Posted by: KelJewkes on July 27th, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
When the Jazz selected Gordon Hayward with the 9th pick in the draft, he was booed by almost all in attendance at the Jazz Draft Party in ESA. Booed. Wow.
He was selected largely, we are told, because of his amazing basketball I.Q…. What does that mean? Is he a natural born leader? Is he a guy that can play above his abilities? It certainly doesn’t mean he’s just a well of raw talent that needs to be molded ( our 2nd round pick, Evens?). So If basketball skills have a sliding scale, with basketball intelligence on one end and raw talent on the other end, we are being told that Gordon is just a few strokes away from being an NBA head coach right now. OK, What now? Now you bring in Raja Bell.
Raja is a prime example of a limited raw talent guy with a library full of basketball I.Q. Raja is who he is because he learned, stretched, and studied. In a sense, he is the product of hard work + a high basketball I.Q. Does that sound familiar? It should. If Kevin O’Conner knows what he’s doing, he might have just created a taller, more athletic Raja Bell in Gordon Hayward. He did this by drafting a young, pretty athletic, hungry player in Hayward; and giving him a snap shot of what he could become in Bell.
I repeat, Gordon Hayward could become a longer, slightly more athletic Raja Bell.
I’ll take that any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.
Raja Bell is at the sunset of his career. He has picked up tricks, sneaks, meanness, and a desire to win along the way. It really should be a beautiful sunset!
But when the Jazz front office pulled the strings on Bell, I think there was another motive besides watching a great sunset, I think they picked up someone who they had previous experience with, that knows the system, is everything the Jazz want in a 2/3 guy, hates the Lakers (yea this was important), and can teach everything he has learned over his unique career to a young, eager “basketball head” in G. Hayward. In other words, the Jazz just picked up the best possible one on one coach for Hayward they could have gotten.
It might be a little early but KOC, you might have just created an ALL STAR.
Am I crazy for saying so? No. Think about it this way;
Would you say Raja is one of the wiliest and nasty guys in the NBA? Sure you would!
Now, what if you could add 4 inches to him and younger legs… would you have an all star? I think you could. I think you would.
G. Hayward will have a long NBA career as long as he stays healthy. No matter what.
If he and Raja can work together and he can draw from Raja’s HUGE well of tricks, schemes, hustle, toughness, and basketball I.Q., It could be a long CELEBRATED NBA career.
KOC, here is to one hell of an off season!
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