Did Utah Jazz fans enjoy the NBA Summer League more than the Rio 2016 Olympics? Was it in relation to which players stepped up, or was it merely the fact that these guys were having big in-game moments? Let’s not forget that from now on until the season we’ll be charting which players are ranked where — today we start off with NBA 2K17! Checking up with a few Utah Jazz alumni like Roger Powell Jr., Dr. John Amaechi, and Andrei Kirilenko. And, of course, getting to business with our most talented player: Derrick Favors.
You know who is still the best player on this team, even if he’s not on every press package, doesn’t have a ton of local TV ads, or doesn’t have the team publicly recognize his family and baby daughters? It’s Derrick Favors.
But you know which groups of people know he’s awesome? More and more people every day. Check it:
It's been 4 seasons since the Jazz made the Playoffs. Derrick Favors is ready to change that. https://t.co/axQSytxhmc— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) August 24, 2016
I don’t even need to put any excepts here — if you haven’t seen it yet you’re going to read it right now.
Poll: Who is more important to this team — Favors or Hayward?
It may not be as clear-cut.
So, what changed your opinion on players more this summer: Summer League performance or International play? Honestly, I think we look at Summer League more closely, especially because a number of our international players didn’t really take over. And their nations didn’t bring home any hardware either.
GOLD (USA) - None
SILVER (SERBIA) -- None
BRONZE (SPAIN) — None
4th Place (AUSTRALIA) — Joe Ingles 7.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.0 spg
Elite 8 (FRANCE) — Boris Diaw 8.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.7 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.8 bpg; Rudy Gobert 5.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.2 apg, 0.5 spg, 1.8 bpg
GROUP STAGE (BRAZIL) — Raul Neto 4.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 2.6 apg, 0.6 spg
Our guys looked like complimentary players, though it must be stated that the bench is going to be mighty crafty this year when Ingles and Diaw are on the court at the same time. On the other hand, we all got a chance to get exicted by Trey Lyles, Tibor Pleiss, and Joel Bolomboy in SLC and Vegas.
For one, I think that the level of competition at the Rio 2016 Olympics was higher than that of Summer League. Second, there’s really no comparison between the two contest types. If anything, the guys who made their National teams instead of having to slog through the summer looking for more roster spot security are probably the guys who are most likely to help our team win this year.
All that said, I think we still enjoyed summer league a little bit more -- maybe cause they were wearing “Jazz” on their jerseys and little else. Counterpoint: there will always be this Brock Motum jam though:
Now I know that 100% of my readers here aren’t even Utah Jazz fans. I also know that out of my Utah Jazz fans, 100% of them are not also fans of video games. I don’t know what the Venn Diagram cross over is, but I know that there is some cross over that also is a fan of the NBA 2K series of games. Well, the new one is going to drop next month and it’s another reason to get upset.
(Like we need a reason to get upset)
We can get upset over the perceived slights given to our players for their sometimes arbitrary seeming overall ratings. (Which do not always point out how good a player is, because it’s really the individual stats that matter.) There have been 12 guys who have had their overall ratings released so far. And 13 more had their overall rating leaked by a player on that team who has an advanced copy of the game. I’ve ranked them by position here.
|2||Goran Dragic *||1||2||MIA||81||80||78|
|1||Tyler Johnson *||2||1||MIA||71||75||75|
|2||Josh Richardson *||2||3||MIA||66||75||75|
|3||Dion Waiters *||2||3||MIA||73||73||73|
|5||Wayne Ellington *||2||MIA||70||71||72|
|1||Justise Winslow *||3||MIA||74||76||77|
|3||Sean Kilpatrick Jr.||3||2||BKN||62||74||72|
|4||Luke Babbitt *||3||4||MIA||70||71||72|
|5||James Johnson *||3||4||MIA||75||73||72|
|1||Chris Bosh *||4||5||MIA||84||85||86|
|5||Derrick Williams *||4||3||MIA||72||74||73|
|6||Josh McRoberts *||4||MIA||71||71||72|
|7||Willie Reed *||4||MIA||--||70||70|
|3||Hassan Whiteside *||5||MIA||81||86||86|
Big climbers? Perhaps Dewayne Dedmon who is now with the San Antonio Spurs? But beyond him, no one really seems to have gotten a huge bump between the original NBA 2K16 release date, their in-season dynamic rating, and the new game. It is important to recognize that the Los Angeles Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell is nearly a Gold level player (80 and above overall rating). Also, how is he already better than Goran Dragic of the Miami Heat? I don’t believe it.
Doing the math, on average, the players listed have received a +2.032381 bump in overall rating from the 2016 release and the 2017 release. Some older guys went down, but a lot of younger guys went up. You see where I’m going with this, right?
The Utah Jazz are one of the youngest teams in the league (a little less thanks to the additions of ultra-vets Joe Johnson, Boris Diaw, and George Hill), and none of their ratings have been released or leaked yet. Here’s the comparison table from the 2K16 overall ratings:
Off the bat, I don’t know what to expect from late 2nd round NBA Draft picks Joel Bolomboy and Marcus Paige. But my possition by possition breakdown is as follows:
Point Guard — Man, I hope D’Angelo Russell isn’t better than all of our point guards, but it looks like that will be the case. I’d love to see some boosts to Dante Exum and Raul Neto, but those will most likely happen during the season, and not the relase of the game. I can imagine Hill will start his decline now, especially now that he’s a member of the Utah Jazz.
Shooting Guard — Rodney Hood could be a Gold tier player, but I think it’s more likely that the 3rd year guard will be regarded slightly lower than that of the 2nd year Russell of LA. Where Alec Burks lands will be a reflection of Hood, they’ll juke the overall ratings to make it seem reasonable to put Hood ahead of him on the depth chart. (The computer brain that deals with the internal logic would be less happy than we are to just assume Hood starts — though their games, when both are healthy, are very, very close.)
Small Forward — I’m more worried about Joe Johnson here than Gordon Hayward. But that’s just me. Johnson went from being a 79 to a 76 after the season started and he was traded to the Heat. I wonder if being in a Jazz jersey further diminishes his accepted upon greatness?
Power Forward — Derrick Favors is a spot below Chris Bosh here. I think that’s fair. Boris Diaw is in-between Jared Sullinger and Jonas Jerebko? Is this accurate? Impact-wise? Probably not. What NBA 2K does with Trey Lyles, especially after his very successful summer, will be telling. He’s gotta be better than Willie Reed, right? Better than Derrick Williams? Maybe.
Center — “That” tier of young centers is being established right now by Karl-Anthony Towns, Andre Drummond, and “young” Hassan Whiteside. They are all above 85 Overall Rating. I doubt they put Rudy up there, especially after a lukewarm Olympics.
Many of the teams in the game will have a star player, one that can be relied upon to lead the team to victory. Right now the jury is out on if the video game Jazz will have that — which is where I guess we are with art imitating life. Do the Jazz have one right now? Gordon Hayward seems to be the closest to that; however, as far as he is regarded, he’s not there yet. Favors and Gobert appear that way as well.
Let’s quickly catch up with some of our former Jazzmen:
Roger Powell Jr. is an associate coach with Vanderbilt’s bball team. And well, yeah:
Stop by training table to see how our athletes were eating! Wow!!! Vandy life. pic.twitter.com/Sr0woU00kl— Roger Powell Jr (@RogerPowellJr) August 24, 2016
I don’t remember being offered lobster after doing a particularly difficult Orgo lab. But whatever.
Dr. John Amaechi continues to be better at speaking English than you or I:
Def worth the click-though to hear about his journey as a ‘fat 17 year old nerd’ to an NBA player. Self-depreciating jokes aside, it’s really worth the listen.
And last, but not least, Andrei Kirilenko has been elected for another four-year term as the head of Basketball in Russia.
He ran unopposed, as you can imagine. Let’s celebrate this moment by looking at AK-47 going mano-a-mano against Dwyane Wade back in 2003-2004 where they both score 31 points.
Andrei took this team to 2 more wins than Gordon was capable of this past season. #NeverForget