Utah Jazz: The 50 greatest players in franchise history

Utah Jazz (Photo by Daniel Lippitt/Getty Images)
Utah Jazz (Photo by Daniel Lippitt/Getty Images) /
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All-time greatest Utah Jazz players: No. 15 Thurl Bailey

  • Seasons with the franchise: 10 (1983-84 to 1991-92, 1998-99)
  • Regular-season games played: 708
  • Averages as a Jazzman: 14.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.2 blocks
  • Shooting percentages: 47.4 from the field, 81.2 from the foul line
  • Playoff games with Utah: 69
  • Postseason averages: 13.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.2 blocks

Big T.

Following NC State’s miracle run to win the 1983 NCAA Championship, the Utah Jazz used the No. 7 overall selection to nab the former Wolfpack star. Bailey, a multifaceted 6-foot-11 forward, instantly became a regular contributor in Salt Lake City, starting 54 games in his first year and earning All-Rookie honors.

Then as an NBA sophomore, Bailey became a more potent scorer, averaging 15.2 points to go along with 6.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. His scoring average didn’t fall back to single-digits until 1992-93 when he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Also worth noting, he never played in fewer than 80 games in any of his first nine seasons with the Jazz.

As for his 10th campaign with the franchise, the mere fact that he came back to Utah in 1998-99 and then retired as a Jazzman earned him some brownie points on this ranking.