Ranking the Utah Jazz bench among next season’s best

Utah Jazz (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) /
6 of 6
Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports) /

1. Utah Jazz

Yes, a Utah Jazz page is claiming that the Utah Jazz have the best bench in the National Basketball Association.

If you’re asking yourself about the legitimacy of that claim, consider the following: Jordan Clarkson won the Sixth Man of the Year Award for the 2020-21 NBA regular season. The runner-up for that award was none other than his Utah Jazz teammate Joe Ingles.

Granting the Jazz the distinction of the best second unit in the National Basketball Association should not carry the stench of bias here: they were voted by a panel of experts as having the two best reserve players in the NBA last season. Best of all, this bench mob has only gotten better.

This offseason’s acquisitions of Rudy Gay, Eric Paschall and Hassan Whiteside all point to a deeper, more balanced Utah Jazz squad. Both Gay and Paschall will be able to man the 5 spot in five-out, small-ball formations, or cover the backup 4 position admirably. Meanwhile, Whiteside is a high-end backup center who projects as a lateral move from Jazz mainstay Derrick Favors, if not a marginal upgrade.

Utah Jazz faithful will also hope that incoming rookie Jared Butler is ready to contribute right away, and that promising young players like Trent Forrest, Udoka Azubuike and Elijah Hughes, among others, are ready to make a step forward. However, even if they’re not, the Jazzmen’s 10-man rotation of the starting unit plus Clarkson, Ingles, Gay, Paschall and Whiteside ought to be the envy of contending teams across the Association.

Next. NBA analyst mistakenly call the Jazz 'one wing short'. dark

The Jazz’s second unit finished fourth in the NBA in box plus/minus at 1.3 last season, and they improved. We refuse to be sheepish about naming them the best bench unit in the league.