Grayson Allen Drafted by Jazz; Teammate Donovan Mitchell Excited About Pick

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2018

DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 29: Grayson Allen #3 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts during a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 29, 2018 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 88-66. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Lance King/Getty Images

After a storied four-year career as a Duke Blue Devil, Grayson Allen found a new home when he was selected by the Utah Jazz with the 21st overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft Thursday.

New teammate Donovan Mitchell was already excited:

Eric Woodyard @E_Woodyard

Donovan Mitchell hugs Grayson Allen after being picked by Utah. "I'm proud of you, bro," Mitchell tells him.

Utah Jazz @utahjazz

New teammates! https://t.co/ullN5bvgu0

Allen told Mitchell he's ready to get to work:

Grayson @GraysonJAllen

I’m ready 💪 https://t.co/WJ1GEzc8Mn

Utah Jazz @utahjazz

“Can’t wait to get to work.” -@GraysonJAllen https://t.co/QxircG66S7

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman ranked the 22-year-old guard as the No. 37 overall prospect in the draft in April.

Allen went through highs and lows in college. Outside Durham, North Carolina, he is known for his propensity to trip opponents and his outbursts. On the other hand, the former Duke star told CBS Sports' Bill Reiter that teams love his "fire and emotion:"

CBS Sports @CBSSports

"I'm working to control my emotions on the court, but ultimately it comes from me being competitive." Grayson Allen tells @sportsreiter NBA teams love that he plays with fire https://t.co/DB0cNuNR8K

Those negative incidents at times overshadowed an impressive college career.

Allen helped the Blue Devils win the national championship as a freshman and earned All-ACC first team and All-American honors as a sophomore. He finished his career 12th on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,996 career points, and he was just one of five Duke players to record at least 1,900 points, 400 assists and 400 rebounds.

As a senior, the 6'5", 205-pound guard helped his team reach the Elite Eight by averaging 15.5 points per game with 41.8-percent shooting (including 37.0 percent from beyond the arc), 4.6 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. His best offensive season came during his sophomore year, when he averaged 21.6 points while shooting 46.6 percent from the floor and 41.7 percent from three-point range.

In today's NBA, a team can never have too much shooting. That's exactly what Allen—who shot 43.0 percent from the field, 38.0 percent from downtown and 83.4 percent from the free-throw line in his career—brings to the table.

"His game has evolved," an NBA scout told Bleacher Report's C.J. Moore in January. "In high school, he was basically just an athlete. Now he's kind of entered pro basketball as a shooter. His game has continued to grow over the course of a long time."

Teams also want to know if a player can handle pressure and adversity. In Allen, Utah got a player who has been through it all. He played in a national championship game and entered opposing arenas time and time again as the most hated player in the country.

Another scout told Moore:

"He's a guy I'd want in the playoffs. That's the thing you have to ask yourself: 'Is this a guy I want to go to war with when teams are strategizing for seven games in the playoffs?' That's where I am with Grayson. I think Grayson would step up come playoff time, and even if he's your eighth guy off the bench, he could be that random guy that scores 20 points for you in a playoff game."

Allen has the shooting stroke to make an impact. Now, he has the opportunity to prove his haters wrong and show he belongs in the NBA.


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