It feels like the Utah Jazz, now entering their fourth full season because the Deron Williams transaction changed the roster’s framework, should have obtained the proverbial next step by now.
Derrick Favors ought to have morphed into an elite warden of the paint, Enes Kanter should have become a constant starter and Gordon Hayward–he of this hefty four-year, $63 million contract–should be knocking on stardom’s door. Instead, the improvements are marginal, the advancement fraught with setbacks.
Fortunately, another wave of talent is ready to overtake the one which showed up soon after the Williams deal. Frenchman Rudy Gobert will become the Roy Hibbert, also Dante Exum may be the next superstar of Utah.
Or, both might struggle through the fits and starts as Favors, Kanter and Hayward. You can never be certain.
One reassuring certainty: Alec Burks is a bad guy. And I am scared by also a second: Quin Snyder.
If Tyrone Corbin was hindering progress, perhaps his dismissal will change things. New head coach Quin Snyder has shown some innovative touches throughout the preseason, and the Jazz are getting better appearances. Though they’re still shooting roughly 19 threes per game (right across the amount they shot last year), they rank sixth among all preseason squads in long-distance precision with a cool 37.1 percent.
The next wave of the youth movement starts this year. There will not be a name talk, and the drama are a pipe dream. But there’s no shortage of potential.
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