As we begin the begrudged look toward the offseason there are questions surrounding much of the Jazz's roster. One of those players is Trevor Booker. After a rough start to the season, things improved for the cereal connoisseur, but as the season progressed, we also saw the steady improvement of Trey Lyles. So how does this affect Booker's future with the Jazz? Aaron Falk asks this question in his latest for the Salt Lake Tribune:
In two seasons with the Jazz, Booker's toughness and energy off the bench made him a favorite among his coaches. His leadership made him a favorite in the locker room — and it may have also helped groom his replacement.
Say what you will about Booker's shortcomings, he has remained a beacon of professionalism:
"He's going to be a special player, especially offensively," Booker said. "I don't know if I've ever seen a rookie just have the confidence he has and can score the ball as easily. I can easily see him being an All-Star one day."
Jazz fans hope to be so lucky, but there are questions to be answered in the coming weeks.
A little while ago, Ben Golliver of SI.com posted his end of season grades for every team.
The verdict? A mediocre C
The grade was (oddly) given before the Jazz choked against the Clippers reserves, so let's look at the pertinent points:
There are extenuating circumstances: Utah lost Rudy Gobert for a long stretch of the season, Dante Exum was sidelined the whole way with a knee injury, and management settled for adding Shelvin Mack as a placeholder at the deadline rather than swinging a bigger deal for a starting-caliber point guard after months of weak play at the position. There are bright sides too: Rodney Hood has been a revelation, Gordon Hayward continues to mature, and coach Quin Snyder has constructed a clear (slow) style of play that suits his personnel.
Of course we know how things played out, but (the manner of how they missed the playoffs not withstanding) the grade is probably accurate. The injury riddled season should have had us all tempering our expectations, but what's fandom without hope?
Barring anything crazy happening, the Jazz will pick #12 in the draft. Hands up, who's sick of the draft lottery?
Here is some mock draft info:
ESPN Mock Lottery (because Ford's list is behind a paywall and I'm not paying for that ish)- Furkan Korkmaz #TurkishConnection
Draft Express- Timothe Luwawu #FrenchConnection
NBADraft.net- Malik Beasley, SG, FSU
CBS Sports- Timothe Luwawu
That's enough of that
The other direction is for the Jazz to shoot for the moon in free agency. My_Lo already knows that Kevin Durant, in a surprise move, will be signing for the Jazz (who knew he has always wanted to get into snowshoeing?).
However, should the unexpected happen, and KD choose to go elsewhere, where do the Jazz need help?
PG seems to be the most glaring issue, but do the Jazz make a splash at that position with Exum still being such an unknown?
Shooters are always at a premium, but with so many teams having so much cap space guys with limited use, besides shooting, are still going to get all the scratch.
For those of you that are fans, basketball documentary season is upon us. ESPN already premiered the excellent This Magic Moment, about the Shaq/Penny Orlando Magic of the early 90's. Next up for ESPN is Believeland. While it's not specifically about basketball, this will cover the Cavs meaning to the city of Cleveland. Premieres 5/14.
Usually there is one produced by the NBA, that airs on NBA TV, but I was unable to find a release for one this year.
The real question is, when will someone make one about the 96/97 Jazz Finals teams? The Greatest Team to Never Win it All