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No Booker for Jazz? Don’t close the books

SHARE No Booker for Jazz? Don’t close the books

Plenty of Jazz fans were upset when the team selected forward Trey Lyles at No. 12, in Thursday's draft, instead of taking shooting guard Devin Booker.

The Jazz have been a weak perimeter team for a long time. Though management thinks Lyles can become a good stretch-4 player, he made only 14 percent of his 3-point shots at Kentucky.


But when it came down to it, the Jazz took the more versatile and longer Lyles. I asked president Randy Rigby if the versatility and length were more important than an outside scorer. He said: Yes, I think his versatility added to us. I think what we were also looking at was, remember, (Alec) Burks is coming back. Also, we didnt enjoy Rodney Hood being healthy all season, so we have those two components coming back.

I really think we have some people at the 2-guard position and I think versatility and length are very important to us and as we weigh whos going to give us the most lift, I really felt Trey Lyles was the right pick, said Rigby.

Im not in total disagreement on this. Its true the Jazz still need shooting, even with Hood and an OK outside shooter like Burks, who hit 38 percent from 3-point range before his injury last year. Thats not bad.

Shooting is increasingly important and the Jazz hope their second-round pick, Olivier Hanlan, helps. They do need more firepower. At the same time, its easier to find good shooters than it is versatile big men. Length and height matter as much or more than perimeters shooters in the league.

The Jazz wont get a Golden State-ish pair like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson -- but neither will anyone else. Still, Randy Foye (41 percent), Kyle Korver (42 percent) and Jeff Hornacek ((43 percent) all played for the Jazz. Shooters are immensely valuable, but probably easier to acquire than skilled swingman/stretch players.

Landing a player of Lyles potential wasnt a bad deal for the Jazz. Failure to choose Booker wasnt a disaster. The Jazz have marketable talent and cap money, regardless. The story on improved shooting might not yet be over.