An important player left the Utah Jazz is free agency this off-season. Another important player decided to stay. Even though Joe Ingles was a restricted free agent, he passed on accepting potential offers from other teams and stuck in Utah, signing a four-year, $52 Million contract. Ingles was one of the most important role players on the Utah Jazz last season, and can back up his new contract money with advanced stats and net impact on the team last year.
.@Joeingles7 appreciative of his rise in the NBA and new contract with the @utahjazz https://t.co/FXMfbIdOm6— Priority Sports (@PrioritySports) July 17, 2017
In this piece published in the Daily Telegraph, Ingles opens up and discusses his new contract with the Jazz and what it means for him and his family. Ingles assures that despite a huge raise, he will stay the same dude.
“I remember reading it (the contract) somewhere and I never thought I would be in a situation like this.
“I mean, I’m not going to change. I am who I am. I’m about to turn 30 now and I’ve been like that my whole life.
“People looking from the outside might think that things will change because I’ll have access to a lot more money, but it won’t happen.”
Ingles also stated that he plans on helping underprivileged children in Utah, as well as across the world in Australia. Aside from his extremely efficient game in the NBA, Ingles deserves respect for the person that he is off the court. As if we needed any more reason to love Joe Ingles, he gives us yet another.
“We are going to do a lot of stuff with underprivileged children and families,” he says.
“I mean, we don’t need that much money. Nobody in the world needs that much money.
“So we’ll spend a lot of time helping out kids and families that need the help.
“We’ll start in Utah because we are going to be there in a few months, but then we’ll do some things in Australia.
“But the most pleasure I get out of all of it is that my kids (twins Jacob and Milla) will be OK. The financial side and the stability of the four years is something that I’ve always wanted and I’ve been lucky enough to get it now.”
A video surfaced of Jazz franchise man Rudy Gobert working on mid-range j’s. The world may not be able to contain a Rudy Gobert that can make a jumpshot, so all 29 other NBA teams are most likely praying that he doesn’t develop one.
Workout session w/ @rudygobert27 & @RaulTogni. Coucou @utahjazz #HoopsFactory pic.twitter.com/O5IfoWcgba— Hoops_Factory (@Hoops_Factory) July 19, 2017
With Gordon Hayward bouncing to Boston, the Jazz need Rudy to get to the next level offensively. Gobert has over gone some serious reconstruction to his shooting form since he entered the league, and from this video you can see that his form is actually getting pretty slick. As we all know, anyone can sit in an empty gym and make jumpshots, so only time will tell if Rudy can start to develop a dangerous set of offensive skills.
The two Jazz players that seem to have the the strongest ties off the court are Rudy Gobert and Raul Neto. Especially this summer, Neto and Gobert have traveled together to each other’s respective home countries, participating in camps and other hosted activities. Gobert is currently in Brazil with Neto, and the two seem to be like two peas in a pod.
.@RudyGobert27 e @RaulTogni vão distribuir AUTÓGRAFOS na NBA Store do @barrashoppingrj. Chegue cedo e garanta sua senha! pic.twitter.com/hdvdjYNCv6— NBA Brasil (@NBABrasil) July 18, 2017
Neto may be even more grateful for this friendship if it comes down to a roster spot, as Gobert will most likely have a say in personnel decisions going forward. It’s always a good sign to see that players are close with each other and spend time with one another developing these types of friendships.
Donovan Mitchell’s stellar play this summer has landed him in some national conversation. Despite not being named to first or second All-Summer League teams, Mitchell has received plenty of spotlight amongst the national media. In The Ringer’s NBA Podcast, Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor both voiced their respects for Mitchell, tabbing him “one of the guys that stood out the most” during the NBA Summer League.
On the ‘NBA Show’:— Ringer Podcasts (@RingerPodcasts) July 18, 2017
-Summer league standouts
-Best free agents on the market https://t.co/iQaEJhzbh8
He also made most Summer League lists compiled at the fingers of NBA scouts and writers, including this one by SportingNews.com’s Sean Denevey.
Loved: “He probably looked better in Utah than in Vegas, they shut him down early. But coming off of screens, that was where he was most impressive. He is long and deceptively big and really gives his opponents no room. So his defense is great, and we knew about that. But I really liked how easily he can curl off screens and knock down jumpers.”
Didn’t love: “He is not great when playing the 1. I thought the Jazz were smart to put him there a lot and see how he handled it. He is not a playmaker, though. He gets room for himself, he can create his own shot. But he is much more a 2 than a 1.”
Mitchell definitely made some noise this summer, and Jazz fans should be extremely excited about this young man’s future.
Despite falling off the national radar in the minds of several national analysts, there are still some maintaining high expectations for the Jazz this season. Vice Sports’ Michael Pina wrote on the Jazz organization’s fundamentally solid core, and iterated that despite losing Gordon Hayward, the Jazz are still playoff contenders.
Utah isn't going anywhere. Hayward's points, athleticism, intelligence, and positional versatility are gone, but his departure will not fundamentally alter how the Jazz play. Their core identity remains intact, and without a go-to scorer to lean on, Utah will double down on a philosophy that made them so resilient in the first place.
Pina also makes an interesting comparison of this Jazz squad to that of the 2015 Atlanta Hawks, who won 60 games. He expresses his opinion on the Jazz, and makes the case that the Jazz will be a stronger team than many expect in this coming season.
All in all, it's admirable depth for a team that now has multiple options to throw at any problem they cross. The Jazz are still a worthy opponent, even if the closest thing they had to a modern star is gone. Winning 60 games, like the Hawks in 2015, will be almost impossible in the treacherous Western Conference, but the Jazz have similar on-court ingredients and organization-wide temperament. As a collective, they'll make larger waves than the names on the back of their jerseys suggest they should.