This article was a beauty that had a lot of great gems. Please go read the rest of it as it's sure to instill confidence in Quin Snyder and the Utah Jazz for the future. The Utah Jazz have an advantage right now that not many teams have: continuity. They doubled down on that prospect last year to some disappointing results, but with cap space and some maneuvering at the NBA Draft they could add some real impact players that will be easier to integrate with the team because of Jazz's established roles and consistent voice.
There is no discord in Utah. Nor should there be. The Jazz have one of the best defenses in the league with a 101.6 defensive rating — eighth best in the league. That is always a good base to build from. Of the top 13 teams in defensive rating, the Jazz were the only team to miss the Playoffs. And a big reason for that was Rudy Gobert missing time at the end of the season with an injury. Gobert was quite the late-draft find and changes the game defensively.
Utah’s offense is not particularly bad either with Derrick Favors emerging and coming into his own as a power forward and Gordon Hayward flirting with All-Star status. They run a lot of motion and play quickly in the half court, despite their relatively slow overall possession-based pace.
What makes Snyder really valuable is his embrace of statistics, but also his feel for the game. He looked at the numbers when he decided to bench Trey Burke and start Dante Exum late last year. Adding Exum to the lineup created the defensive mentality that has consumed the Jazz and made them such a dangerous and interesting team. It was a counterintuitive move that paid massive dividends. The team will get Exum back from a torn ACL that forced him to miss all of last season.
Thank the basketball gods above, Rudy Gobert won't feel like he's letting anyone down by not playing for France. Rudy needs the chance to recharge the batteries and get fully healthy. Rudy Gobert was amazing this season, but fatigued and injured. That's a testament to how absolutely phenomenal of an athlete he is. With the chance of Rudy getting healthier this will only help the Utah Jazz's playoff chances next year.
Evan Fournier, Rudy Gobert and Ian Mahinmi won’t play for France in Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila. The news was announced by their agent Bouna Ndiaye on France TV Sport. The three players will be free agent from July 1. Rudy Gobert already announced that he will not play in Manila for France.
ESPN.com recently ran through a mock scenario of what would happen if Karma existed and God rewarded good works when they imagined a universe where the Jazz got the #2 pick in the NBA Lottery.
If that were to happen I don't know what I would do if I were Dennis Lindsey. He'd have his pick of the litter with trade offers of teams trying to move up to have Ingram. He'd have a lot of leverage to move the pick for an impact player and possibly a star. He'd be able to possibly reposition the Utah Jazz to be aligned with a young core of Exum, Hood, Ingram, Lyles, and Gobert while selling Hayward and Favors on the long-term future that it could bring (not to mention more $$$ in their pockets with those players on rookie scales.)
We will have to wait and see next week as the NBA Draft Lottery occurs next week on Tuesday, May 17 at 8:00PM EST on ESPN.
Yahoo Sports has put together offseason pieces for every team and while a lot of the Utah Jazz's offseason news has been devoted to Rudy Gobert's health, very little of it has been devoted to his upcoming extension. Yahoo Sports says that the Utah Jazz will wait until the next season to extend him. I disagree. While cap space will be eliminated in 2016-2017, they are assuming the Utah Jazz's strategy for that offseason, cap space flexibility and savings, will hold the same importance for Utah as it has in the 5 season prior. That couldn't be more incorrect.
The Utah Jazz will be repositioning themselves into a contender starting with this offseason. That much can be gleaned from the Utah Jazz's locker room cleanout as Dennis Lindsey showed that their trade talks have become more aggressive. That should only continue. With the Utah Jazz's showing a desire to lock people up now to sell themselves to free agents as "This is what we will be for the length of your contract", it would seem logical that the Utah Jazz would want to minimize any risk of their team looking like they didn't want to invest in their players and defensive anchor.
We should expect the Utah Jazz to try to lock up Rudy Gobert before the beginning of next season. If the Utah Jazz are unable to lock Rudy Gobert in an extension it will not be the Utah Jazz who stalled the talks. The Utah Jazz would be incentivized to get the deal done this year as the Salary Cap is just going to rise again the following season. No, the Utah Jazz would have the talks put off by Rudy Gobert's camp that might see the rising cap in the 2017 NBA offseason and see an even bigger payday.
Rudy Gobert is eligible for a contract extension. (AP) The Jazz have an interesting decision to make this summer on Gobert, who is eligible for a contract extension but is under contract through 2016-17. Utah can do what New Orleans did with Anthony Davis and sign Gobert to a big extension, thus eliminating cap space in 2017-18. The most likely scenario, however, would have the Jazz mimicking how the Wizards and Pistons handled the impending free agency of Bradley Beal and Andre Drummond, respectively. Both teams bypassed the extension, leaving the players’ cap holds on the books to create more cap flexibility. Gobert is going to get his payday, but the likely scenario is the Jazz leaving his $5.3 million cap hold on the books in 2017.
Awesome moment for Thurl Bailey and the North Carolina State championship squad.