The Utah Jazz are a very young team this year, with an overall roster average of 24 some years of age, and with a normal roster rotation of 10 players that have an average age of 23. It's a young team -- and that doesn't mean it is inherently a poor one. Nor does youth mean you have to be hasty with who to pick and choose from. There's probably no greater debate in Utah Jazz land right now, with the trade deadline approaching this week, than the issue of having to pick players to keep (and root for) and which ones should be immediately removed.
Personally I would keep the whole band together for another year; though, I seem to be conservative in this approach (I would have kept Devin Harris around for another year instead of trading him for Marvin Williams after trading for Mo Williams -- thanks KOC!) If feel so strongly about this particularly this season because so much of the future of this team rests on the shoulders of so many young players.
Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors lead the team today. Hopefully one day in the future 19 year old Dante Exum will as well. In-between there are six players between the ages of 22 and 23: Alec Burks, Ian Clark, Trey Burke, Enes Kanter, Rudy Gobert, and Rodney Hood. If you stand pat, get everyone on the same page, and mix them in with some high character vets you have a solid team, one that will be a very tough out in the playoffs in two seasons.
I believe that the Jazz have some of the best 22 year olds in the league this season. I know, I checked. I looked at each 22 year old that has played this year, and eliminated anyone who didn't play at least 800 minutes this season. And look what I found!
|6||Tim Hardaway Jr.||2||52||1205||23.17||12.2||0.7||23.9%||12.7%||5.0%||0.6%||0.9%||102||115||-13|
Yes, Trey, Rudy, and Enes are all in the top groups for their position, for their age. If advanced stats are your thing it's hard to argue with Rudy Gobert right now. What I will argue is that Enes Kanter is a Top 5 bigman for his age. And furthermore, I don't see why the Jazz would dare to mess with the three headed monster they have with 23 year old Favors, and these two cats. But that's just me, and I don't have a huge ego.
Trey is the 2nd best point guard in his age group too, but it's less so much about him; and more about how bad everyone else has been this year. I'll take it.
There are no 22 year old wings making this list for Jazz fans to go crazy about, but Rodney Hood woulda been here had he played more minutes than the sub-500 he has so far. Compared to the wing cohort he is a fine rebounder and passer, who can steal and block a little. Some advanced metrics love him, some hate him. Not having him (or Alec) around all season long has hurt the team -- but allowed for a little more variety with the rosters.
Anyway, I think our 22 year olds are pretty good compared to their competition. Two of them just had big games in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars challenge on the weekend; and one of them is making a lot of news with his personalty. So, uh, fun? Yes, we talk about Rudy a lot, but that doesn't mean he's the only young guy doing well right now. And Enes Kanter is comparatively doing well against his peer group.