Will Hardy could lead the Utah Jazz back to the postseason

Will Hardy, Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Will Hardy, Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

The Utah Jazz have hit the ground running since departing with their former coach, Quin Snyder, and two former stars, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. With one season under the new regime’s belt in Utah, the future looks bright for the Jazz.

And with a bright young mind like Will Hardy running the show, the Jazz may be closer to contention than originally thought.

Will Hardy could lead the Jazz back to the postseason

Hardy led the Jazz to a 37-45 record this past season, and despite falling short of the play-in tournament, the rebuild in Utah proved to be a shorter process than expected. The offensive-minded coach helped develop Lauri Markkanen in his first year with the team into a newfound star. Now, with even more young talent at his disposal with the additions of John Collins and rookies Taylor Hendricks and Keyonte George, Utah will have plenty of lineup options moving forward. Not to mention the team’s second-year defensive anchor, Walker Kessler, manning the paint.

The 35-year-old coach comes from the Gregg Popovich coaching tree, so his success as a first-time head coach doesn’t come as a surprise. Learning under one of the best coaches in NBA history definitely has its perks, and Hardy has shown plenty of potential as a leader.

For a team in the Jazz’s position, having a young coach guide one of the youngest rosters in the league makes sense. Not only does the coach fit the timeframe of the team moving forward, but his ability to connect with and coach the younger generation of players is ideal.

Hardy’s game management and ability to put his players in position to succeed have already paid dividends with the team in his first season, so with year two approaching quickly and more talent being added to the roster, a leap in production next season isn’t farfetched at all. There’s plenty of room for improvement for the team under Hardy moving forward, but with one of the brightest coaches in the league at their disposal and a team full of talent, Will Hardy could very well lead his team to the postseason sooner rather than later.

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