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What hometown papers say about Utah Jazz draft picks

Donovan Mitchell, Tony Bradley and Nigel Williams-Goss are the 2017 NBA draft picks for the Utah Jazz
Donovan Mitchell, Tony Bradley and Nigel Williams-Goss are the 2017 NBA draft picks for the Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz hope to upgrade their roster with the selection of three players from schools that spent a lot of time in the limelight this NCAA basketball season.

The team selected Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell 13th, North Carolina center Tony Bradley 28th and Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss 55th.

Each player brings a unique skill-set and, in order to begin to fully understand their strengths and weaknesses, we looked at local coverage of each player.

Donovan Mitchell, Louisville

Upgrading their depth at guard, the Jazz got a tough, athletic combo guard in Mitchell, according to Jeff Greer of the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Primarily a shooting guard, the Courier-Journal said he started at the point in certain situations in college, which could be necessary if the Jazz end up losing point guard George Hill in free agency this summer.

"Primarily a shooting guard in college, Mitchell could be used at either guard position in the NBA. He started three U. of L. games as the Cards' emergency point guard after injuries disrupted the team's rotation and was considered a point guard prospect by some NBA teams," the article read.

Having shown quality defensive ability, Mitchell could immediately come into the roster as one of the team's better perimeter defenders. His 6-foot-10 wingspan could be a problem for opposing guards.

"Mitchell said in May that he would be comfortable playing any position because of his defensive ability. ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla suggested Mitchell could become a "defensive specialist" in the NBA," Greer wrote.

Mitchell's perceived weakness before the draft was his shooting, but Greer quoted Mitchell, in another draft piece, saying he felt his shot was improving and that teams he worked out for were positively surprised at his shooting ability.

"Every workout I leave a team with the impression of, 'Oh, nevermind,'" Mitchell said. "I just keep trying to improve that. I love that feeling of, '(How) did you shoot like this? How did you improve?' That way they know I put work into my shot," the article read.

Tony Bradley, North Carolina

Though Bradley is another player with tremendous length, Brandon Anderson of SB Nation's Tar Heel blog said the former McDonald's All-American could be a bit of a liability on defense, regardless of his 7-foot-5 wingspan.

He does not have the same freak athleticism as Mitchell, which could be a problem defending the rim like the Jazz get from center Rudy Gobert.

"His lack of leaping ability definitely hurt him at times during the season against players that were as big or maybe even a little bigger than him. Wherever he ends up getting drafted, he will definitely have to hit the gym to try to develop a more explosive takeoff at the rim," Anderson wrote.

He actually had the worst vertical leap in the NBA Combine for centers, just 24.5 inches.

Despite perceived low one-on-one defensive ability, a defensive possession does not end until the defending team gets the ball, and though he does not seem to be able to jump too high, the blog said he still is a quality rebounder.

"Most notable about his size when it came to rebounding was his ability to use his length to his advantage when boxing out players for rebounds or attempting to box out defenders and call for the ball," it said.

Anderson said Bradley has some raw post moves and could use his quickness to score around the rim.

"A lot of what he is able to do in the post comes from him being long and quick," the article said, adding, "Tony Bradley was absolutely able to get it done around the rim on the college level in scoring and rebounding."

Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga

The Jazz's final pick, at No. 55, saw the team take a Gonzaga point guard, something the Jazz have had major success with in the past with John Stockton.

Vince Grippi of the Spokane Spokesman-Review wrote that he believed both Williams-Goss and the Jazz would benefit from the pairing.

"There probably isn't a better situation for the Gonzaga point guard than being drafted by Utah," he wrote. "He's a good fit for what they do, sure, but he's also going to be the beneficiary of a heck of a lot of goodwill considering where he's from and the franchise's history."

Though college success does not always transfer to the NBA, Darnay Tripp of KREM, a local Washington television station, pointed to the plethora of awards the starting point guard for Gonzaga's national championship runner-up season won.

"After being named the conference Player of the Week four times during the season, he was named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award and a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy. He was named to the Wooden Award All-American Team, and First Team All-American by Sports Illustrated and the USBWA. He was tabbed Second Team All-American by NBS Sports, The Sporting News, USA Today, the NABS and the Associated Press," the article read.