Ranking the best rookie seasons in Utah Jazz history #5-1

5.  Deron Williams: Williams was selected with the third pick in the first round of the 2005 draft. Williams played 80 games (47 starts) in the 2005-06 season and averaged 10.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists a game while recording five double-doubles. His most dominant game of his rookie season came in a March win on the road against the Atlanta Hawks when Williams finished with a season-high 28 points on the strength of a 4 for 4 shooting night from behind the arc while also adding five assists and three rebounds. Like Bailey, Williams earned NBA All-Rookie first team for an impressive first season in the league.

4.  Andrei Kirilenko: Kirilenko was selected with the 24th pick in the first round of the 1999 draft, but didn’t make his way to Utah until the 2001-02 season.  That year, Kirilenko appeared in all 82 games (40 starts) and averaged 10.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.9 blocks while recording three double-doubles.  One of his most dominant games of his rookie season came in a January loss against the San Antonio Spurs when Kirilenko ended the night with 24 points, eight rebounds, three assists and six steals.  For his efforts, Kirilenko earned NBA All-Rookie first team honors.

3.  Trey Burke: Burke was selected with the ninth pick in the first round of the 2013 draft.  Burke has started every game but two since stepping on the court for the Jazz and has averaged 12.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5.6 assists while putting up eight double-doubles.  One of his most dynamic performances on the season came in a December victory at the Orlando Magic when Burke totaled a career-high 30 points to go along with seven rebounds and eight assists.  His other truly great offensive performance on the season came in a huge loss to the Golden State Warriors when Burke registered a career-high 15 assists as well as 24 points and four rebounds.  With the kind of year that Burke has had, he will no doubt earn NBA All-Rookie first team honors.

2.  Karl Malone: Malone was selected with the 13th pick in the first round of the 1985 draft.  Malone played in 81 games (76 starts) in the 1985-86 season and averaged 14.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.3 steals a contest while putting up 32 double-doubles.  One of his most impressive games from that season came in a March win over the Phoenix Suns when Malone finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and six steals.  He stepped up even more in the first round of the playoffs when Malone set a season high with 31 points along with eight rebounds before fouling out in a road loss to the Dallas Mavericks.  Malone was named to the NBA All-Rookie first team for his outstanding season.

1.  Darrell Griffith: Griffith was selected with the second pick of the first round in the 1980 draft.  Griffith played in 81 games as a rookie and averaged 20.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals a night including nine games where he scored at least 30 points.  The most impressive scoring night of that season was a payback of sorts against the Boston Celtics.  After scoring a season-low two points in the 30-point beat down at the hands of the Celtics in Boston, Griffith got his revenge by scoring a season-high 38 points as the Jazz defeated the Celtics by 15 only three weeks later.  For his remarkable first season with the Jazz, Griffith was named NBA Rookie of the Year as well as to the NBA All-Rookie first team.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s