Happy one week until NBA day! The 76ers and Celtics tip-off the NBA season a week from today in Boston. The Jazz will host the Nuggets next Wednesday, October 18th, and we’re in for a very new, different, weird season.
The Jazz will be rolling out a completely different team on the court this season than they have in the last half of a decade. This team could continue to change, literally every single day with trade rumors still circulating some members of the Jazz and Danny Ainge’s sights locked in the unbelievable prospect in Victor Wembanyama.
For sake of this post, let’s assume all players that are currently on the roster at this moment, finish the season for the Jazz. One question I have for this current roster is who is going to lead them in points in 2022-23? This is the first time in the last 5 years that we’ve had to ask this question. With Donovan Mitchell on the squad, there wasn’t really any question on who it would be. Obviously Donny is on to Cleveland, and the Jazz are here with a new set of players to showcase as they “compete to the best of their abilities”. There’s really only a few realistic options.
Interestingly enough, Collin Sexton has the highest single-season PPG out of any other Jazz player on the current roster. In 2020-21 he averaged 24.3 points per game on 47/37/81 splits, along with 4.4 assists and 3 rebounds. This was by far Sexton’s best season.
He is coming off a torn meniscus injury that kept him sidelined for the majority of last season, so it will be interesting to see if Sexton can return to the level he was at in 2020-21. He is going to be one of the Jazz’s most exciting players and will hopefully be one of the guys that makes watching the Jazz fun this year despite the tanking efforts.
Happy 35th birthday to Mike Conley Jr!! Is there any shot that a 35-year-old dude can lead the Jazz in scoring? There definitely is. If Sexton doesn’t quite get back to that 20+ ppg scorer that he was pre-injury, Conley could step up and hit that mark in year 16. Conley has had elite stretches in a Jazz uni, but with a team that will definitely not be in contention for the playoffs, it might be a lot to ask of Conley to lead this team in points. That would require him to play a lot of minutes, which I’m just not sure we see from Conley this year. Conley averaged 13.7 points per game last season, but he did reach 16+ ppg the year prior, so it still remains possible he hits close to 20 depending on what the Jazz ask and what he’s willing to do.
JC remains a very interesting watch for me this season. First off, because seeing him in a Jazz jersey might be a day-to-day blessing seeing how much he’s still being talked about in trade rumors. He’s a guy that could be here one day, and gone the next. But while he’s here you know he’s going to continue to tickle that twine. It’s unclear whether or not the Jazz will be including him in the starting lineup, or bringing him off the bench like they have the last few years. In pre-season games so far this year the Jazz have done both, starting him in one game and bringing him off the bench in the other. Seems they might be testing it out a little bit. You’d have to think the Jazz know that Clarkson is going to be a fan favorite this year, so giving him the greenest of green lights my result in a new points per game record for JC, as well as leading the Jazz this season. He averaged 18.4 points per game two seasons ago when he won 6MOY. I’m going to need to get a Clarkson jersey when he starts dropping 30-pieces on a nightly basis.
My dark horse candidate for Jazz leading scorer this year is Lauri Markkanen. He averaged 18.7 points per game in his second season three years ago, and looked amazing in the recent Eurobasket tournament. He’s been dealing with injuries on and off for a few seasons now, so if he can stay healthy he could absolutely be the guy.
Who will be the Jazz leading scorer in 2022-23?
This poll is closed