Utah Jazz Season Preview

Playing a Different Tune

Last year the Utah Jazz were a team that made the playoffs and by the skin of their teeth. Since Jerry Sloan left they haven’t really had the same aura that they’ve had for a majority of the past two decades. No one fears them.

Tyrone Corbin is a very good, young head coach. However, I don’t see much hope for him with this Jazz team. They sorely miss Deron Williams because they haven’t been able to find any good point guard play since he was traded.

They traded away one of their best perimeter players in Devin Harris and brought in another forward who won’t produce in Marvin Williams.

They brought in Mo Williams from Free Agency who is a good guard but isn’t who you’d want as your starting point guard. He’s never been a threat to actually run a team and distribute the ball.

You’re picking him up when he’s 29 going on 30 and he’s on the decline. Its not really who you want as your starting point guard in a transition period for your team.

A bright spot that the Jazz do have is Gordon Hayward. Though he could use some more touches, he showed plenty of promise last year scoring 11.8 ppg, 3.8 apg, and 3.1 rpg in roughly 30 minutes of play. He’s been more than capable for them on the defensive end and can play multiple positions.

They’ve got an logjam at the power forward and center positions. In the Deron Williams trade they brought in Derrick Favors and then subsequently drafted Enes Kanter. They already had Paul Milsap as their starting power forward so there was really no need for them to draft another one with the third overall pick.

Instead of making positive roster moves to benefit their team, they’ve made many questionable ones. You can’t really tap in to what this organization is trying to do. That brings us into our next topic.

Will Milsap and Jefferson Return?

Paul Milsap and Al Jefferson are the Jazz’s two best players. They are both going into the final year of their respective deals. Al Jefferson is owed $15 million this season and Paul Milsap is owed $7.2 million.

Milsap has already been offered an extension but has denied it. He’s going to weigh his options in Free Agency and with the way that the Jazz organization is going I don’t know if he’ll return. The same can be said for Jefferson.

If the Jazz are able to bring back one of these guys, they’ll be lucky. But if there was one that I’d look to bring back it would be Milsap. He performed like an All-Star last season with an offensive rating of 113–which tied for the team lead with Gordon Hayward–and he also had a 21.88 PER.

You can’t go wrong with either player here. Jefferson had a higher PER than Milsap of 22.8 and was a nearly a 20-10 guy last season.

Milsap is only 26 and Jefferson is only 27. They are both due to cash in by the end of this season. Milsap is a more versatile player because of his ability as a defender.

Jefferson isn’t bad himself either. But Milsap may be the cheaper option because of his position. He isn’t on the level of your Pau Gasols, Lamarcus Aldridges, or Kevin Loves but he’s an above average starter.

Jefferson, on the other hand, is a top 5 center in the NBA and will be paid like it. He’ll probably have somewhere between $60 and $70 million guaranteed on his next deal. If the Jazz are looking to rebuild I don’ think that would be a wise decision. But what do I know.

Minute Allocation

The minutes that the Jazz will have will probably look kind of weird because of their stockpile of inept guards and plenty of good forwards. Stay with me here please.

Starters

Mo Williams- 32.5 Mpg

Raja Bell- 25.3 Mpg

Gordon Hayward- 34.1 Mpg

Paul Milsap- 32.8 Mpg

Al Jefferson- 35.3 Mpg

Reserves

Marvin Williams- 23.2 Mpg

Randy Foye- 18.3 Mpg

Jamaal Tinsley- 15.2 Mpg

Alec Burks- 22.4 Mpg

Derrick Favors- 26.8 Mpg

Enes Kanter- 17.9 Mpg

Earl Watson-  14.2 Mpg

DeMarre Carroll- 17.4 Mpg

Conclusion

The Jazz are stuck in the middle right now. I don’t see them having a good season at all next year. They’ll probably be in the middle of the lottery or at the top of it.

They don’t really have anyone who sticks out as a number one option on their roster. I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up trading Jefferson or Milsap or both of them. They should look to start rebuilding their roster around younger and cheaper pieces. I think we’ll see something similar to what happened with the Blazers last year.

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