Utah Jazz: Josh Howard Lost for Season, Gordon Hayward's Role Increases

Zac WatneCorrespondent IINovember 2, 2016

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 07:  Josh Howard #8 of the Utah Jazz in action against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on January 7, 2012 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Per the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Jazz starting small forward Josh Howard is done for the season.

Howard recently had an MRI on his left knee and it revealed a chip in his left lateral femoral cartilage. He plans to have surgery to remove the chip, but a date has not been set.

With the Jazz winning three games to climb back into the playoff hunt—most notably their recent 103-99 victory in Los Angeles against the Lakers—their future is a bit murkier without Howard's presence on the floor. 

Howard was averaging 8.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game in 23.4 minutes. Using a combination of Gordon Hayward for points and assists and Evans for rebounds, could potentially fill the gap that Howard leaves behind.

Hayward is averaging 10.0 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in 27.4 minutes, while Evans is averaging 1.3 rebounds and 1.6 points per game in only 6.4 minutes per game. 

Neither Evans or Hayward have the experience that the nine-year veteran brings to the lineup, and time will tell how much the loss of Howard hurts the Jazz’s chances at making a run at—and possibly through—the playoffs.

General manager Kevin O’Connor has not indicated whether or not the Jazz will sign someone to fill Howard’s place on the Jazz’s bench, but with only 20 games left in the season that seems unlikely.

Howard is a free agent this summer after signing a one-year deal with the Jazz prior to the season.