On Monday, University of Arizona draft prospect Josh Green confirmed he has worked out in person for the Utah Jazz.
Green also mentioned that he spoke with fellow Aussie Joe Ingles on the day of the workout and later went to dinner with members of the Jazz front office.
“I worked out with the Utah Jazz earlier last week,” Green said, noting how impressed he was with the organization. “They have a very structured system within their player development.”
For many, that might seem like a lot of attention to be paid to one draft prospect, especially considering how much Green’s name has been associated with the Jazz lately.
The freshman guard, who turned 20 Monday, has been listed in multiple mock drafts as the Jazz’s pick at No. 23 and fits the profile of the type of defense-minded, lengthy and versatile player the team needs.
But the Jazz aren’t the only team that have connections with Green, and definitely aren’t the only team to have shown interest in him.
Green is close with Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons, talks to him regularly, and has been in contact with the Sixers.
“I’ve been close with Ben Simmons for a while now and he loves it there,” Green said of Philadelphia. “It’s an awesome city and a great basketball culture.”
The Sixers forward, and 2016 No. 1 overall draft selection, reached out to Green when the draft hopeful was still in high school and the two have since been in contact regularly.
“Being able to talk to him and him giving me advice has been great,” Green said.
Green also said he’s had extensive conversations with the Brooklyn Nets and mentioned the connection he had with general manager Sean Marks, a native of New Zealand.
Other teams that Green has had workouts or interviews with include the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings.
All of the non-Jazz teams mentioned above have picks higher than the Jazz, and the Jazz certainly aren’t the only team that wines and dines draft prospects. So if the interest is real, Green could be off the board before it’s time for the Jazz to pick.
On the other hand, he could absolutely be the prospect that the Jazz take in Wednesday’s draft. Green said his workout for the Jazz went really well and he did his best to allay concerns regarding the two shoulder surgeries he’s had over the past two years.
While other prospects may be getting antsy dealing with the prolonged time between the end of their season and the Nov. 18 draft, Green said the time has been great for him.
Not having a healthy offseason the past two years because of rehab after surgeries, the last eight months have allowed him time to gain strength, not only physically but also in areas where he needs improvement like creating space and handling the ball.
Fellow Wildcats Zeke Nnaji and Nico Mannion also said Monday that they worked out for the Jazz, and Jaden McDaniels, who has been projected as a possible Jazz pick, said he was interviewed by the Jazz front office.
Comparatively Green would be a player who would have more of a chance to break into the Jazz’s rotation in the 2020-21 season, while McDaniels would require a bit more development and admitted he would probably spend some time in the G League to get reps in between games.
McDaniels made note of Rudy Gobert’s time in the G League and how he could learn from a guy who has taken a more developmental path in the NBA.
While we know the names of some of the players the Jazz have interviewed and worked out, there’s no doubt some of that information is being kept close to the vest as to not tip off the competition. No matter, we’ll all know who the Jazz are interested in when they make their selection Wednesday night.