NBA Draft 2011: Should the Utah Jazz Trade Down?

Nick SmithContributor IIJune 7, 2011

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02:  Brandon Knight #12 of the Kentucky Wildcats moves the ball while taking on the Connecticut Huskies during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The 2011 NBA Draft is being reported as perhaps the weakest draft in a decade. The draft wasn't particularly strong midway through last year's college basketball season, but thanks to the looming lockout, it only got worse as projected lottery pick after lottery pick opted to stay in college.

After all players' decisions about the draft were finally made, it appears as though this draft goes two-deep when looking for guys who can be impact players right away.

With Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams as the consensus No. 1 and No. 2 picks respectively, the Utah Jazz will be the first team forced to pull the trigger on somewhat of an unknown player come draft night.

Although likely considering all options at this point, it seems as though the Jazz will ultimately be deciding between Enes Kanter, Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker. Despite the fact that all three are solid NBA prospects, HUGE question marks still exist for each player.

For a team that's in full rebuilding mode, should the Jazz pass on the risk that accompanies each of these players and try to land a more proven commodity in exchange for the pick?

One could make the argument that with nice trade chips in Devin Harris and Paul Millsap, Utah could package one of those players with their third pick and land an All-Star to lead the way alongside Utah's young core of Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward. 

This idea makes sense if the Jazz don't love anyone in the draft, but with a nice young wing player in Hayward and a potential-loaded big in Favors, it's clear that a good point guard would do this team a lot of good going forward.

With so many unknowns in this year's draft after those first two picks, if there's one thing we do know, it's that the Jazz love big guards who can shoot.

Regardless of how good a player may be though, Utah has never settled for anything but high-character players. Brandon Knight passes the test with what the Jazz are looking for. He's a 6'3" PG with a sweet stroke, but perhaps just as important to Utah's camp, he had a 4.0 GPA at Kentucky and has been fabulous in all his interviews.

Look for Utah to keep that third pick and take Knight. After all, the last time Utah selected a point guard with the third pick, it worked out just fine.