Utah Jazz: Ranking the 10 projected rotation pieces

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /
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10. Utah Jazz center Hassan Whiteside

If Hassan Whiteside rediscovers his Miami Heat form, then the shot-callers in Salt Lake City will indeed have a tough time keeping him on the bench for extended stretches. Nevertheless, it seems somewhat unreasonable to expect anything close to a double-double average from the relatively nimble 7-foot, 265-pound big man in his first season with the Utah Jazz.

However, since Utah traded Derrick Favors to the Oklahoma City Thunder last week before signing Whiteside to a one-year veteran minimum deal in free agency, the 32-year-old North Carolina native looks to be the primary backup to Rudy Gobert at the five-spot.

Judging from Udoka Azubuike’s Salt Lake City Summer League prowess, though, the former first-round pick might stake a claim to some minutes in the post. In other words, Azubuike may occasionally take playing time from Whiteside should the 6-foot-10, 280-pound 21-year-old manage to maintain the required endurance to keep up with the fast-paced Jazz attack.

Furthermore, the recently acquired Rudy Gay and Eric Paschall might together provide Utah with a couple of ways to implement more small-ball lineups, thereby dinging Whiteside’s minutes as well.

Projected playing time for Hassan Whiteside: 11 minutes per game