On paper the Utah Jazz look like a decent team. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap were gone which finally allowed Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter to play more minutes. Gordan Hayward is a solid player and they drafted Trey Burke to run the point guard position. Everything fell apart for this team and I put most of the blame on their former head coach Tyrone Corbin. The Jazz were dead last in a tough Western Conference with 25 wins.
More minutes did lead to better numbers for Favors and Kanter but neither guy dominated. They both averaged fewer than 15 ppg and 9 rpg. It should be noted they are both under 25 and have room to improve. Gordon Hayward had a decent season but his shooting numbers were down across the board. He had to do a lot for this team and didn’t have anyone to create shots for him. Trey Burke averaged 5.7 apg but he was not a real threat in the offense. When he returned from injury he played well and shot 33% from 3 point land.
It was not good for the Jazz considering they had to play Richard Jefferson and Marvin Williams 25 minutes per game. Jefferson was the only guy to play in all 82 games but he should be not playing 27 minutes a game if you want to win games.
The Jazz had two 1st round picks in the draft, 5 and 23. With the 5th pick they grabbed the young Australian point guard Dante Exum. It will be interesting to see how he plays with Trey Burke. With the 23rd pick they got Rodney Hood from Duke. He’s an older player and a great shooter. We didn’t know much about Exum going into the draft and I don’t think he will play that much early on. If Rodney Hood knocks down shots he will be on the court. He wants to become a better defender and if he shows effort he that will keep him on the court even if his shots not falling.
The Jazz were at the bottom of the league in scoring and 3 point shooting. Hood will help in both aspects. During Summer League Dante Exum was not dominating but he was very fast. He could get to the basket and make a play. That should translate and help Hayward get open shots. His 3 point percentage should go back up around his average of 36%. During the World Cup training camp you could see that Hayward has bulked up. He put on some muscle so that should help him finish around the basket.
Favors and Kanter have to dominate inside. At least 16 and 10 for both players. Favors has the ability to be a good defensive player. Hayward got paid this off-season and will be looked at to lead this team over 25 wins. The roster is still very young and they will struggle. Exum will be held back in terms of minutes until January. This team has gotten better but they will still only win 25-27 games.