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) /
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Utah Jazz Rodney Hood
SACRAMENTO, CA – MARCH 5: Rodney Hood #5 of the Utah Jazz looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on March 5, 2017 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Can Rodney Hood turn into a rising star?

Much like was the case with Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood had an extremely disappointing 2016-17 season that was riddled with injuries. After averaging 14.5 points and nearly three assists per game two years ago, Hood ended up taking a step backwards as he put up just 12.7 points and 1.6 assists last season in fewer minutes.

However, he also did show some positive signs such as elevating his three-point shooting accuracy up to 37.1 percent. Throughout his short NBA career, he’s shown signs of having star potential and now with Gordon Hayward out of the mix, he’s absolutely going to have to prove that he can live up to that. Hood has some tools to become a go-to guy, but so far lacks much of the polish that he requires to truly take that next step.

However, he’s another Jazzman that has apparently put in an incredible offseason that saw him undergo a similar routine with assistant coach Johnnie Bryant that Hayward underwent prior to his breakout season. Thus, it’s not outside of reason to think that Hood could have a break out year and prove that he is very much capable of becoming Utah’s next rising star.

The Jazz need a new go-to wing player and the most likely candidate at this point is undoubtedly Rodney Hood. Therefore, his ability to elevate his game to the next level will be one of the most vital story lines facing the Utah Jazz if they hope to become a competitive force in a Western Conference that is absolutely stacked with talented wings.