Taylor Hendricks will be a featured player this summer and he has a lot to prove

The Utah Jazz need Taylor Hendricks to how up this summer.
Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors
Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Taylor Hendricks did not have the most impressive rookie season in Utah Jazz history. He didn't even have the most impressive rookie season among the Utah Jazz's current crop of rookies, or former rookies we should say. While his shooting stats would lead you to believe he had a good year, he was far from the type of player many had hoped for.

Keep in mind, many were calling for him to start over John Collins, and while that may have been a slight improvement over Collins defensively, Collins is still the better player. That's not to say that Hendricks had a bad rookie season. It's merely as a Top 10 pick, fans and experts have a higher threshold for you. Hendricks is just that, a lottery pick with lottery expectations.

He shot 45% from the floor, just shy of 38% from three, while scoring 7.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per night as a rookie, all on just 21 minutes per game. Still, he wasn't exactly assertive on offense, laying back and barely taking six shots per game. Defensively, he was better but he wasn't so impactful that you'd give him minutes on a playoff roster should you be able to help it.

That said, he was just a rookie and a rookie with the potential to be great. He'll have to showcase that his tentativeness was a rookie issue as he prepares for the Summer League. For Hendricks, he's arguably going to be the player under the microscope the most this summer. He's got a lot to prove and even more to live up to, especially considering the fact that Danny Ainge is going to try to land some major names this offseason.

If Ainge can land some players via trades, then Hendricks may be part of those trades or will be asked to play more minutes than previously expected with a now-depleted roster following the hypothetical trades. If Hendricks is retained following these hopeful trades, a lot more will be expected of him and his play, making his Summer League outing all the more necessary.