(KUTV) Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey and his assistant David Morway were gearing up to make their selection in the 2018 NBA draft when Morway’s phone buzzed with a text message plea from his star guard Donovan Mitchell, “Grayson at 21?”
Jazz management went ahead and selected Duke senior guard Grayson Allen with the 21st pick and Mitchell, in attendance at Thursday’s draft in Brooklyn, came running over to crash Allen’s post-pick interview with a bear-sized hug.
In his four years at Duke, Allen was a three-year starter, averaging 14.1 points per game and was a member of Duke’s 2014 NCAA championship team. In 2017, Allen was suspended for one game for three separate tripping incidents that vilified him across college basketball.
Lindsey met with the press after the draft and described how he’s seen the increased impact of physicality on the NBA playoffs. He used this selection to make his team tougher. “Your skills don’t come out unless you can stand your ground and that was the thing,” Lindsey said. “We saw it over time and especially [in] all of the number of big games that Duke played. But in particular here in this workout, [Allen] was able to stand his ground and be a physical player.”
Click on the video link to see how Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey graded his latest draft pick, and the excitement of Allen being reunited with Donovan Mitchell.