Elijah Hughes drafted by NO & traded to Utah / Rd 2 #39

Libero2

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So proud of Ellijah! Dude earned it and has a legitimate chance to stick in the league as a 3 and D guy. Gotta start strong and start fast in Utah.

the story about his grandmother is also an awesome moment. Wish he got a bit more air time last night after being picked. But in the 2nd round there just isn’t much time to talk about individual guys, so glad he got as much tv time as he did
 

cliftonparksufan

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Ok, so, I know a little bit about the Jazz organization, have some friends that work within and in support of the organization, and this is what I can tell you:

The Jazz are committed to making sure that their players can completely focus their time and energy on basketball. Elijah is in control of his destiny, and that's not true for every player drafted. He's with an organization that will give him every opportunity to maximize his basketball talent. It's on his shoulders. That's a good situation.

The Jazz, and the NBA, have reaped the rewards of their commitment to development. There's a long list of guys that vastly outperformed their draft choice (and many UFAs) including Gobert, Mitchell, Ingles and Royce O'Neale on the current roster, to other guys like Rodney Hood, DeMarre Carroll, Wes Matthews, Paul Millsap, and a bunch more to lesser degrees of success and there's a good chance I'm forgetting some.

From a roster perspective, Elijah has a legitimate chance to earn minutes. The Jazz bench was weak last season, and unless they make a lot of creative moves in the upcoming shortened off-season, I'm not sure how much better it will really get. The opportunity is there, and it might be a big one. Currently, the backcourt is Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell. They're both very good players, and very small guards. The future is to put the ball in Mitchell's hands alongside a bigger guard with some ability to spot up, some ability to create, and that can match up with the opponent's bigger guard. Well... maybe if things fall right that could be our boy Elijah. That's the all stars aligned scenario, but even short of that, it sounds like the Jazz want to bring back Jordan Clarkson as their scoring super sub guard, but there are other minutes for a second line guard to emerge. Ingles is aging, and Bojan played great last season, but there could be time available at the back up 3 too, because the Jazz like to play Royce O'Neale at the 4.

The front office talks a lot about identifying players with Jazz DNA. This article does a good job describing it - https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.deseret.com/platform/amp/2017/6/22/20614704/new-utah-players-have-jazz-dna-meet-character-crucible-requirements&ved=2ahUKEwja4e7p8o3tAhWYWc0KHTC3B_QQFjAAegQIARAB&usg=AOvVaw3zmycqjmXaw5vQ10gUundM&ampcf=1&cshid=1605764548898. They don't make draft moves to acquire guys unless they feel the player has Jazz DNA. That's a nice compliment to Elijah.
That's a great post. Jazz Nation is a lot like Orange Nation. They have a very rabid fan base who love guys who play hard. The Miller's owned the team forever and recently sold them but the new owners have committed to keep the team in Utah. Quin Snyder is a great coach, but just lost three of his assistants who left for great opportunities. Like OiG said, the bench is weak, even if Clarkson comes back so Eli will have a great opportunity to learn. Snyder will give him chances but as soon as he comes off the bench he will need to perform, especially on the defensive end. That is the big weakness once Mitchell and Gobert come off the floor. That's why they tried Ingles as the 6th man so the bench wasn't so weak. Clarkson did a great job coming over in January but Mudiay didn't add value so he is gone. Plus, for anyone who doesn't watch the NBA regularly, everyone is bigger, stronger and faster, plus can shoot the ball better than in college no matter if Eli is playing the 2 or the 3. Especially from the corner where you see 6'10 guys just waiting for the ball. Congrats to Eli on his great opportunity. Hope you make the most of your minutes and have a long career.
 
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Bulldog04

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This is probably the best place he coulda been picked. A great offensive system. One of the best cities in the country with an amazing fan base. A coach that actually develops players like others have stated. And they keep getting better as a team year after year and that’s tough to do in the nba. Can’t wait to watch and those retro jazz uni’s are noiiiiceeeee
 

Scott11

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Drafted ahead of

Trey Jones
Nick Richards
Cassius Winston
Jordan Nwora


Obviously doesn't mean much since teams might fill for needs at this point but good to see him get picked ahead of some big names
Great point. Not to mention ahead of Mannion and Stanley. Good to see the Jazz recognized Hughes’ talents and didn’t just pick on youth and potential. Was Hoping against hope he’d sneak into the first but still a good night for Eli and the program.
 

sutomcat

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This is probably the best place he coulda been picked. A great offensive system. One of the best cities in the country with an amazing fan base. A coach that actually develops players like others have stated. And they keep getting better as a team year after year and that’s tough to do in the nba. Can’t wait to watch and those retro jazz uni’s are noiiiiceeeee
Agree, very happy to see Elijah end up with a team that is a good fit for him. Hoping he has a long and distinguished career for the Jazz. I will always root for him to do well.

Thanks for the memories Eli and good luck in Utah!
 

Orangezoo

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What a great place to land. Eli has the offensive prowess with a solid pull up jumper and great awareness to spot up on the break within clear vision of the ball handler. His strength/size is going to help him too given he isn't coming in needing to throw on 20 lbs to be ready.

Defensively I think he will be ok. He showed good awareness to get into the passing lanes and is an underrated shot blocker as a wing given his athleticism.
 

JLine

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Nice, it wasn't all a dream! So refreshing to see one of our guys get drafted by a top notch organization, and know that he will be given the opportunity, along with the tools to succeed. I'd say no offense to Sacramento, or Minny, but that'd be a lie. Oh, and can't forget that no one deserves it more than Elijah.

JB had some great things to say about him on one of the pre-draft shows, and made a good point on his game compared to Malachi's. Talking about how he's more than just a catch and shoot guy like Richardson. This is why I believe that he can become a lot more than just a 3, and D guy like many, including myself, have predicted. His game is multifaceted, and I haven't been this excited for a player of ours since Dion.
 
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Trueblue25

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I can never get enough of this clip. Truly one of the most spectacular plays in Syracuse history. The look on the Cameron crazy's faces says it all and the disapproving roar of the crowd is sweet music.
Not to mention Elijah had some impressive dunks and threes in that first half too!

My one critique of Elijah, which I know he has the passion to improve, is sometimes he disappears in the second half. He’s got the scoring ability and tenacity on defense to influence the whole game.
 

OttoinGrotto

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This is probably the best place he coulda been picked. A great offensive system. One of the best cities in the country with an amazing fan base. A coach that actually develops players like others have stated. And they keep getting better as a team year after year and that’s tough to do in the nba. Can’t wait to watch and those retro jazz uni’s are noiiiiceeeee
That's another good point. The Jazz do run a really nice, efficient offense designed to share the ball and get open looks. The idea is to use a lot of ball movement to "get defenders in the blender" and create clean looks. Truthfully, he'll have the chance to take easier shots than he did with us. Gobert has led the league in screen assists for something like the past three seasons, which is a really interesting statistic and measure of how offenses can function.
 

JLine

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That's another good point. The Jazz do run a really nice, efficient offense designed to share the ball and get open looks. The idea is to use a lot of ball movement to "get defenders in the blender" and create clean looks. Truthfully, he'll have the chance to take easier shots than he did with us. Gobert has led the league in screen assists for something like the past three seasons, which is a really interesting statistic and measure of how offenses can function.
And the real reason that this is the best spot for Eli, is that we all get to stay updated on his progress now. Thanks to you. One of the first thoughts that went through my head when I saw he would end up in Utah was...'that Grotto guy must be loving this.' Looking forward to more of your in-depth posts about our boy, and the Jazz.
 

OttoinGrotto

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And the real reason that this is the best spot for Eli, is that we all get to stay updated on his progress now. Thanks to you. One of the first thoughts when I saw he would end up in Utah was, 'that Grotto guy must be loving this.' Looking forward to more of your in-depth posts about our boy, and the Jazz!
I'll do my best.

One update - judging by a Jazz forum I check out now and again, fans are pretty split on Elijah. The ones that like the addition feel he's a better player than his draft slot that could be a steal and was overlooked because scouting was so unusual this year. The good news is, the ones that don't like the pick, the reasons why don't actually have as much to do with Elijah as much as it is that they hated the Jazz's draft overall. They feel like the move to make the Knicks trade so early in the day was unusual since they didn't get to see how the draft board would go, didn't like that the Knicks later swapped the Jazz's pick for a better deal, really didn't understand using the 1st rounder on a backup center on the same night when they traded away a former 1st round pick backup center that they had invested years of development into, and once Hughes came up, there were some guys they think could have been had in that spot that potentially better address roster needs.
 

JLine

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I'll do my best.

One update - judging by a Jazz forum I check out now and again, fans are pretty split on Elijah. The ones that like the addition feel he's a better player than his draft slot that could be a steal and was overlooked because scouting was so unusual this year. The good news is, the ones that don't like the pick, the reasons why don't actually have as much to do with Elijah as much as it is that they hated the Jazz's draft overall. They feel like the move to make the Knicks trade so early in the day was unusual since they didn't get to see how the draft board would go, didn't like that the Knicks later swapped the Jazz's pick for a better deal, really didn't understand using the 1st rounder on a backup center on the same night when they traded away a former 1st round pick backup center that they had invested years of development into, and once Hughes came up, there were some guys they think could have been had in that spot that potentially better address roster needs.
Makes sense. The Jazz fan base is certainly one of, if not the most cerebral bunch in the league. I'm fairly confident the majority will come around on Elijah. The Azubuike pick was a bit puzzling at first glance, especially in the 1st round with the injury concerns. But, the dude is an absolute freak of nature, with a 41 inch vertical, and an all-time record for centers at the combine with a 37 inch standing vertical.

If any squad can get the most out of his potential, it's Utah. He's pretty much a once in a lifetime physical specimen, so it's tough for me to grade the selection poorly. Granted, you can arguably say the same of Gobert, so maybe it's twice in a lifetime. Though his vertical is no match for Azubuike's. I feel like I may have read that wrong, it's so ridiculous.
 

Orangezoo

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That's another good point. The Jazz do run a really nice, efficient offense designed to share the ball and get open looks. The idea is to use a lot of ball movement to "get defenders in the blender" and create clean looks. Truthfully, he'll have the chance to take easier shots than he did with us. Gobert has led the league in screen assists for something like the past three seasons, which is a really interesting statistic and measure of how offenses can function.
Which should be good for Eli as he does a good job making himself available and quickly stepping into his shot. I think also he is not a gunner by nature and was more so as a result of need than preference so he is not afraid to be patient and not force the issue as a piece of the puzzle.
 

CuseFaninVT

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Which should be good for Eli as he does a good job making himself available and quickly stepping into his shot. I think also he is not a gunner by nature and was more so as a result of need than preference so he is not afraid to be patient and not force the issue as a piece of the puzzle.
I agree with all of this. Will be amazing to see what Eli can do surrounded by pros who can do everything.
 

Capt. Tuttle

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That’s awesome. And for those that wonder why you leave early and what it means to the player, look at the reaction of Elijah and his family to have that dream come true. Awesome and he’s a perfect fit in Utah. Congrats. Plus I believe he gets a top 40 guarantee contract
Didn't really leave early. 4 years in college, if I recall
 

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