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 Thabo Sefolosha Jonas Jerebko
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – JULY 18: Jonas Jerebko #8 and Thabo Sefolosha #22 of the Utah Jazz attend a press conference after signing with the Utah Jazz at Grand America Hotel on July 18, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Keith Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Which of the role player newcomers will step up?

Aside from seeing whether players that have long been with the team such as Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood and Alec Burks can either break out this year or return to form from previous seasons, it’s going to be absolutely thrilling to see which Jazz newcomer will rise to the occasion and solidify himself as a key piece to this team.

The Jazz added an effective wing stopper in Thabo Sefolosha, a versatile stretch-four in Jonas Jerebko and a possibly revamped backup center in Ekpe Udoh, as well as Ricky Rubio (who projects to be a starter, not a role player) and Royce O’Neale (who likely won’t see much playing time, if any). All three of Utah’s main role player newcomers – Sefolosha, Jerebko and Udoh – have a lot to prove and the potential to be ideal fits for this Jazz team.

Sefolosha will be able to prove himself as an aging vet and locker room mentor while also providing the ability to lock up opposing teams’ star player night in and night out with his exceptional defensive prowess. Jerebko hasn’t seen much action in recent years, but his skill set could fit seamlessly in Coach Snyder’s system, so seeing how he pans out will be thrilling as well.

Last of all, Udoh spent the past two years out of the NBA playing in the EuroLeague, where he seemed to have rediscovered his confidence and sharpened his skill set. He’ll want to prove that he belongs in the best league in the world and given the unbelievable opportunity, could end up being a diamond in the rough for the Jazz.

Considering how much each of these three players has to prove, each one will be exhilarating to keep an eye on. All of them are on savvy contracts that include team options for 2018-19, so the Jazz will have the luxury of evaluating them then determining how vital they are to the team’s future. Not only is that convenient for the Jazz, but it should also motivate each of them to have incredible seasons to prove their own worth.

Seeing who is capable of doing such will be one of the definite high points of the upcoming season.