Everyone is talking about the Lakers, Clippers and Rockets as Western Conference contenders but the Jazz are flying under the radar and they will be a dangerous team next season.
The Utah Jazz had an incredible offseason and the moves they made will help them become a team to beat in the West and a a legitimate threat to win the NBA Championship.
The Jazz have a stacked roster and their moves made them significantly better. Not only did they trade Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, the No. 23 pick in the NBA Draft and a future first round pick to the Grizzlies for Mike Conley but they also signed Bojan Bogdanovic to a four-year, $73 million contract, Ed Davis for $10 million over two years and Jeff Green and Emmanuel Mudiay to one-year deals. Here’s the team’s updated depth chart:
Utah Jazz Roster & Starting Lineup
*Notates expected starter
C: Rudy Gobert*, Ed Davis, Tony Bradley
PF: Bojan Bogdanovic*, Georges Niang, Jarrell Brantley
SF: Joe Ingles*, Jeff Green, Royce O’Neale
SG: Donovan Mitchell*, Miye Oni
PG: Mike Conley*, Dante Exum, Emmanuel Mudiay, Justin Wright-Foreman
How Conley & Bogdanovic Will Help
Mike Conley gives the Jazz an elite point guard to pair with their rising superstar Donovan Mitchell. Conley is a significant upgrade over Ricky Rubio, he will help Mitchell take the team to another level, filling a huge void they had on offense. Defensively he is also a perfect fit and he will make the Jazz better at both ends of the court.
Rudy Gobert (plus-5.1 Defensive Box Plus/Minus last season) anchors the defense and with Mike Conley (plus-4.8 Offensive Box Plus/Minus last season) and Donovan Mitchell (plus-0.8 Offensive Box Plus/Minus last season) leading the offense, this an extremely balanced team with a deep bench.
As great as Bojan Bogdanovic is offensively, he is more than just a shooter. Having him, Conley, Mitchell and Ingles gives the Jazz four starters that can create their own shot and drive the ball. Add that to dominant centers like Gobert and Davis and they can make some noise.
Utah led the NBA in catch and shoot 3-pointers attempted last season. Here’s how the members of their current roster did on catch and shoot 3-point shots:
Mike Conley 39.8
Donovan Mitchell 40.1
Joe Ingles 40.1
Bojan Bogdanovic 44.9
Royce O’Neale 40.1
Georges Niang 40.8
They will replace:
Ricky Rubio 33.7
Jae Crowder 33.6
Derrick Favors 21.8
Davis, Green & Mudiay Will Provide Depth
Ed Davis gave the Nets valuable minutes off the bench last season and he can crash the boards and really help this Jazz frontcourt and you just have to read what Dwyane Wade thinks of Jeff Green to understand how valuable he can be:
“I do NOT understand how and why Jeff Green keep signing these 1 year deals for the minimum. This is now 3 years in a row. He’s never injured, He’s never been a problem in the locker room, He’s athletic, he can shoot the 3, he can guard multiple positions and he’s not old.”
Signing Emmanuel Mudiay is a smart move as well, if he plays with a chip on his shoulder and works hard, head coach Quin Snyder and Mike Conley can really help with his development.