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2012 NBA Season: Utah Jazz Using Shortened Season to Evaluate Younger Pieces

Derrick Favors.
Derrick Favors.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IJanuary 1, 2012

The Utah Jazz is officially in a rebuilding phase (that started late last season after trading Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets). They should use this season with Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward being the focal points of the future in Salt Lake City, to evaluate their younger players.

Head Coach Tyrone Corbin along with his staff, have the task of evaluating which pieces “fit” in Utah, and what veterans can play alongside the young duo, and best compliment them.

The Jazz have been using a starting lineup consisting of Devin Harris, Raja Bell, Al Jefferson, and Gordon Hayward this season. They put Derrick Favors in the starting lineup in the first game of the season against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Jazz have also added rookies Enes Kanter and Alec Burks to their roster through the draft, and hope that they will eventually become a solid part of the future of Jazz basketball.

The Jazz has also added Josh Howard and Jamaal Tinsley (on short-term contracts) via free agency. They hope that they are able to bring in that “veteran” mindset, in order to help out the younger players on the roster.

With a roster that includes veterans Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Devin Harris, Raja Bell, Earl Watson, and C.J. Miles, the Jazz are still in the early stages of their rebuilding process.

The team could be open to making some more roster moves in order to open playing time for their younger players as the season progresses.

Millsap and Jefferson are still needed due to the team’s lack of experience in the frontcourt, but if the right offer comes along, the Jazz may make a move.

So far this season (in four regular season games), Favors has averaged 9.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. It appears to be great numbers for the forward in his second NBA season.

Gordon Hayward has averaged nine points and 2.5 rebounds per game in his second season.

The Jazz appear to have the right idea in that they are going to use this season to evaluate their younger players, because this kind of shortened season is not going to help a team looking towards the future.

One thing to watch for as the season goes on is if other teams will look to use this season to evaluate their roster, and then look forward to the 2012-13 NBA season as a possible stepping stone.

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