The Utah Jazz are being picked to make the playoffs in 2024.
The Utah Jazz had a surprisingly successful outing during the 2022-2023 season. The squad lost its three best players in Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Bojan Bogdanovic and somehow only went from 49 wins in 2022 to 37 wins in 2023. Part of the reason for the lack of a drop came down to the players acquired in the aforementioned deals for their best players.
Lauri Markkanen, Walker Kessler, and Collin Sexton all came over in those trades, and all made an instant impact on the Jazz. The team would later make several other trades where the likes of Mike Conley and others were dealt away, all but ensuring they’d miss the playoffs. Despite that, the Jazz still managed to find a way to compete.
They nearly made the play-in tournament, and now things are looking good for the squad long term. They have three rookies waiting to debut and a host of draft picks coming down the pipeline to further improve the team.
So it’s not surprising that an ex-assistant coach for the Utah Jazz, Gordie Chiesa, predicted the squad to go to the playoffs. Speaking on The Bill Riley Show on ESPN 700, Chiesa said the team would win 44 games this year, and then further documented why he thinks that (via Sports Illustrated);
"“They won 37 last year, and I think they’re better with John Collins. I know people are gonna say they had a great beginning last year, and then they struggled. Well, that’s when they got injured, and that’s when they sat guys out. I talked about it in late March — April. The last, let’s say fifteen games— they sat out Lauri Markkanen and those guys.”"
The Jazz should be better in 2023-2024 and Chiesa is right that the team was snakebitten by injuries. Yet, there is some stuff in flux, like who’s going to start, who’s going to be the sixth man, and whether or not Jordan Clarkson or Kelly Olynyk will even be on the team by the trade deadline.