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Utah Jazz roster may have a star, but it might not be Gordon Hayward -- Jazz Jam Session

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz start the 2015-2016 season tonight. But before the games start (and they start soon!) we need to jam a little more together about this team. In this Jam session we talk about the Jazz roster, the lack of moves, which players have the most to prove this season, and of course, which one of our guys is going to be a star. Right now Gordon Hayward is the face of the franchise. Derrick Favors is the strong, silent type who has committed himself to the team, and was the first person Quin Snyder called when hired. And, of course, there’s the whole love affair going on with Rudy Gobert. Today we have three people Jamming, Diana, Yucca, and JuMu. Check it out, and be sure to join in the jam in the comments section!


1. Is there one player on this team that stands out, and can be a star?

Diana: Rudy Gobert. He will be the star. He has a very specific skill set. Who doesn't love Rudy?

YuccaMan: Rudy Gobert is the coming star. He's got the personality, the flair, and he has elite skillset. Plus he's come along in the right time, when enough fans and media appreciate defensive stars.

JuMu: Rudy Gobert's rise has led him to take this spot from previous obvious choice Gordon Hayward. Gobert, Hayward, and Derrick Favors are our key pieces right now, hopefully one or more of them break into stardom once this team actually experiences some success.


2. Who is the most exciting player on the court?

Diana: I am going to go with Gobert again. Nothing on the court gets me as excited as his slams or his blocks followed by his salutes!

YuccaMan: It's a toss-up for me between Hayward and Gobert. Hayward does so much, especially on the offensive end. But Gobert has flair. He doesn't just dunk the ball, he destroys the universe.

JuMu: Watching anybody enter the paint while Gobert is present is still my personal favorite. I also never get tired of seeing Alec Burks finishing his acrobatic drives.


3. Who has the most to prove?

Diana: Trey Burke or Alec Burks. They both need to prove that they belong and can fit on this Quin Snyder coached team.

YuccaMan: This is hard, because there's so much that "most to prove" can mean. Could mean Trey Burke ... who has people who doubt his game. Could mean Alec Burks, who has to prove he's worth the big contract. Could mean Tibor Pleiss or Raul Neto who have to prove they have what it takes to be an NBA player.

But I'm going with Derrick Favors. I think you have to be a pretty hardcore NBA fan to appreciate how good Favors has become ... otherwise he just looks "solid." I picked Favors because I believe he's got the ability to turn heads and prove that he is an All-Star caliber player to more than just Jazz fans and hardcores. He has the talent, the work, and the opportunity to prove himself a legit force.

JuMu: At this point, I'd say Trey Burke. If he doesn't elevate his efficiency or decision-making this year, he really will relegate himself to the bench on whatever team he plays for in the future. The rest of our roster is focused on proving themselves to the rest of the league that this team belongs in the conversation of teams on the rise. Burke's just trying to find his role on this roster as a lottery pick point guard who can pass well but doesn't always and likewise can be great in clutch situations but has trouble fitting into this system that Quin is trying to implement. I'm rooting for Burke, but he's got a lot to prove this year.


4. Who is going to improve the most?

Diana: I hope it is either Raul Neto or Rodney Hood. Not really a fair answer but I really want Neto to be a good player in the NBA. I want him to fit with our starting unit. I want to see him make the other players shine!

I also would love to see Rodney Hood become that coveted "3 and D" player that every team wants.

YuccaMan: Rodney Hood. This is kinda by default because he happens to be further behind right now than I originally had expected. Everyone will make gains, but Hood's current play compared to end of the year will be most improved.

JuMu: Gobert is in the running for Most Improved Player, not because he's going to improve the most since the end of last season, but because his season long stats are going to look better than last (assuming his season average in minutes bumps up at least 5 minutes). The player who I think is actually going to improve the most from last year will be whoever plays better out of our shooting guards. Hood started to catch fire last year, but is still highly inconsistent. Burks is fun to watch. However, his stats and defensive results have left much to be desired at times as he has often been sneaky-ineffective at times; looking mesmerizing but without adding as much value as he should.


5. Have you been surprised by any of the moves (draft, free agency, trades, cuts) Dennis Lindsey has made?

Diana: This season no. It seems like he is content to see what we have, which all fits into the plan that Mylo is always telling us about :)

YuccaMan: I was pleasantly surprised by the few big moves. I've long thought that the time for big moves is later (possibly next summer, possibly the summer after) because of the Jazz youth and strong player development. Why spend $15 on a SG when you (a) might have 1 or 2 of the right SG's on the roster already if they progress as hoped and (b) don't need the perfect SG right now for the team to make progress over last year? DL has a vision, and he's sticking to it.

JuMu: I'd say I'm still feeling slightly melancholy regarding our offseason. Mostly due to Exum having to take this year off, and without us making splashy moves to help push us into the definite conversation with the big dogs in the west. But that's just the immature fan in me, I want success and I want it now! But I'm banking that the Jazz thoroughly weighed their options this summer and decide to just keep playing the moneyball game rather than sell the farm for some asset with diminishing returns in comparison to another cheap lottery pick for this team and a couple international roster additions. The Jazz are going to go out with the roster they have, and then make any necessary adjustments when they see fit, whether it be mid-season, next offseason, or later.



Thank you Diana, Yucca, and JuMu. Follow them on twitter!