Zach Lowe pitches wild starting lineup for the Utah Jazz

Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz.
Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz. /

The Utah Jazz starting five is mostly solidified but there are some questions.

The Utah Jazz have a compelling roster of players. Not many All-Star caliber players, but a lot of guys who could be good starters for a club or even sixth-men type guys. They’re deep but potentially unimpressive. It’s to the point that the guards are mostly a jumbled mess of potential and limitations.

Take for instance Jordan Clarkson, a really good scorer but not much else. He can’t play defense and his play-making for others isn’t great. Shift gears and look at Kris Dunn, he can play defense and play-make for others, but he can’t shoot. It’ll be hard to get other guys a shot attempt if no one takes him seriously with the ball in his hands.

Barring a trade of sorts, Clarkson, Dunn, Collin Sexton, Talen Horton-Tucker, Ochai Agbaji, and Keyonte George are going to be the guys the team looks at to start at the point guard and shooting guard positions.

We already know that Lauri Markkanen, John Collins, and Walker Kessler are set to start at the small forward, power forward, and center positions, but one NBA Insider, Zach Lowe, has the point guard and shooting guard spots going to Clarkson and Agbaji.

Speaking on his Lowe Post Podcast, Lowe pitched the idea of Clarkson and Agabji as the starting point guards and shooting guards for the upcoming season to Tim MacMahon. A lineup that has the potential to be explosive offensively but limited in its effectiveness.

While Agbaji showed promise as a rookie, he didn’t show enough to warrant a starting position over someone like Sexton or George. Moreover, Clarkson showed he has limitations as the primary ball-handler in the World Cup.

When you’re the centerpiece of a team that lacks real NBA talent, you have to do what you have to do to win. The Philippines developed a system that basically saw Clarkson do his best Steve Nash impression, but it didn’t work that well.

In the NBA, Clarkson won’t be asked to carry a team, and nor should he. He’s a complimentary player and one who should really only focus on scoring. Yet putting him as the starting point guard will see the passing drop off significantly for the starting unit. The team needs someone who can generate offense for people other than himself and Clarkson just isn’t that guy.

He’s a starting caliber guard, and both MacMahon and Lowe agree, but you need a lineup around him that brings out his best, and that’s why Agbaji doesn’t work. He’s a shooter, who can play some solid defense but he doesn’t fit next to Clarkson and the other starting three. Someone has to set up the offense and it won’t be Kessler or Collins. If Agabji is the guy you want to start, you have to sit Clarkson.

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