The Utah Jazz all-time team

Posted: July 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

From Rick Adelman to Keon Clark to Sam Worthen, 269 players have suited up for the Jazz since the organization began back in 1974, according to Basketball-reference.com. Some have been legends while others were so forgettable that even the most die-hard of fans won’t remember their names.

This list is the best-of-the-best of those players. The hall of famers, the all-stars, the knockdown shooters, the great rebounders, the fantastic rim protectors and the guys who have helped make the Jazz deep playoff runs.

Since the Jazz have had plenty of great players, there isn’t room for everyone who made a huge impact to make the team. Notable omissions include hall of famers Walt Bellamy, Bernard King, Spencer Haywood and Gail Goodrich as well as all-stars John Drew and Truck Robinson.

Here is my Utah Jazz all-time team. 

Note: Only what each player did with the Jazz was taken into account when building the team.

Bench

Gordon Hayward (2010-current)

Hayward narrowly edged out Jeff Malone for the last bench spot based on his versatility. While Malone was an excellent scorer, Hayward can do it all. He has stepped up his game each year and is coming into the prime of his career as the Jazz are looking to get back into the thick of things in the West. While he is still early in his career, he is already 10th in franchise history in assists, 12th in steals and 14th in scoring.

For his career, he is averaging 14.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.0 steals in 443 games.

Thurl Bailey (1983-91, ’98-99)

Bailey was an impact player as a starter, but was at his best coming off the bench during his time with the Jazz. He was a high level scorer who could help out on the glass and protect the rim. He is fifth in Jazz history in points and blocks while landing at sixth on the rebounds list.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 14 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 blocks in 708 games.

Paul Millsap (2006-13)

While he has gone on to be a three-time all-star since leaving the Jazz, Millsap still did enough during his time in Utah to make this team. Where he did most of his damage with the Jazz was on the glass where he is fourth in franchise history in offensive rebounds and eighth in total rebounds. He also provided some offensive fire power, ranking 13th all-time in scoring.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 12.4 points on 51.6 percent shooting with 7.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks in 540 games.

Rickey Green (1980-88)

Green revived his career with the Jazz and turned out to be one of the best lead guards the organization has ever had. While he was a solid scorer, he was at his best sharing the ball or playing tough defense. He is third in franchise history in both steals and assists and 10th all-time in scoring.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 11.4 points, 6.9 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 606 games.

Mehmet Okur (2004-11)

Okur is the best outside shooting big man the Jazz have ever had. He had range well past the 3-point line and had no issues taking and making huge shots. While he made headlines with his shooting, he was also a solid rebounder and shot blocker. He finished his time in Utah as the 9th leading scorer, 10th leading rebounder and No. 11 on the blocks list.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 15.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 474 games.

Darrell Griffith (1980-91)

There is no doubt that Griffith would have been in strong consideration for a starting spot if not for the injuries that drastically changed his career. He was a dominant scorer who is only one of four players in team history to total more than 12,000 points.

For his career, he averaged 16.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals in 765 games.

Andrei Kirilenko (2001-11)

Kirilenko was a stat-sheet stuffer during his 10 years in Salt Lake City. He was a solid scorer who could get to the rim, but was even better making the extra pass for the easy basket. Where he was at his best was however, was on defense where he is one of the best wing shot blockers in NBA history. He finished his Utah career ranked in the top seven in franchise history in scoring and rebounding while finishing in the top five in assists, steals and blocks.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 12.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.4 steals in 681 games.

Jeff Hornacek (1994-2000)

Hornacek is the best overall shooter that the Jazz have ever had and a key piece to Utah’s two finals runs. He shot 42.8 percent from 3-point range and fell just short of 90 percent from the free-throw line during his seven seasons. He was also an impressive passer who has the sixth most assists in team history.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 14.4 points, 4.0 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 477 games.

Carlos Boozer (2004-10)

For all of his flaws, Boozer was the best free agent pick-up the Jazz ever made. He could dominate a game on the glass and in the paint (when healthy). He could finish with either hand around the rim and carry the offensive load when  call upon. He is just one of three players in team history to average a double-double.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 19.3 points on 54.4 percent shooting with 10.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.0 steals in 354 games.

Deron Williams (2005-11)

After splitting time as the starting point guard with Keith McLeod and Milt Palacio as a rookie, Williams took over the reins in year two and never looked back. He averaged double figures in assists each of his last four full seasons and finished his time with the Utah as the eighth leading scorer the organization has ever had.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 17.3 points, 9.1 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 439 games.

Starters

John Stockton (1984-2003)

Stockton is the ultimate Jazz man. He was a tough-minded lead guard who did whatever it took to win. He was a 10-time all-star who made one of the three All-NBA teams 11 times and an All-Defensive Second-Team honoree on five occasions. He led the NBA in assists per game nine straight seasons while totaling 19,711 points

For his career, he averaged 13.1 points on 51.5 percent shooting with 10.5 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 2.2 steals in 1,504 games. He is still the all-time NBA leader in assists and steals. He was inducted in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

Pete Maravich (1974-1980)

Maravich was the face of the Jazz during the time when the team was stationed in New Orleans. He was an elite scorer who was known for his flair and pinpoint passing. He was a three-time all-star selection during his time in New Orleans, including the 1976-77 season when he led the league in scoring.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 25.2 points, 5.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 330 games. He was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.

Adrian Dantley (1979-1986)

While Karl Malone gets most of the recognition for his scoring ability, It’s Dantley who is the franchise leader in points per game (and it’s not even close). He was also a very efficient scorer who is the team leader in field goal percentage for players with more than 1,000 attempts. Along with his scoring prowess, he is eighth in team history in assists and 11th in rebounding.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 29.6 points on 56.2 percent shooting with 6.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 461 games. He was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

Karl Malone (1985-2003)

Malone helped to carry the Jazz to heights the organization hadn’t seen before or since. He was a two-time MVP, an 11-time All-NBA First-Team selection, a 14-time all-star and the second leading scorer in league history.

For his Jazz career, he averaged 25.4 points on 51.7 percent shooting with 10.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 1,434 games. He was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

Mark Eaton (1982-93)

While he didn’t provide much in the way of offense (nor was he asked to), Eaton is the best defensive player in team history. He was a terrific rim protector who challenged every shot and left opposing offenses scrambling because of his shot blocking prowess. Add in the fact that he is the second leading rebounder in team history and it’s clear that he is the only option to start at center.

For his career, he averaged 6.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 1.0 assists in 875 games.

 

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