It seems like the Utah Jazz, now entering their fourth full season since the Deron Williams transaction altered the roster’s framework, should have taken the proverbial next step by now.
Derrick Favors should have morphed to an elite warden of this paint, Enes Kanter must have become a consistent starter and Gordon Hayward–he of this hefty four-year, $63 million contract–ought to be rapping on stardom’s door. Instead, the advancements are marginal, the advancement fraught with setbacks.
Fortunately, a different wave of gift is ready to overtake the one that showed up shortly after the Williams deal. Frenchman Rudy Gobert could turn into the Roy Hibbert, and Dante Exum may be Utah’s next superstar.
Or, both may struggle through the same suits and starts as Kanter Favors and Hayward. You can never be certain.
One certainty: Alec Burks is a man. Along with I am scared by a second: Quin Snyder.
In case Tyrone Corbin was hindering advancement, perhaps his dismissal will alter things. New head coach Quin Snyder has proven some innovative touches throughout the preseason, and the Jazz are getting better looks. Though they’re still shooting roughly 19 threes per game (right around the amount they taken last year), they rank first among all preseason squads in long-distance precision with a cool 37.1 percent.
This year is begun by the wave of the youth movement. There’ll be no name talk, and the playoffs are a pipe dream. But there is no shortage of potential.
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