Utah Jazz: Ranking the top five players from the year 2019

Utah Jazz. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
Utah Jazz. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Utah Jazz
Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Joe Ingles

2019 stats: 76 games played, 11.4 points, 5.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds, , 40 % 3 pt

This spot almost belonged to Derrick Favors thanks to his super-sub abilities at the tail-end of 2018-19 season, but ultimately Joe Ingles proved more valuable to the Jazz in the long term.

It was Ingles that was the main set-up man for Favors to score the bulk of his points with the second unit; it was Ingles that was able to stay with the Jazz through the summer of turnover thanks to his career 40 percent marksmanship from long distance; it was Ingles that earned the contract extension despite being 32 years old; and it was Ingles who has stepped up in a big way ever since Mike Conley went down with his hamstring injury.

Before Ingles was thrust back into the starting lineup, it appeared the Jazz had made a mistake extending a player already in his 30s with waning athleticism. But the past 10 games Ingles has proven doubters wrong again averaging 15.8 points and 5.8 assists per game on an unconscious 54/53/92 shooting split.

Initially brought to Utah as a training camp invite, I never thought he would become so endeared to Utah Jazz history. He has worked his way up as a passing specialist, to glue guy, to the underrated playmaking and scoring swingman. He’s been one of the lucky few players to have the trust of Quin Snyder in playing through mistakes and usually is on the court with the game on the line.

Ingles has appeared in all 76 regular season games, all five playoff games, and four out of five preseason games the Utah Jazz have participated in as well as playing for his home country Australia during the summer. A willingness to play in every game is a dying breed in the modern NBA, which endears Ingles to Utah even more because Stockton and Malone played with the same mentality to never miss a game.

This past summer Ingles was lauded as a key cog for the Jazz’s hyped 19’20 team and landed in all of the top 100 player rankings released by ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, and others. He blew kisses to the opposing team’s crowd on two separate occasions in 2019, once in Detroit last January, and again a week ago in Charlotte.

Slo’ Mo Joe continues to get into opponents heads with his trash talk and occasional taunting, filling the same role Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Patrick Beverly does as the ultimate glue guy. There’s no doubt in my mind that Ingles’ name belongs on this list.