So we know the upcoming Jazz season will revolve around our Big Three (who also happen to be the three biggest starters): Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert. By multiple measures, these three Jazzmen are top-50 players in the NBA. But none of them has been an NBA All-Star yet.
That's not necessarily a surprise. They're all young, and they haven't taken full-time starting roles until the past few years (or half of last year, in Rudy's case). And they play in the stacked Western Conference, where competition is fierce and people will always vote for Kobe.
But Derrick Favors, at least, is making All-Star status a personal mission this season. From the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy:
Favors has operated in anonymity in Utah, which is how the soft-spoken and unassuming 24-year-old prefers it. But he also acknowledged that the time for slow progress is over this season, regarding both himself and his rising team. Favors said he's gunning to be the first All-Star from the Jazz since - you guessed it - Deron Williams.
"It's a personal goal for me to be an All-Star. And I think right now, I've been put in a position to hopefully make it with a good team, a good coach, an organization and a front office that's pushing for it," Favors said. "So I think I have a good chance to make it. But it all depends on me - how I play this year, how bad do I want it."
Even if Favors improves on last year's 16 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game -- which I think he will -- there might not be any room for him among Western Conference All-Star forwards, especially with a healthy Kevin Durant back in the picture. It might be easier for Rudy to beat out his fellow centers, or for Hayward to sneak in at a guard position. But the most likely outcome is that the Jazz will have no All-Stars for another season.
What do you think? Which Jazzman will be an All-Star first? Or should we even worry about the award at all?
Favors may be a clear top 50 NBA player, but check out who NBA 2K16 has ranked above him:
Video games aren't real life -- my mother always said I would realize that one day -- so we shouldn't be surprised that despite the support of multiple advanced statistics, Favors' value hasn't translated over to his digital doppelgänger. (Turns out Real Plus-Minus and Wins Above Replacement aren't high on most gamers' priority lists.)
Still, it's always frustrating to grab the latest game and find yourself hamstrung when playing as the Jazz. I guess that means we'll all just have to be better players.
Just one FanPost for you this week: Jazzyman is back! The former SLC Dunk community stalwart has returned and needs catching up:
Well, it's been a while guys. The past two years have been great, but I have missed a lot of Jazz basketball. Would anyone be so kind as to fill me in? I just have a few questions:
1) What has been the overarching themes of the past two seasons?
2) What has been going on with the players on the Jazz?
3) Have there been any major trades, if so, who for what?
4) What happened in the past two drafts?
5) How is the new coach?
6) How are Hayward, Favors, Burks, and Burke doing? (And why did we re-sign them for so much?)
7) Any other information you think I should know? :)
The comments thread there has turned into a free-for-all recap of the events of the last two seasons, so head over and weigh in. Welcome back, brother!
Rudy Gobert's French national team couldn't finish off Spain, but they did take out Serbia in the third-place match of Eurobasket 2015 to claim the bronze medal. Gobert posted a line of 15 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks, along with this tasty hors d'oeuvre:
ESPN's Kevin Pelton says Gobert is one reason why, after Spain, the French will be the biggest threat to the United States in next year's Olympics:
If [Tony] Parker is right, France is perhaps the only country in the world with a legitimate chance of matching up with the U.S. in terms of size and strength. The 7-foot-2 Gobert even gives France a size advantage in the middle. That certainly wouldn't make France a favorite, but it would give them a chance to pull the huge upset.
Hey, if the United States were forced to lose to anyone -- not that they will -- I'd be okay with a French Revolution.
DO YOU HEAR THE RUDY SING SWATTING THE SHOTS OF ANGRY MEN IT IS THE MUSIC OF A PLAYER WHO WILL NOT BE BENCHED AGAIN— Layton Shumway (@theshums) March 13, 2015
(Yes, I just embedded a tweet from myself. I'm a twitter narcissist. Sue me.)
Speaking of Rudy, he was on a podcast with Tony Parker yesterday and apparently made no secret of his plans to stay in Utah:
@Ben_Dowsett Rudy just said on French radio that he wants to resign with the Jazz.— Max Jacoby (@MaxJacoby) September 21, 2015
Send your thanks to @MaxJacoby on Twitter for spotting this one. Jacoby gave Salt City Hoops a full translation of Gobert's appearance on the podcast, so head over there for more. And then praise your deity/spaghetti monster of choice that Young Rud is here to stay.