May 5, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) controls the ball during the second half of game three in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at EnergySolutions Arena. The Spurs defeated the Jazz 102-90. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
The Utah Jazz started off as the New Orleans Jazz. Their first season was in 1974-1975. Since then they've spent decades getting better and better. Part of why the Jazz have been good has been because of their success in drafting quality talent. Name some of the best and most popular players in Jazz history -- John Stockton, Karl Malone, Darrell Griffith, Thurl Bailey, Mark Eaton -- they were all drafted by the Jazz. Those five guys are locks to be on the All-Time Jazz roster. Other guys who the Jazz drafted, but are not playing with the team anymore, have been pretty great here too: Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko. Yes, this franchise has their share of duds too -- but a vast majority of the best/most popular players have been Jazz drafted. This is true for our current team too, one that boasts the talents of Paul Millsap, Jeremy Evans, and one dude from Butler. There's another similarity that ties all these guys together (save Evans -- whom I had to list as a current popular player; and Eaton who doesn't meet the criterion of this post).
What is it? Well, since 1974-1975 and last season there were 45 total times a Jazz player played over 2000 minutes in a season, while being 25 or younger. (Edited because I don't understand English) This season Gordon Hayward made the list. He was the player who did it a 46th time in franchise history. Bravo Gordon! The full list after the jump!
|At least 2000 minutes, while being 25 or younger|
I know you'll ask so:
No, Derrick Favors was no where close this past year. He was almost 700 minutes off. If he's not on the this list next season then we didn't bite the bullet and nut up as a franchise. (More on this later this off-season)
Special shout out to:
Spencer Campbell, over at TheUtahJazzBlog.com -- and the rest of the dudes who were in that one G+ Hangout months ago. I think he was the first guy to notice that Hayward was on pace to do something crazy in terms of playing minutes in a season -- and I did the quick calculation that it would be well over 2000 mins. I fully give Spencer the assist on this post for that. Great stuff from him, which should come as no surprise as you all visit his site daily, right?