The 2017 NBA Draft has featured as much movement via trades both before and during the draft as any in recent memory. Following this trend the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz have agreed to a trade. As a part of the trade the Jazz received the number 28 pick which they used to select University of North Carolina forward/center Tony Bradley.
One word comes to mind with Bradley, potential. He came to the UNC highly recruited out of Bartow, Florida as the Gatorade Player of the Year in Florida in 2016. Although he played well and achieved success in his one year with the Tar Heels, Bradley only played 14 minutes a game amidst a crowded frontcourt in his first and only year at UNC. The potential for him to continue to improve and experience much greater success in an expanded role had the Tar Heels hopeful for a return. Instead, Bradley has the distinct honor of being the first UNC player since center Brandan Wright in 2008 to leave for the NBA after his freshman season.
Bradley measures in at 6-foot-ten, 249 pounds with a 7-foot-five wingspan. With that kind of length and his ability to score around the rim through drop off passes and put-backs. His athletic abilities and length can allow for him to one day make a strong impact on defense.
Having chosen to take the leap, Bradley’s path now leads him to the Jazz. The Jazz have firmly established defensive player of the year candidate Rudy Gobert manning the paint. This gives Bradley time to learn under Gobert’s tutelage. It’s not hard to imagine that, with enough time and development, Bradley will make an impact with the Jazz. The team just traded away power forward Trey Lyles leaving one less front court rotation player.
How much can Bradley offer in the short term is not the best way to examine this pick. Bradley’s game will need a lot of time to mature. The Jazz are in a great landing spot for this prospect. For now, the key word for Bradley is potential.
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