3 Utah Jazz players with the most to prove over the last part of the season

The Utah Jazz have a lot of guys who have something to prove.

Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz
Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz have gone into tank mode this season, with the unspoken belief being that the team is trying to land their own pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. This would set the Jazz up to have two picks in the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft, with a high second-round pick already coming their way.

The 2024 NBA Draft class isn't as deep as years past but that hasn't stopped Danny Ainge and company from prioritizing the draft above all else this season. This means that this season is less about winning and more about developing players. Not just the rookie trio on the roster, either. Walker Kessler certainly has a lot to work on offensively, while Collin Sexton needs to become a complete guard, one who's better at passing. Then there's Lauri Markkanne, who's the best player on the team by far, but still needs to learn to be a more elite player.

Everyone has something they could be working on this season, and these three players have the most to prove heading into the offseason.

Lauri Markkanen - Can he become playoff-leading caliber player?

Lauri Markkanen is easily the best player on the team right now, and he's arguably a top 20-25 player in the league based on his talents and consistency. The question that needs to be asked is if he can be the type of guy who can drag a team to the playoffs. Right now, that doesn't seem to be the case, but we also haven't seen much of Markkanen in Utah. It's very possible that Will Hardy and company can unlock his next stage.

Taylor Hendricks - Are the concerns about him being a bust already fair?

We don't want to say that Taylor Hendricks has been objectively bad, but he hasn't been as good as Keyonte George and we think George is just breaking even, at best. Hendricks has looked bad, especially on offense. The highly touted prospect hasn't looked like an NBA-caliber forward in his minimal minutes so far this season and with him getting a much bigger role going forward, it's going to be interesting to see if he can raise his game to close out the season.

Walker Kessler - Is his ceiling really just Rudy Gobert 2.0?

We like Walker Kessler and we don't think Will Hardy has done a great job utilizing the young center, but we'd be remiss to point out that Kessler isn't a great shooter. He's got to work on stretching the court more so that he can warrant more minutes going forward.