60 simple reasons the Utah Jazz will win 60 games

Utah Jazz (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports) /
6 of 7

The 60 reasons to expect 60 or more Utah Jazz victories: Nos. 41-50

41. Jared Butler was once a projected lottery pick. Yet due to concerns about his heart condition, Utah was able to pull off perhaps the steal of the 2021 NBA Draft by trading down to select him No. 40 overall. As the leading scorer from a Baylor team that won the national championship, chances are the combo guard will contribute at some point to the Utah Jazz’s success as a rookie.

42. Another Baylor national champ, MaCio Teague, is also likely to be on the roster — even if only on a two-way contract — after the well-rounded wing’s encouraging Summer League performances.

43. That makes three Baylor products, with the other being Royce O’Neale. One would think that having a trio of former Bears will add to the Utah Jazz chemistry.

44. Trent Forrest is another former college star with the potential to make an impact next season. After all, as an undrafted rookie out of Florida State last season, the 6-foot-4 floor general came up clutch a couple of times for the Utah Jazz when Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley were out with injuries.

45. Udoka Azubuike is foul-prone and probably lacks the stamina to play long stretches, but his prowess in Summer League signals a formidable third-string center nonetheless.

46. Second-year forward Elijah Hughes has a lot of work to do before earning significant playing time in a Jazz jersey. Still, the 23-year-old’s creative iso moves might come in handy off the bench as early as next season.

47. Power forward Jarrell Brantley also rarely saw the floor for Utah last season. Yet he also looks to be a promising long-term Jazz project who could surprise some folks in his third year as a pro.

48. Overall, Butler, Teague, Forrest, Azubuike, Hughes, and Brantley comprise a nice mix of prospects who are out to prove they belong in this league.

49. Besides providing safety options, the above assortment of youngsters should inspire Quin Snyder and his staff.

50. In general, when factoring in Jordan Clarkson, Joe Ingles, Rudy Gay, Hassan Whiteside, and Eric Paschall as well, the reserves in Salt Lake City ought to form one of the NBA’s most desirable benches next season.