The Utah Jazz season is officially beginning. With Media Day in the rear view, training camp is ahead. This offseason has been one to remember, with some of the biggest trades in franchise history happening back to back. Of last season’s regular rotation, only Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson remain on the team.
James and Calvin hosted to SLC Dunk podcast once again to talk about the offseason and what we’re most excited for in the 2022-23 NBA season. The big question on many fans' minds right now is, how good are the Utah Jazz? They are clearly signaling their plan to tank for a high draft pick, but many fans are worried that the roster is too talented for that plan to work. We went up and down the roster and analyzed the key players and who we thought might be in the starting lineup. Will coach Will Hardy prioritize winning, or will he choose to develop his young players instead? If the Jazz decide that their goal is to win games, veterans like Mike Conley, Kelly Olynyk, and Jordan Clarkson would likely see a lot of playing time. If they choose to help young players develop, then Ochai Agbaji, Walker Kessler, and others will take those minutes instead.
We debated how good we thought this team might be. While there are a lot of legitimate NBA players on the roster, there aren’t any players who have proven ability to lead a team to wins outside of Mike Conley, who is probably past that point of his career. Almost every player on the roster has recently been on a lottery team, and they were never too good to prevent that team from losing. So while there are a lot of decent or even good players, the sum of the team’s parts is still very much a lottery team.
We are excited for a lot of players this year. Jarred Vanderbilt, Collin Sexton, Ochai Agbaji, Udoka Azubuike, Lauri Markkannen, and more. So many young players and so many chips on their shoulders. This team has a lot to prove; this season will be their time to do it.