Utah Jazz: Top 10 story lines to watch for in 2017-18

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 9: Rudy Gobert (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 9: Rudy Gobert (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /
3 of 11

Can Alec Burks stay healthy and find minutes?

At this point it’s almost hard to believe, but Alec Burks was once viewed as one of Utah’s more exciting and important players as a dynamic offensive threat and electrifying playmaker. However, after three straight seasons of heinous injury woes which have seen Burks log just 100 games TOTAL out of a possible 246 (only 40.7 percent of games), the once thrilling guard has become largely an afterthought.

Therefore, there are two enormous questions facing Burks in the upcoming season. First off, can he get and stay healthy? He appears to be injury-free heading into training camp and recently even made comments alluding to the fact that for the first time in a while, he finally feels like he’s back to his old self.

If that’s true (and can remain true), it should mean very good news for the Jazz. There’s no questioning that Burks was once a terrific scorer and Utah could use that punch off the bench. However, even if Alec can remain healthy, there’s also still the question of whether or not he’ll actually be able to find any playing time at all.

As I already mentioned, he has largely become somewhat an afterthought and may find himself buried behind guys who have already proven themselves as more valuable (such as Rodney Hood and Joe Ingles) as well as young guys who simply need time to build on their incredible potential (such as Dante Exum and Donovan Mitchell) and could end up being better players than him anyway.

If Alec Burks can get back to being that 14 point per game, 38.2 percent shooter from deep guy that he was in his hot start in 2014-15 prior to the unfortunate leg injury, he may very well be able to find a spot on this team. Otherwise, if he is as inefficient and unreliable as he was last season, he may find himself struggling to get off the bench. The wide range of possibilities for his upcoming season surely makes for a must-follow story line.