We know Lauri Markkanen is the top guy for the Utah Jazz, but who is the No. 2 guy?

The second best player on the Utah Jazz may surprise you.
Utah Jazz v Toronto Raptors
Utah Jazz v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz have their franchise player in Lauri Markkanen. A top-20 guy in the NBA, if not a Top-30 at worst depending on who you ask. He's become an All-Star and an all-around reliable player for the Jazz, one whom the team would be foolish to let go of. The Finnish superstar has made the Jazz relevant and since returning to the lineup, has led them to a 4-2 record over their last six.

He's also dropped back-to-back 30-point games as well. Clearly, Markkanen is the ace on the Jazz's rotation, but who is his number two? We thought at the start of the year that it'd be either Jordan Clarkson or Walker Kessler. Clarkson is having the worst year of his career, however and Kessler isn't getting consistent minutes on the team for some reason.

Bleacher Report writer Andy Bailey came up with a new method of measuring talent via advanced analytics by combining the advanced metrics associated with box plus-minus, estimated plus-minus, Basketball Index's LEBRON stat, and the Game Score formula. In doing so, he was able to come up with the top 378 players in the NBA this season, with a minimum of 100 minutes.

The Jazz had one Top 100 player, Markkanen (at #30), and then the next four were Collin Sexton (#116), Kelly Olynyk (#122), Walker Kessler (#131), and Talen Horton-Tucker (#155). The full list is below;

  • 30. Lauri Markkanen
  • 116. Collin Sexton
  • 122. Kelly Olynyk
  • 131. Walker Kessler
  • 155. Talen Horton-Tucker
  • 212. Jordan Clarkson
  • 244. John Collins
  • 271. Simone Fontecchio
  • 280. Kris Dunn
  • 296. Ochai Agbaji
  • 315. Taylor Hendricks
  • 318. Keyonte George
  • 319. Omer Yurtseven

SLC Dunk saw this same list and came to the conclusion that, despite his poor play, it's Clarkson who is the team's second-best player, citing his ability to create his own shot. An A-typical answer for the modern NBA, but creating your own shot isn't impressive if you are actively a detriment to the team when you miss nearly 60% of your shots or more.

Not being able to play defense is a huge knock on Clarkson as well, as he may score 20+ points a game, but he may give up 30+. Making him a net-negative player. The second-best player isn't going to be a shot-creator or a guard, nor is it going to be a defensive-minded option.

No, the real second-best option is clearly Olynyk. He's versatile, gritty and skilled. He can pass, shoot, play defense, and rebound. While he's not going to take over a game on his own, he's got all the skills to make a team infinitely better if used properly. The only reason Olynyk isn't having a bigger season is because Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy is inconsistent with his approach to each game, limiting minutes to the better players.

Next. The Utah Jazz should hold off on trading Kelly Olynyk for right now.. The Utah Jazz should hold off on trading Kelly Olynyk for right now.. dark