Utah Jazz: 3 players who could break out next season

Utah Jazz center Udoka Azubuike (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz center Udoka Azubuike (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz guard Jared Butler (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports) /

Jared Butler might not get a shot this season

Behind Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson, it makes sense that the Baylor standout Jared Butler has not gotten to play much. He fell to the second round largely because of a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy diagnosis, which made teams wary.

The illness causes a decrease in blood flow, but he has been medically cleared to play, so it only makes sense that if Mitchell is traded, he gets to play. In college, he was the best player on the tournament-winning Bears, almost single-handily getting his team to the top.

He is an elite shooter, facilitator, defender, and scorer. In Summer League, he was ice cold from deep but was still Utah’s best player.

In his lone career start, he went off for 17 points. He is not scared to take a lot of shots, and when he’s hot, he’s hot. He consistently shoots 50% from deep when he’s feeling himself, and since he’s undersized for his position, he reminds me of a more defensive-minded Donovan Mitchell.

Think that comparison is a bit much? In college, they put up the same stat line, but Butler was a lot more efficient. It’s a close race, but Butler was also a better defender. In only 42 career games–most of which were only garbage time–it’s far too early to make any judgments on Butler’s game. All I know is if he lives even halfway up to the hype, the Jazz may have an amazing young player on the roster without even knowing it.