Keeping Kris Dunn needs to be a priority if the Utah Jazz want to win soon

Kris Dunn seems to be a core piece for the Utah Jazz and needs to be retained.
Los Angeles Lakers v Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Lakers v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz are now in the middle of a lost season. A season once filled with such promise is now out the window as the team is turning to potential. The potential of rookies who the Jazz hope can help them succeed as a franchise going forward. Three rookies who are at wildly different stages of their careers early on. So far, only Keyonte George looks to have any real positive effect on the team, which is bad news for Kris Dunn.

Dunn has had an up-and-down season, starting the season barely getting any minutes, only to then replace Jordan Clarkson in the starting five. His arrival in the starting five saw the Jazz not only rebound but get over .500 on the season. His pairing with Collin Sexton was seen as a brilliant move, as Sexton also entered the starting rotation, replacing Talen Horton-Tucker. The pair became a deadly duo, supplying steady point scoring at a position where consistency didn't exist, and imporving a peremiter defense that was all but nonexistent.

The duo did so well, that head coach Will Hardy started calling them the Legion of Doom, a nickname once held by former professional wrestlers Road Warrior Animal and Road Warrior Hawk, stars of the NWA, WCW, WWE, and even overseas in Japan. The duo reminded Hardy of the famous pro wrestling tag team that he even gifted the pair action figures of the tag team that are now in their respective lockers.

But things change, and Dunn is once again coming off the bench, being replaced by George. A move that's not going well as far as wins goes, and maybe should be reversed if the goal is still to win. It may not be, however, and so George starts. And even if George, during his rookie season, turns into a winning player for the Jazz, that doesn't mean that Dunn should be out the door.

George's growth and success should not impact if the Jazz elect to retain Dunn this season. If George develops into a consistent two-way player, Dunn won't lose his value to the roster. Dunn still gives the Jazz needed passing and defense, while being good enough on offense that you can't leave him open.

It's true that he's a bit older than most on the team, but his impact on the team is important, especially if the front office is telling the truth about wanting to compete sooner rather than later. If that's the truth and past actions have shown us that we have no reason to believe it, then Dunn would be greatly needed next season.

Yes, he's 30, and yes he's on an expiring contract and would likely demand more than he's making now (just shy of $2.6 million), but if the goal is to tank this year, get two first-round picks the process (they hold the rights to their first-round pick if it's in the Top 10), train up the 2023 class of rookies and go full boar into next season looking to win, then Dunn is going to be needed.

Retaining Dunn doesn't have to hinder George's growth, nor does giving George minutes have to hurt Dunn's impact on the team. The team can do both at the same time and if they want to keep guys like Lauri Markkanen and Sexton around long-term, then they need to start winning next season, and Dunn can help them do that.

The primary focus for the Utah Jazz in 2024 is to develop its rookies. dark. Next. The primary focus for the Utah Jazz in 2024 is to develop its rookies