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Could the answer to Utah’s problems already be on the roster?

The Jazz bench has had to step up in recent weeks. Could one of the reserves claim rotation minutes?

Utah Jazz v Detroit Pistons Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

Quin Snyder doesn’t often change his rotation. He finds a schedule that works, and he sticks to it.

Unsurprisingly, Utah Jazz fans often disagree with Snyder’s rigid approach and wish he would make more adjustments throughout a given game, or even over a season. Snyder isn’t completely immune to change. When a rookie Donovan Mitchell proved himself a young star, he quickly claimed the starting spot. Undrafted rookie Royce O’Neale earned minutes through hard work and intelligent play. Ed Davis lost his rotation spot to a young Tony Bradley. Coach Snyder is willing to bend when he believes it is the right move.

Is there such a move to be made this season?

Let’s start by identifying what the Jazz need. Utah’s offense is great. Certainly, it can still improve, but the issue is the defense right now. Rudy Gobert is holding down the fort, keeping the defense about average overall, but there is a severe lack of defenders outside of him in the rotation. Rumors have connected the Jazz to defenders around the league, such as Marcus Smart or Robert Covington, but is there a way to add defense without a trade?

Danuel House Jr.

Injuries and health & safety protocols required the Utah Jazz to sign a few 10-day contracts to fill roster holes in recent weeks. Danuel House was one of those signings. The 28-year-old wing is best known for his time with the Houston Rockets when he played alongside James Harden. He made his name as a prototypical 3&D wing. He started 89 games for Houston and shot 36.9% from three. After some off-court drama, House has been trying to find his way back into a team’s rotation. He might be just what the doctor ordered for this Jazz team.

House is a 6’6” wing with a 7’0” wingspan. He brings energy, defense, and athleticism. On offense, he’s a passable three-point shooter and a strong slasher.

In his short time here in Utah, we’ve already seen some of his defensive energy, athleticism, and length.

In his first start for the Jazz, House scored 14 points on nine shots, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out four assists, and added two steals and two blocks. That’s the type of game he’s capable of. He contributes to the game without needing to be a focal point of the offense. That’s a skill set the Jazz could use.

Eric Paschall

Eric Paschall is mainly known as a scorer. His NBA career began by getting a great opportunity on a Warriors team in a punt year. Paschall made the All-Rookie team and scored 14 points per game. He was big, tough, and full of energy. He liked to get his points on drives and in the midrange. However, two things he was not known for were outside shooting and defense.

Fast-forward to this season, and Paschall has united with childhood friend Donovan Mitchell on the Utah Jazz. Whenever he had an opportunity for minutes, he took advantage by working hard out there. As time has gone on, I think he’s proven that he’s worked on his defense and his shooting. He’s putting up threes at a far higher rate than he had in his first two seasons, and so far, he’s hitting over 35% of them. He brings something the team desperately needs: physicality.

Paschall is unafraid to body up bigger players on defense or dunk on anybody in his path. That kind of fearlessness is contagious. Due to injuries, Paschall has been given more minutes and a bigger role in recent weeks. In those games, he’s stepped up and shown off his scoring ability. He knows how to get to the basket and finish with power. In the 11 games he played 15 or more minutes, Paschall scored 10.2 points on 65% true shooting. He could provide a valuable scoring punch off the bench, especially if one of the Jazz’ bench scorers gets traded.

Right now, Quin Snyder’s rotation is pretty much set in stone. After the trade deadline, though, that may not be the case. Utah may be able to get away with trading two rotation players for one higher-level player because they have capable wings waiting on the bench. House or Paschall could take rotation minutes today and immediately provide value. Will they be given that chance?