Utah Jazz history: Top 5 players whose numbers aren’t retired

Andrei Kirilenko, Utah Jazz. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Andrei Kirilenko, Utah Jazz. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) /
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Utah Jazz
Mehmet Okur, Utah Jazz. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) /

The Utah Jazz have retired seven numbers. Besides them, who are the best Jazz players of all time? There are a lot of former players to choose from. Here’s who made it.

When the NBA season was suspended, I started brainstorming some ideas for articles and my first thoughts drifted towards making an all-time list, ranking the top players that have worn a Utah Jazz jersey.

However, I quickly realized that list has been written out numerous times already. I wanted to do something new. That’s when I thought of a similar idea with a slight twist: A list of the best Jazz players whose numbers aren’t enshrined inside Vivint Smart Home Arena.

When deciding who to add, my criteria was simple:

  1. No players with retired numbers allowed
  2. Only their Jazz tenure matters, not their entire career

Let’s begin.

5. Mehmet Okur

The moneyman.

In his seven years in Utah, Mehmet “Memo” Okur earned a reputation for hitting game-changing timely three point shots. The six-foot-eleven Turk had the ability to stretch the floor offensively, a trait truly before it’s time.

His best season was the 2006-07 campaign, where he averaged 17.6 points and shot a team-leading 4.2 threes a game. Thanks to a stretch of clutch performances and  injuries to a few yearly shoo-ins, Okur was named an All-Star replacement reserve by late commissioner David Stern, playing for the West in 2007.

Memo’s unique skill set has him living all over Utah’s all-time lists. He ranks seventh in made field goals, eighth in three-point attempts and free throw makes, ninth in defensive rebounds, and tenth in total points and win shares (45.0).