By: Travis Thayer (@TheTravisThayer)
2012-13 Record: 43-39
Projected 2013-14 Finish: 5th in the Northwest
Projected Starting Lineup
The Jazz were a solid middle of the road team one year ago. They weren’t outstanding or too terribly awful at one particular facet of the game, which ultimately resulted in 43 wins. This year’s team doesn’t look to be any type of spectacular, but they do have some nice players that might keep them out of the top half of the lottery. The Jazz will rely on a young starting five, headlined by Gordon Hayward. Hayward has increased his scoring average each year, and he will be relied on to do so again. Hayward should benefit from having a pass first point guard in rookie Trey Burke. Derrick Favors is another nice young player who the Jazz have high hopes for. This year will be a great chance for Favors to prove his worth after Paul Millsap left for Atlanta.
The one glaring weakness the Jazz have is that their best player is Gordon Hayward. No disrespect to Hayward, but he isn’t leading this team to the playoffs and I’d bet my whole life savings on it. The good thing is the Jazz have a lot of time to improve. Their staring lineup has an average age of 21 years old, which means their starting lineup could be lining up for a chance at a National Title this year in college. Experience will ultimately kill the Jazz, but at least the future might be bright in Utah.
The last paragraph basically sums up what the Jazz’s season will be like. They have some nice young talent, but they can’t honestly contend in their own division, let alone the Western Conference. Gordon Hayward will be better suited as a number two or three option in a couple of years when the Jazz hopefully land a franchise player. Lucky for them there will be a load of prospects to fill that role in the 2014 Draft.