Establish a True and Dominant Big 3
Although the Jazz were able to become formidable thanks to their incredible depth and team effort, there’s no questioning that they have two main stars on their roster – Gordon Hayward, the All-Star, and Rudy Gobert, the All-NBA center.
However, Utah has to have a reliable third option and create a legitimate Big 3. Sure, it’d be nice to have a Big 4 like the Warriors do, but no other team has that and we’re taking this one step at a time.
Some surmised that Hayward, Gobert and Favors could be that Big 3, but unfortunately Favors’ injury problems turned him largely into an afterthought. For a while during the 2016-17 campaign, it looked as if the team’s second-leading scorer George Hill would make up the third part of a Big 3. But likewise, injuries and eventual inconsistent play ended up being the undoing of that prospect as well.
And to be perfectly honest, even if Favors and Hill get back to their fully functional and healthy selves, I don’t quite believe that they will be enough to compose the kind of Big 3 that I have in mind if Utah wants to be able to do battle with Golden State. No, instead they need to look to add a third piece in the offseason, be it via trade or free agency, that can serve as the third head of Utah’s three-headed dragon.
If Utah were to have a third go-to guy as well as a healthy and effective Favors and Hill to round out the starting five, then we’re talking about a potentially daunting group. Of course, giving up Favors or Hill could be necessary to bring in that third guy and that would be perfectly acceptable as well if that’s what it takes.
Frankly, I don’t know who exactly that third guy would be. Jazz fans have thrown around names like Paul George, Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry, but those are likely nothing more than pipe dreams. Perhaps Utah makes a free agency move for a guy like Jrue Holiday or James Johnson, but it will be hard to pry them from their current teams, difficult to pay them and there’s no guarantee that either will live up to expectations worthy of being called the third piece of a Big 3.
So I realize that this one is a big task, but so is toppling the Warriors. I’ll leave the final solution to Dennis Lindsey, because quite truly there’s more than one option to fulfill this need depending on who’s available, what teams are willing to trade and what the Jazz can afford.
The simple fact of the matter, though, is that Utah needs another offensive option (hopefully without giving up too much on the defensive end) that can be an effective weapon alongside Hayward. Even though Rudy made significant strides on that end of the floor this season, there’s no doubting that Utah could benefit from another playmaker to take some of the pressure off of Gordon.
If Jazz brass can move the pieces just right and land a newcomer to the team that’s capable of performing and meshing to this degree, the Jazz will be one step closer to competing with Golden State.