utah as a member of the Washington Huskies, once against BYU for Gonzaga and a couple of more times in the NCAA Tournament when the Bulldogs played at Vivint Arena.
Now Williams-Goss may be playing a lot more games in Utah if he makes the Utah Jazz roster after being selected in the second round with the No. 55 pick overall.
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said he was thrilled to get Williams-Goss and talked about how tough he is and said he would share some things former Utah Jazz star John Stockton, who played at Gonzaga said after seeing Williams-Goss up close and personal this past season.
Williams-Goss scored 19 points for Washington against Utah at the Huntsman Center in 2014, when he started every game as a freshman. He didn’t do so well the following year when he scored nine points in another Husky loss at Utah.
He sat out a year before transferring to Gonzaga and this past season he led the Zags to a victory over BYU in Provo when he scored 33 points.
Then during the NCAA Tournament, he led the Bulldogs to a pair of victories at Vivint Arena, including a win over Northwestern.
The Jazz had another second-round pick at No. 42, but it was packaged with the No. 30 pick for Utah to move up to No. 28 and grab North Carolina big man Tony Bradley.
In all, Lindsey was excited how all three of his draft picks were coached by great coaches in great programs.
“When you think about it, it’s the national champion and coach (Roy) Williams, we pulled a player from, it’s the runner-up with coach (Mark) Few, and Donovan Mitchell was coached by a Hall of Famer in coach Rick Pitino, so we’re really excited that our guys have been well coached,” Lindsey said.
LUCKY 13 – The Jazz have ended up with the No. 13 pick just twice in their 39-year history in Utah before acquiring Donovan Mitchell with the 13th pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft.
The first was Syracuse’s Danny Schayes, who was acquired with a pick from Houston at No. 13.
The second? A forward out of Louisiana Tech named Karl Malone, who, of course, went on to become one of the best forwards in NBA history.
THANKS, DENVER: The last time the Jazz worked a deal with Denver on draft night, things worked out pretty well.
In 2013, the Jazz traded their second-round pick at 46 to the Nuggets along with $3 million to get the Nuggets' first-round pick (No. 27) which they used to draft Rudy Gobert.
The Nuggets were part of Thursday night’s draft night trade that gave Utah the No. 13 pick for Trey Lyles (a former No. 12 overall pick) and the No. 24 pick, which the Jazz used to get Louisville guard Donavan Mitchell.
ACC LEADS THE WAY: Both of Utah’s first-round picks came from the Atlantic Coast Conference with Donovan Mitchell of Louisville and North Carolina’s Bradley.
The ACC ended up with the most first-round picks 10, followed by the Pac-12 with six, including Utah’s Kyle Kuzma. That accounted for more than half of the 30 first-round selections.
Among the other conferences, the SEC had three — all from Kentucky — as did the Big Ten, while the Big 12 and Big East had two picks each.
Among individual schools, Duke and Kentucky were the leaders with three picks apiece in the first round.
BASEBALL BACKGROUND: Until he was a sophomore in high school, Mitchell thought he might be a professional baseball player as he was a standout pitcher and shortstop. He grew up in a baseball family — his father, Donovan Sr. , played in the minor leagues for seven years and currently works for the New York Mets in player relations and community outreach.
According to a story in the Louisville Courier-Journal, Mitchell said he had a fastball that topped out at 86 mph and “is probably faster now” and a “filthy” changeup.
“Sometimes I'll watch TV and I'll think, 'Man, I wish I could be out there pitching against whoever it is,'" Mitchell said. "But you don't want to live with regrets. I enjoy the fact I made this decision and I'm happy with it."