John Stockton and Karl Malone respectively played the 5th and 6th most games in NBA history. Stockton holds the NBA records for career assists and steals. Malone is second in points and field goals, first in free throws. Those guys reached those marks almost exclusively with the Jazz, so it’s an understatement to say that Utah Jazz franchise records are challenging to reach.
Stockton and Malone dominate the franchise leaderboards. Malone leads Utah in minutes played, points, rebounds (offensive, defensive, and overall), field goals (made and attempted), free throws (made and attempted), and more. Stockton leads Utah in games played, assists, and steals.
Most of those records will never be touched by current or future Jazz players, but some of the current players have been rocketing up leaderboards. Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Joe Ingles have already made their marks in the Utah Jazz history books, but what heights can they reach on the leaderboards?
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year is already one of the greatest players in franchise history, which shows in franchise records. Gobert is currently the franchise leader in DPOY awards, First Team All-Defense selections, field goal percentage, and many advanced statistics such as Win Shares per 48 minutes.
He’s done all of that while not making the top ten in games or minutes played. Well, both of those things will likely change this season. Gobert needs to play 61 games this year to pass Rickey Green for 10th all-time in games played. He needs only 34 minutes to pass Derrick Favors for 10th in minutes played. If he plays most of the season at a regular pace, he can climb all the way to 7th.
Gobert is currently 4th on the Jazz all-time block list. He’ll easily pass Greg Ostertag for 3rd and will need 161 blocks to pass Andrei Kirilenko for 2nd place. Gobert has exceeded that number in four different seasons, so as long as he plays a significant number of games, it’s reasonable to expect him to do so again. Doing so would leave him behind only the great Mark Eaton, whose record might be as unattainable as Stockton’s assist record.
Rudy trails only Karl Malone and Mark Eaton on the franchise’s all-time rebound list. This year, he’ll need 788 rebounds to overtake 2nd place, a number he can easily reach (he recorded 960 rebounds in last year’s shortened season). After taking 2nd, he’ll have to work on increasing his lead on 3rd, rather than hoping for 1st, because Malone’s 14,601 rebounds will be about double Gobert’s total by then (currently 6,151).
As for points, Gobert has not yet cracked the top ten, but he is very close. Assuming a mostly healthy season, he’ll very likely pass Derrick Favors for 10th place and could very well pass Deron Williams for 9th as well. By the end of Gobert’s current contract, he could likely reach all the way to 5th place on the all-time scoring list. Pretty impressive for someone not known as a scorer.
The Splash Uncle Joe Ingles is knocking on the door of the Utah Jazz’ top ten in games and minutes played. Unfortunately for him, Gobert is right with him and certain to surpass him in both categories unless something truly wild happens. That being the case, Ingles will have to climb to at least number 9 in both categories if he wants to remain in the top 10. To do this, Ingles will need to play at least one more season with the Jazz after 2021-22.
Luckily for Ingles’ Jazz legacy, he’s already claimed the franchise records for 3-pointers made and attempted. Donovan Mitchell will certainly surpass him there, but Ingles has a solid lead, and even after Mitchell eventually claims the Jazz’ 3-pointer throne, Ingles will remain top 2 for a long time. The only current Jazz players that might have a chance of matching Ingles’ 3-pointer record (besides Mitchell) are Bogdanovic, O’Neale, and Butler, but none of them really have a great chance. Bojan Bogdanovic has the pace for sure, but how long will he remain on the team? Royce O’Neale doesn’t attempt enough shots. Jared Butler is a second-round pick, so it’s improbable he plays enough to reach that level. Ingles will likely stay number 1 for a couple more seasons, then number 2 for a long time.
Joe Ingles climbed all the way up to 5th on the Jazz assists leaderboard last year, and that’s likely where he’ll stay for a long time. Ingles is also 10th on the steals list and poised to take over 9th from Gordon Hayward. If he plays a year or two more with the Jazz, Ingles can keep climbing that leaderboard.
It’s crazy that we can already talk about Donovan Mitchell climbing franchise leaderboards at 24 years old, but here we are.
Mitchell will almost certainly make his first appearance on the franchise points leaderboard this season, as he is only 835 points away from 10th right now, and he averages over 1,625 points per season, even with two shortened seasons in his young career. Mitchell will rocket up that board during his second contract. He could be as high as 6th by the end of this coming season! Scorers like Donovan Mitchell don’t come around often, and they certainly haven’t frequented the Utah Jazz. This is the category he’ll excel in most.
Tied to his total points is his 3-pointer total. Mitchell is already 3rd and quickly closing in on Stockton and Ingles ahead of him. Mitchell’s sheer volume of 3-point attempts is something that nobody in franchise history has been close to matching, and his percentage is rising every year. He won’t just break the record; he’ll shatter it.
Mitchell still has a long way to go in other statistical categories. Still, with a long contract signed and a guaranteed superstar role to play, it’s not unlikely that Mitchell will be in the top 10 in assists, rebounds, steals, and more by the end of his second contract.
Fun facts and other records
- The next Utah Jazz player to record a triple-double will be automatically tied for 5th in franchise triple-doubles.
- Bojan Bogdanovic (89.1%) is only .5% behind Jeff Hornacek (89.6%) for the franchise lead in free throw percentage.
- Thurl Bailey has one of the franchise’s most unbreakable records. His 7,044 bench points are more than double the 3,079 put up by second-place Alec Burks.
- Donovan Mitchell’s 57-point game against Denver remains the third highest-scoring game in NBA playoff history.
- Truck Robinson played only two seasons for the (New Orleans) Jazz, but he may never give up his records for minutes per game (43.4) and rebounds per game (14.9).
- Karl Malone still holds the NBA record for technical fouls, with 332 in his career.
- Jerry Sloan may hold the NBA’s record for total technical fouls (combined playing and coaching careers), with at least 446.
- John Stockton played all 82 games in 16 of his 19 NBA seasons.
- Jordan Clarkson became the first Utah Jazz player to be named Sixth Man of the Year.
- Darrell Griffith remains the only Utah Jazz player to be awarded the Rookie of the Year.
- Rudy Gobert is tied for 5th in NBA history in wedgies (basketball wedged between the rim and the backboard), although this unofficial stat has only been recorded for the last five seasons.
- New Jazz-man Hassan Whiteside is 16th in NBA history in games with 20 or more rebounds, with 28.
- Rudy Gobert’s infamous ejection in the first three minutes of a 2018 game was not the fastest in Jazz history, as Greg Ostertag was ejected in the first two minutes of a 2002 game against the Lakers.
- Mark Eaton had 16 games with at least 10 blocks, good for 2nd place in NBA history.
- John Stockton and Karl Malone combined for 1,493 individual double-doubles. The next 13 players on the franchise leaderboard combined for 1,487.
- John Stockton (4), Darrell Griffith (2), and Bojan Bogdanovic (2) are the only Jazz players to record multiple buzzer-beating game-winners.
Stats via basketballreference.com, statmuse.com, jazzbasketball.wordpress.com, wedgietracker.com, nba.com/stats