This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The vacation is over for the Utah Jazz. Which is to say the offseason has officially begun.
On Wednesday morning, the Jazz held their first NBA pre-draft workout, a week before the pre-draft combine is to be held in Chicago. As such - before the lottery is announced later in the month - the Jazz can only work out guys who were seniors this past season in college basketball.
So what did that yield this morning? There was DJ Newbill, the scorer out of Penn State. There was Ravonte Rice, the imposing combination guard out of Illinois. There were also a bunch of guys nobody has really heard of, people like Russell Martin from Masters College, by way of Michigan State.
"There were some intriguing guys today," is how Jazz VP of player personnel Walt Perrin put it.
So what's the upside of working out six guys who are probably gonna be in the D-League next season? It's simple. General Manager Dennis Lindsey is consistently looking for diamonds in the rough. He's consistently looking for guys to stock his D-League affiliate in Boise, and the more work the front office does, the more information the front office has.
"I loved being here," Rice said. "I loved everything about the workout. The Jazz were real hands on with us. They worked us hard, they worked us on everything. Once my agent called me and said the Jazz wanted to work me out, I was gonna come. I wasn't gonna miss this for anything."
Here's the big factor with the Jazz workouts: Last year an unknown out of Providence College participated in the first workout. The wispy senior was small. He didn't get drafted, and he spent most of this season toiling with the Austin Toros of the D-League.
Today, the wispy guard, Bryce Cotton is a point guard for the Jazz. And after a great ending to his year, he has a great chance of being on the roster on opening day next season.
So the Jazz will do their homework. They will bring guys in frequently. They will continually look for their next diamond in the rough.