MVP – Gordon Hayward
Given that Gordon Hayward was the team’s leading scorer and lone All-Star this past season, one might think that this was an obvious and easy decision. However, such could not be further from the case.
Yes, Hayward’s team-leading 21.9 points per game on a highly efficient shooting clip were impressive, but in many ways, Rudy Gobert proved to be just as crucial, if not more so, than Hayward on many occasions. His stifling rim protection and vastly improved offense quickly transformed him from a defense-only guy to a behemoth in the paint and often times the second best option on offense.
That’s a great sign for the Jazz given that they’ve locked Rudy down for the long haul with a contract extension this season, and all indications are that he can only get better from here.
Nevertheless, Utah’s lone All-Star Gordon Hayward is indeed worthy of the MVP selection. Despite receiving criticism as recently as last season about not being able to be a go-to guy or rise to the challenge in big moments, Hayward proved doubters wrong this season by turning into a formidable offensive weapon capable of unleashing a vast arsenal of scoring methods.
Therefore, Hayward arose as not only the team’s leading scorer, but also Utah’s best player and most dependable leader. It’s already been touched on many times just how devastating it would be for the Jazz if Hayward were to leave in free agency this offseason as he has become a critical part of the daunting team Utah has built and the sure face of the franchise.
Combine all of those things and it’s easy to see just why he’s the Jazz’s Most Valuable Player. Hopefully all will go well this summer and Utah will be able to retain their MVP for years to come.
Runner-up – Rudy Gobert