In one of the more exciting news days in the last couple of weeks, the Utah Jazz released two of the four new Nike jersey combinations for the 2017-18 season. The new threads featured white “Association” and navy “Icon” jerseys that the Jazz will sport as their primary uniforms next season.
The jersey designs cosmetically are very similar to that of the 2016 jerseys, but Nike redesigned the structure and dynamics of the jersey to better fit NBA players.
The look is aesthetically consistent with the team’s previous home and road uniforms. However, the designs have been built on innovation and technological research to support player performance. Nike used research from 3D-body maps of players to make significant changes to the weight, fit and construction of the uniforms, while also paying special attention to enabling agility.
The remaining two alternate jerseys will be revealed this fall and winter, which unfortunately means more waiting and anticipation.
Several Utah Jazz players took to social media to comment on the release of the new jersey designs, and they seemed to be just as excited as the fans themselves.
NBA.com’s David Aldridge released his annual off-season rankings, and the Utah Jazz came in the “Bottom 10” section at number 21.
Aldridge makes it clear that these rankings are based purely on off-season moves, and have nothing to do with the overall strength of the team itself.
He states his reasoning behind the low ranking behind Gordon Hayward and George Hill’s departures, and the lack of filling a true small forward spot.
No one is going to make up Hayward’s 21.9 points, 5.4 boards and 3.5 assists by himself. Coach Quin Snyder could go traditional and pick Sefolosha, a starter on several good Oklahoma City teams through 2014, or go small(er) ball with the likes of Rodney Hood at the three. He could, conceivably, even opt for 71-year-old Joe Johnson in a pinch. The point is, the Jazz will have to depend on several folks throughout the lineup -- and not just at small forward -- to replace what Hayward brought to the table every night.
Aldridge makes a valid point that Hayward is going to be hard to replace, but pretty much everyone knows that at this point. The Jazz will hope to get increased production from Rodney Hood, as well as a strong rookie campaign from Donovan Mitchell.
Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell posted a picture on Instagram and Twitter confirming that he has spent time working with Chris Paul this week.
Mitchell is seen in the picture along with Magic guard Elfrid Payton, and fellow 2017 draftees Harry Giles and Malik Monk. This training with the nine-time All-Star and eight-time All-NBA point guard is undoubtedly beneficial for a young rookie in Donovan Mitchell. “How to make the Western Conference Finals” was reportedly not included in this training by CP3.
NBA on ESPN tweeted out a collage of several NBA players that have not yet made an All-Star game. Among these players was Jazz captain Rudy Gobert.
Who’s making the roster this year? pic.twitter.com/FZgPIp8nE9— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 8, 2017
Gobert was snubbed from the 2017 All-Star game in New Orleans, and will need to be even better this season to escape the small market bias among media, coaches, and players.
Rudy was, however, properly selected to an All-NBA team following the 2016-17 season, which may increase he odds at making it to the All-Star game this coming season.