by Griffin Gamble
The NBA draft is soon approaching as it is only three weeks away from the most exciting NBA offseason event. As mentioned in the first mock draft, the Utah Jazz have the number 30 pick. After the combine, there has been a player climbing the draft board that could potentially help the Jazz this upcoming season.
Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland is a 6’3” guard from Virginia Commonwealth (VCU). With the nickname that accentuates his slender frame, he has already become a fan favorite. When Hyland was a Junior in high school, he was involved in a fatal house fire that claimed the lives of his 11-month-old brother and his grandmother. Hyland’s room filled with black smoke and when he realized there was no path to save his grandmother he had to jump from his window to save his own life. This accident caused injuries to his patellar tendon and emotionally left scars as well. He was watching the NCAA tournament at the time and had always dreamed of playing in that tournament.
He finally had his dream come true to play in the NCAA tournament this year. However, before their first game against Oregon, multiple people within the program tested positive for COVID-19 and the Rams would have to forfeit the game. Several bracketology analysts thought this would be the best matchup of the first round and would have allowed players to show off their skills in front of NBA scouts.
This did not stop Bones. He had no choice but to pick up and move on. He’d done it before so many times that he already knew how to deal with adversity. When the NBA combine started, Bones was seen as a possible late first round or early second round pick. However, when a player can shoot the ball like Bones can, it is easy for teams to fall in love. At his pro day, Bones shot 15-18 from 30 feet out and beyond.
Bones Hyland could help the Utah Jazz immediately. His game will remind several people of Immanuel Quickley from the New York Knicks. He is a lanky guard that can play on or off the ball and is an elite shooter. Hyland shot an impressive 43 percent from three in the 2019-2020 season. The year after, the percentage dropped to 37 percent. However, this was due to his usage rate being much higher and he increased his scoring by 10 points-per-game. He also jumped 20 percent in his free throw shooting alone this past year. Bones was also named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year for the 2021 season.
If it wasn’t for the COVID-19 outbreak, VCU had the firepower to make a run in the dance and Bones could have skyrocketed up NBA mock draft boards. Luckily for the Jazz, they now have the potential to pick up this great player and person to represent their organization. With the potential departure of All-Star guard Mike Conley, the Jazz must address backcourt depth and Hyland would be a great option at the number 30 overall selection.
Featured image courtesy Emilee Chinn/Getty Images