Ranking the Utah Jazz bench among next season’s best

Utah Jazz (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Kyle Anderson vs Utah Jazz (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports) /

3. Memphis Grizzlies

The boys on Beale Street had a busy offseason, involving themselves in a flurry of multi-team transactions. The Grizzlies’ plan for this summer was clear: improve their future outlook, even if it happened at the expense of their present.

None of which led to any decisions that had a major bearing on a second unit that ranked sixth in points per game last season, at 39.1.  The most significant player the Grizzlies parted with was Lithuanian big man Jonas Valanciunas, who was a starter last season. Otherwise, Grayson Allen was a significant bench cog that the team traded this offseason, but the arrival of Jarrett Culver and Juancho Hernangomez should offset the loss of the former Duke product.

Furthermore, the Grizz will be banking on the improved health of recent lottery pick Jaren Jackson Jr., which would inevitably push playmaking forward Kyle Anderson to the second unit. As a multi-positional player with playmaking chops, the man affectionally known as Slow Mo could make for a unique sixth man in the mold of Utah Jazz hero Joe Ingles.

Otherwise, this second unit is bolstered by the presence of quality rotational players like De’Anthony Melton, Tyus Jones, Xavier Tillman and Brandon Clarke. The subtraction of Valanciunas leaves this team wanting at the center position, but the front office will undoubtedly be hoping that recently acquired Daniel Oturu can break out in his age-22 season after filling a limited role on the contending Los Angeles Clippers.

If certain trade rumors come to fruition, the outlook for this Memphis Grizzlies second unit may change considerably. In the meantime, they’ve earned a spot near the Utah Jazz in these rankings.