The Utah Jazz Have a Bright Future


April 24, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) blocks the attempted dunk of Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) during the first half at Energy Solutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

The Utah Jazz have always been a team to overcome the odds and do things in their own way. They kept the same coach for 22 straight seasons, who coached the Jazz to the playoffs for 15 straight seasons. They built a team through the draft and had one of the best duos basketball has ever seen. Just like they did 20 some odd years ago by drafting Karl Malone and John Stockton, the Jazz have built another team through the draft. In the 2010 NBA Draft the Utah Jazz selected Gordon Hayward with the 9th overall pick and would later that season send Deron Williams in a trade to New Jersey that would bring back the number 3 overall pick, Derrick Favors, to Utah as well. The Jazz wouldn’t stop there either, the 2011 draft brought another 2 young lottery picks to Utah as well by selecting Enes Kanter with the 3rd overall pick and Alec Burks with the 12th overall pick.

The 4 players that have been drafted have all shown promise and at times flashes of greatness for the Jazz. Derrick Favors, who is only 21 years old, looks like a future all-star and possible superstar in this league. He dominated the paint defensively and showed a lot of progress with his offensive game during the 2011-2012 season. Gordon Hayward has also had his fair share of superstar moments. Frustrating opponents with his hustle and hard-nosed play which is why Jazz fans love him. Both Hayward and Favors were selected to the USA Select Team to play against the USA Olympic team. Many players on the Olympic Team roster started on the USA Select Team before making it to the Olympic Team.

Alec Burks and Enes Kanter both had great moments in 2011-2012 as well. Kanter showed complete dominance at times on the glass by moving opponents out of his way at will. Kanter’s offensive game was fairly raw but did come along toward the end of the season, which is great news considering he is only 20 years old. Alec Burks has been labeled as someone with no fear. He plays the game like he is the best player on the floor every time he goes out. He showed that even as a rookie, he is not afraid to have the ball in his hands with the game on the line and looks to have a huge ceiling if his shooting can come along a little. Alec also was selected to the AirTran Airways Orlando Pro All-Summer League 1st team and looks to make a strong push for more minutes during his 2nd season with the Jazz.

The Jazz have built a team around talented players who look to be the future of this team but that’s not the only thing they have going for them. The front office has also done a great job giving this team flexibility to find out if the team they have right now can be a contender or if they will let some of the current players go and build around this nucleus of young studs.  After this coming season the Jazz will have a total of 6 players under contract and that number could shrink to 5 if Marvin Williams decides not to exercise his player option.  The 6 players the Jazz have under contract will be Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Enes Kanter and Jeremy Evens with Marvin Williams having an option to stay with the Jazz or become a free agent.

With all this flexibility don’t be surprised if the Jazz make a couple moves during the year as there are several players who will be free agents and may not stay with the team.  The Jazz could use their trade value now to bring in more draft picks or possibly put together a package to bring a superstar in return.  These are all hypothetical situations but as you can see the Jazz have so many options on what to do with this team.  It’s an exciting time to be a Jazz fan.  The future is very bright for this team.