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
Ricky Rubio, Utah Jazz. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

Ricky Rubio

2019 stats: 32 games played, 12.8 points, 5.9 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 41.8 FG %

Coming in at fourth on this list, Ricky Rubio is one of those Jazz players I wished could have stayed longer had circumstances allowed. Ultimately it was his lack of outside shooting touch that did him in for being replaced by Mike Conley, but other than that Rubio was a great NBA player for the Jazz.

His defense was superb, and he blended beautifully into Quin Snyder’s defensive schemes around Rudy Gobert. Rubio wasn’t afriad to be aggressive when defending the perimeter and it showed with his 1.3 steals per game. Although his assists dipped in Utah due to Snyder’s offensive system, Rubio’s excellent court vision was on display with his flashy passes that gave his teammates and the home crowd a big boost of energy.

Rubio was good when attacking the basket thanks to his crafty array of moves and solid ball handling. When Rubio performed well, the Jazz did as well; when he had a rough game it usually resulted in a Jazz loss. In Jazz wins for 2018-19 Rubio had an assist to turnover ratio of 2.8, as opposed to a rate of 1.7 in Jazz losses.

I was tempted to put Mike Conley in here, but as far as influence goes Rubio played in the stretch run of the 2018-19 season when the Jazz stormed back into the playoff picture. His 22 point and 11 assist outing versus the Hawks in February and his 20 point 13 assist performance on April fools day were some of his best games in 2019. Despite the trade buzz surrounding the Jazz with Mike Conley, Rubio dealt with it very well despite knowing he would probably play for a new team the following season.

Ricky played heavy minutes in the five playoff games versus the Houston Rockets, and although his shot wasn’t falling (as usual) Rubio made an impact in nearly every other faucet of the game. He scored 18 points and dished out 11 assists in Utah’s lone playoff win of the series, and stayed classy in his final hours of his Jazz tenure. Not to mention Ricky’s impact on the community and visits to cancer patients in the valley, and Rubio has solidified his spot here on this list.