After the summer league, the NBA offseason really kicks in. There are no more deadlines, all the players that had contract options have been dealt with, most teams have rounded out their rosters for the upcoming season, and there are not too many moves to be made. Essentially, the Utah Jazz are at that awkward time in a school year that comes after final exams but before graduation. There are still a couple opportunities to bump up their grade, maybe “extra credit” if you will, but it is likely that the Jazz will be heading into the season with what they currently have.
So I have prepared an “offseason report card” for the Utah Jazz, with comments and reasons why I gave each grade. Once again, this is prone to change, as there are multiple things we will not know until we are watching real NBA games again.
(Note: The overall grade is not a predictor of how good this team will be, or how many games we will win in the upcoming season. It is simply an overall grade on the transpiring events of this offseason.)
There are things yet to be seen that could improve this offseason grade; the Utah Jazz are still an exciting team to watch this upcoming season, but it has been underreported just how bad losing Gordon hurts this Utah team in the short term. While the Jazz have a bright future with solid young talent—even have the arguably best center in the league—but we would be crazy if we thought the Utah Jazz took steps forward when looking at everything that has happened so far.
Some things that could improve this grade before it is finalized are:
- Offseason improvements in our current players. Will Rodney Hood be capable of carrying such a load? Will other players have Joe Ingles-like offseasons and change from 15th-man-caliber to starting-caliber? Will Derrick Favors be able to stay healthy? How good is Rudy going to be next season?
- Potential trades. Landing Kyrie Irving—as unlikely as that is—would definitely be a step forward. There may be other moves available, but I do not see much more movement until we near the trade deadline.
- One or more of our offseason acquisitions breaks out and plays unexpectedly well within our system.
While the Utah Jazz had a fair amount of success in most of the other aspects of the offseason, losing Hayward hurts, and the way Utah lost him hurts even more. There is much to look forward to next season. Jazz fans should feel confident that the Utah Jazz front office will not have an offseason as bumpy as this one.