While the remaining few teams in the NBA playoffs have their eyes locked solely on the Larry O'Brien Trophy, those that missed the playoffs are scrambling to evaluate the future wave of talent as the draft approaches.
A few of those squads don’t even have a head coach in place.
The Utah Jazz are hoping to find a head man soon, and plenty of teams are working out some of the best players available in the loaded draft. With that in mind, let’s dig into some of the latest rumors from around the league.
Gary Harris heading west?
Teams that are looking for a sharp-shooting guard who can also lock down opposing ball-handlers on the defensive end would be well-suited to look in Gary Harris' direction during the draft.
Chris Haynes of Comcast Sportsnet pointed out that two teams in particular probably will:
The lottery-projected shooting guard out of Michigan State Gary Harris is scheduled to work out for the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers during the first week of June, sources informed CSNNW.com.
The Lakers own the No. 7 pick while the Suns hold picks No. 14, No. 18, and No. 27 in the first round. Both teams desperately need a young, promising two-guard on their roster. Kobe Bryant is on his last legs and Phoenix is without a shooting guard ready for significant playing time.
Harris averaged better than 16 points a game last season for Michigan State and has a smooth stroke from behind the three-point line.
If it was the Lakers who drafted him, he could serve as something of an insurance policy in case Kobe Bryant got hurt. Of course, Bryant is in the twilight of his career as well, so the Lakers will need a starting shooting guard soon enough.
Noah Vonleh working out across the country
Jeff Goodman of ESPN highlighted the number of teams that have reportedly shown interest in Indiana’s Noah Vonleh:
Noah Vonleh will work out for Sacramento on Monday, Lakers on Wednesday, Orlando on June 9 and Boston on June 12, source told ESPN.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 30, 2014
One of the major reasons there is so much interest is this tidbit from Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders:
Noah Vonleh had the second-largest hands in combine history and he says he first palmed a basketball at age 6 or 7: http://t.co/QaUcKjAe5V— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 21, 2014
That massive wingspan is a primary reason why Vonleh may just be the best rebounder in this draft. He averaged nine boards a night for the Hoosiers in only 26.5 minutes a game, so if he sees the floor more in the NBA, he will be a legitimate double-double threat.
Based on that fact alone, as well as the consideration that he can score from mid-range or on the blocks, look for Vonleh to be a top-10 pick. From there, he will compete for starting minutes and help fortify the paint for a team that struggled this season.
Does Utah have its man?
Jody Genessy of the Deseret News pointed out that the Utah Jazz may be looking Quin Snyder’s direction for their coaching vacancy:
Now, Snyder has emerged as a leading candidate to become the next head coach of the Utah Jazz, according to multiple sources.
"It's very plausible," one source told the Deseret News when speaking of Snyder possibly being hired by the Jazz.
Another source said Snyder is "very high on a short list" of Jazz coaching candidates.
Snyder coached Missouri from 1999-2006 and has been an NBA assistant, but it is his ties to Utah general manager Dennis Lindsey that lend credence to this rumor. Snyder coaching the San Antonio Spurs' D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros, when Lindsey was the assistant general manager in San Antonio.
For his part, president Randy Rigby wouldn’t give any specific names in an interview with 1280 The Zone, via Genessy: "We're well into the project. We're having some very good dialogue with some very good candidates. … We're committed to really doing a thorough search on this and a deep search."
It seems like Snyder may be the best option of those candidates.
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