Goran Suton was selected by the Utah Jazz in the second round of last night's NBA Draft with the 50th pick overall. The Jazz brass seem a little more excited about Suton than NBA executives usually are about second round picks:
"I just think this second round will go down as having produced guys that play in the league more so than in the 10 years I've been around here," [Jazz GM] O'Connor said.
O'Connor believes one thing Suton has going for him is that he played for a hard-nosed coach, Tom Izzo, at Michigan State. That should, the GM said, help the 23-year-old "take to (Jazz) coaching pretty well."
"I think," O'Connor said, "he's going to turn his head and hear a different voice and hear the same things come out."
The article quotes Suton as being firmly committed to making the Jazz this year, rather than going to play in the NBA, and reports that the Jazz drafted to European big men last year in the second round, both of whom went back to play in Europe and will do the same this year.
Looking at the current Utah roster, there's some pretty good depth up front, with Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap, Matt Harpring, and (former Buckeye) Kosta Koufos. So, in terms of the numbers, Suton will need to show Jazz something in order to secure a roster spot. (Boozer, Okur, and Milsap are all potential free agents, though, so the equation could change a bit.)
Suton would seem to have everything a team could want in a back-up big man: great rebounding skills, good positional defense, solid outside shooting ability, decent ball-handling skills, and a few low-post moves. His lack of athleticism or imposing size will him from becoming a star in the NBA, but there's no reason he can't have a long, productive career as a pro.
Congratulations to Goran Suton. He's come a long way from being a mistake-prone redshirt freshman. He's helped lead a team to the NCAA Championship Game and appears to have put himself in pretty good position to earn an NBA paycheck this fall.