The Utah Jazz fans will finally get to witness what they have been clamoring for over the last few seasons. The chance to see their slew of recent draft picks to get significant time on the floor and see if they can be real players in the NBA.
I have been calling for that a lot over the last two seasons and can’t wait to see how it plays out.
Gone are solid veteran players in Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, Randy Foye and Mo Williams. They have been replaced by a few big contract guys like Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins to hit the salary cap minimum a few solid players and a bunch of guys who are better suited for the D-league.
Unfortunately for the Jazz, their overall plan took a hit when rookie point guard Trey Burke got hurt in the pre-season and will be out of action for some time leaving them with no one to run the point effectively. Thankfully for all Jazz fans, Jamaal Tinsley was still a free agent. Tinsley will get the lion share of the time running the Jazz offense until Burke gets back and will be the difference in a handful of wins this year.
Joining Tinsley for some veteran leadership will be Jefferson. He is long past his prime but can still play a little bit which allows the Jazz to bring some scoring punch of the bench with Alec Burks. The three spot will be manned by Gordon Hayward, who finally has the chance of being the man. His numbers will go way up from a season ago as he assumes that mantle.
The front court of Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors will also be relied on a great deal for scoring as well as rebounding and defense. I fully expect Kanter to become the go to offensive player on the inside and Favors to be a defensive force. They will be joined by rookie center Rudy Gobert. Gobert is as raw as they come but is extremely long and will be able to alter a ton of shots.
I know most fans believe that the Jazz are in the sweep stakes for a really high draft pick but I think that they are too talented for that. If they have drafted well at all over the last few years then they should at least lead them to 26-30 wins over the course of this season as long as they can stay healthy.