Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert joined elite company when they were named 2020 NBA All-Stars this season. It had been 13 years since the Jazz had 2 all star selections in the same season. It was an amazing accomplishment for both of Utah’s young stars and I was so proud of them for getting the recognition they deserved.
That sure feels like a long-distant memory now huh? Rudy dominating the All Star game feels like it was a year or two ago. In reality, that was barely even 6 weeks ago. A lot has changed since then. Pretty much everything to be honest.
With the NBA season gone and almost no news to speak of, let’s get a little creative and dig into Utah Jazz history. I got wondering how many All Stars the Jazz have had in the past. Then I wondered, what’s the best team we could create from all of the non-All Star players in franchise history? Note that their All Star season didn’t have to be with the Jazz. Any All Star Selection at all disqualified them entirely. Then I picked the best starting 5 and 8-man rotation of the bunch. Here’s what I came up with:
Starting Point Guard: Mike Conley
Now, this has obviously not been Mike Conley’s best season. Mike spent many years in Memphis playing at an All Star level, but he never actually got to the game itself. When all is said and done, he might honestly be one of the best players to never be named an All Star. This was an easy decision for me as to who the starting point guard of the Utah Jazz snubs was going to be.
- Career Averages: 14.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.4 steals, 44 FG%, 38 3P%
- Best Season (2017): 20.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 46 FG%, 41 3P%
Starting Shooting Guard: Darrell Griffith
Another easy decision. While in the 1984 and 1985 dunk contests, Dr. Dunkenstein was never named to an NBA All Star Team. I don’t think I ever realized that until I started doing the research. I guess I always assumed he made at least one All Star game given his popularity within the franchise and even around the NBA to an extent. He had an impressive career with the entirety spent in Utah. He was an important player for the franchise for many, many years. He gets the starting SG spot on this All Snub Team.
- Career Averages: 16.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 46 FG%, 33 3P%
- Best Season (1985): 22.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.7 steals, 46 FG%, 36 3P%
Starting Small Forward: Bojan Bogdanovic
I don’t think there has been a single player in my Jazz fandom history that I loved as fast as I did Bojan Bogdanovic. My trust in him was at 1000% real quick this year and he’s delivered time and time again. He hasn’t been in Utah for an entire season yet, but he’s delivered two very memorable game winners that will go down in history. The long range sniper also has a savvy dribble drive game and he’s been fun to watch this year. Take the starting SF Bojan!
- Career Averages: 14.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 46 FG%, 39 3P%
- Best Season (2020): 20.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.5 steals, 45 FG%, 41 3P%
Starting Power Forward: Thurl Bailey
I think Jazz fans, myself included, take for granted just how good Thurl Bailey was during his prime. While he wasn’t even a regularly starter, he arguably put up All Star numbers in two consecutive seasons back in 1988 and 1999. Honestly, looking back, it’s ridiculous he didn’t win 6th Man of the Year in one of those seasons! That would have been an outrage for today’s fanbase. I’ll make up for it a little by giving him the starting nod here.
- Career Averages: 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.7 blocks, 47 FG%
- Best Season (1988): 19.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.5 blocks, 49 FG%. Putting in work Thurl!!!
Starting Center: Derrick Favors
I don’t think this list would have been legitimate without including Derrick Favors on it somewhere. His raw career numbers will never look amazing, but that’s not because the talent wasn’t there. He made a lot of personal sacrifices for the Jazz once Rudy Gobert took over. But earlier on you could make the case that he was Utah’s best player. I’ll always have a soft spot for the big man. Take your well-deserved starting spot!
Career Averages: 11.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.3 blocks, 53 FG%
Best Season (2016): 16.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 blocks, 52 FG%
Bench Guard: Wesley Matthews
There were a lot of great options here. I almost went with George Hill because I think he was the best fit for the Jazz roster and had a career year even if the ending wasn’t what one would hope for. But I ended up going with Wesley Matthews. I’m still upset that we lost him after just his rookie season. He was a fantastic find as an undrafted rookie and has had a great NBA career. He’s the prototypical 3 and D guy and honestly I wouldn’t mind bringing him back next season, even if he’ll be 34. I loved his game and his hustle. If prime Wesley Matthews is coming off your bench, you know you have a great team on the floor.
Career Averages: 13.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 42 FG%, 38 3P%
Best Season (2014): 16.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 44 FG%, 39 3P%
Bench Wing: Bryon Russell
Full disclosure: I was close to leaving him off this list. He really almost didn’t make it. But given his role on the best Jazz teams in franchise history, I had to make room for him. I actually think Russell’s career might have been more interesting outside of Utah. As the 4th best player on a contending team, his opportunity was relatively limited. His peak might have been a better player than his numbers show. Also, Jordan pushed off!!!
Career Averages: 7.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 43 FG%, 37 3P%
Best Season (2000): 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 45 FG%, 40 3P%
Bench Big: Marvin Williams
This is the spot I had the hardest time with. I couldn’t decide between just giving it to the best player and figuring it out from there, or picking the best fit for a potentially better overall team. I’d love to hear people’s ideas here. Ultimately, I settled on Marvin Williams as the best way to complement this team. He may have never lived up to a true number 2 overall pick, but he certainly wasn’t a bust either. Carving out a career this long and this successful is something to respect. He’s another one that would actually fit well on the current Jazz squad, especially with a coaching staff that would use him appropriately.
Career Averages: 10.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.8 steals, 44 FG%, 36 3P%
Best Season (2009): 13.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.9 steals, 46 FG%, 36 3P%
Well there you have it. The ultimate Utah Jazz All Star Snub team. How many wins would this group put together over an 82 game season? How deep into the playoffs do they go? What did I get right and what would you do different? Get your comments in and lets talk about something other than viruses or aftershocks today shall we?