The Utah Jazz might have turned some heads last year and they’re looking to do the same thing in 2023-24. Sure, they didn’t make the playoffs and their season was about development. They had developed far better than anyone could have imagined. After the Jazz had traded away Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Royce O’Neale… they turned the keys of the team over to Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson.
The NBA world thought that the Jazz would be in a rebuild. They actually turned out to be a solid basketball team finishing the season with a 37-45 record. Being a good team after attempting a rebuild wasn’t going to fly under Danny Ainge. He made some moves and the .500 team, wound up going 10-16 the rest of the way.
The 7-year veteran is joining an already impressive frontcourt that boasts Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler. Collins has declined since his best year in 2019-20, so maybe a new start will be good for him. He still has two years on the five-year deal that he signed in 2021. Last year, he averaged 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 blocks per game in 30 minutes per game.
The No. 9 overall pick projects to be coming off the bench in his rookie season. Hendriks is 6-9 and fits the modern-day mold of an NBA Power Forward. He could develop into a player like Jaren Jackson Jr., Onyeka Okongwu or the player he’ll be behind in the depth chart… Collins.
The No. 16 overall pick spent one year at Baylor and projects to be a combo guard in the NBA. George will require some development before he becomes a full-fledged star. In the best-case scenario, he will develop an All-Star-level talent.
The four-year vet hasn’t done much in his time in the NBA, however, there’s still time for him to develop.
Though, nearing the end of his career. Gay had been part of the Jazz offense over the last two years. He would eat minutes off the bench. The Jazz have added some more depth so that shouldn’t be too much of a loss, but the leadership is key.
Starters: Clarkson, Talen Horton-Tucker, Markkanen, Collins, Kessler
The Jazz know what they’re getting here. Clarkson has shown he can be a leader on offense. Add in Horton-Tucker and Markkanen who had career years with the Jazz. You really can’t go wrong with any combination in the backcourt. I would expect Collins to get the start right out of the gate, but if Hendricks develops into what everyone thinks he’ll be by the end of the year… he could be put in the starting lineup.
As mentioned above the bench group, you could really through of these of the backcourt members in the starting rotation and you’d be okay. The Jazz have built some valuable depth there. Sexton off the bench could be the X-Factor for the Utah Jazz in 2023-24.
This season’s Jazz have replaced some solid veterans with some young talent. Those players will need some time to develop, so the Jazz will most likely be focused on doing that this campaign. I wouldn’t expect this team to make the playoffs this season, rather they might be a mid-lottery seeding team after winning about 31 games.
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