With the NBA Draft upon us, it's time for a final guess where the players go. Final mocks will be made, Chad Ford will look bad and Hubie Brooks will be funny again on television. It's the time where NBA fans go crazy over the players that are coming and the amazing number of trades generally made of some solid-to-great players.
The player movement coming this offseason will be full of news, but one of the best players to make his way onto an NBA roster this offseason will be Cole Aldrich, a guy with all the right skills for the next level in the NBA. And many of the teams selecting in the second half of the lottery are looking for someone just like this.
The Jazz are losing Carlos Boozer (most likely) and are in need of some big men help. The 76ers just traded Samuel Dalembert and could use help up front as well. New Orleans Hornets? Check. The same could be said for the Pistons, Pacers and Rockets. It's literally a guessing game as to where the Kansas product could fall.
The key is that while there are other solid or even special big men as well, Aldrich stands as good as any. He's a good passer out of the middle, a must at the next level. And the shot blocking and rebounding skills place him in a special category as a solid defender with long arms, someone who is always in need on every NBA roster. There's knocks on his athleticism, but his workmanlike ability should allow him to settle in with quality minutes as an above average rebounder and defender on the blocks. That's a major area of need for various teams and that's why my final guess is to place him with the Utah Jazz.
First of all, the Jazz are the kind of team who identify their guy and stick with him. They're not afraid to grab the guy they want, regardless of the sexiness of other picks. And, let's be honest, Aldrich isn't a sexy pick. He's fit right in with the Jazz roster considering the probable loss of Boozer and Andrei Kirilenko. Mehmet Okur and Paul Millsap are not enough for a playoff caliber team as your primary bigs as both probably work better as lesser players.
Aldrich would give the Jazz a defensive backbone to rely upon for 30 minutes a game, working in tandem with some other talented bigs to create some match-up issues in the middle. Of course, he could go higher or lower, but from the Jazz draft position at No. 9, the setting seems perfect.