Utah Jazz: Indiana’s Noah Vonleh works out for Jazz (video)

At 18 years old, Vonleh is one of the youngest players in this year’s draft. He might also have one of the biggest upsides.

The Big 10 Freshman of the Year has seen his draft stock rise since last month, when he wowed scouts at the NBA’s pre-draft combine in Chicago. He measured 6-foot-8 without shoes and has a 7-foot-41/4 wingspan. His hands were the second largest ever measured at the combine. Vonleh also had a 9-foot standing reach and a 37-inch standing vertical — an inch and a half better than Kentucky’s Julius Randle, another highly rated power forward.

At Vonleh’s workout with the Jazz on Monday, the big man impressed team officials with his size and skill.

“His left-handed jump hook is pretty good for a right-hander,” Jazz vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin said. “He’s got a nice drop step into the lane. He’s got a nice spin move going to the basket.”

While some reports over the last weeks have said that Vonleh looked out of shape in other workouts, Perrin said he wasn’t concerned by Vonleh’s conditioning. Vonleh has also worked out for Orlando, Boston, Sacramento and the Lakers.

Vonleh averaged 11.3 points and nine rebounds a game as a freshman at Indiana, helping the Hoosiers go 17-15. His team missed the NCAA Tournament, but Vonleh said he believes he has what it takes to help the Jazz take the next step.

“I definitely think I can,” he said. “It’s going to take some time. I’m a young guy.”

The Jazz already have two young big men in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, but Vonleh sees a place for himself in the team’s lineup.

 

“I’ve been watching [Favors] since he was in high school,” he said. “I think I would complement him pretty well. I could be like a stretch-four. He could play the five. I think we’d go well together.”

Perrin also sees a fit.

“Noah can pass the ball,” he said. “He can pick and pop and he gives you a little bit more rim protection because of his length and his hands.”

Vonleh shot 48 percent from 3, but he took only 33 attempts from outside. Since leaving school, he said he’s worked on his shot and Perrin believes he could eventually add the NBA 3 to his repertoire.

“His form is pretty good,” he said. “It’s just getting in the reps and making sure he’s disciplined in his shot prep.”

The Jazz worked out eight players on Monday, including Vonleh. The others were Syracuse forward C.J. Fair; Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown; George Mason guard Byron Allen; UCLA forward David Wear; Utah State center Jared Shaw; and UTEP center John Bohannon.

Written by Catfish Hughes

Catfish Hughes

Frank “Catfish” Hughes has been called, “Bob Knight’s Baby with Hip Hop that covers sports.” and “the future of sports writing!” He is an official member of the NSSA & USBWA. Catfish covers the Los Angeles Angeles as the official East Coast Voice of the Lakers, and owns the NBA media outlet, WickedJumpShot.com and was the host of Thru the Wire Sports Talk Radio which aired on both ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio. Catfish is the head editor and chief here at the Boxing Globe. @CatfishHughes on twitter.

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