Utah Jazz: Power Ranking Young Jazz Potential
At this point, it's no secret that the Utah Jazz are stockpiled with a plethora of young players that could one day lead the Salt Lake team to numerous championships.
Every single one of them seems to have tremendous upside. Plus, they each fit perfectly within the Utah Jazz' system of play.
As a Jazz fan, I know there is a lot to look forward to over the next couple of years. The Thunder may be the next dynasty in the NBA, but the Jazz have been built almost exactly the way the Thunder were constructed.
And they could be knocking on the door of the Western Conference Finals sooner rather than later.
Based on potential, here's a short power ranking of the Jazz' youngsters.
6. Jeremy Evans
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This year's Dunk Champion, young Jeremy Evans, is definitely a fan favorite among avid Jazz fans. Most fans don't understand why he doesn't receive more minutes, but keep in mind the coaches see a lot more of him on a regular basis than we do.
There's obviously a reason he never sees the floor—as far as I can tell, his game seems utterly one-dimensional.
While he may be an athletic freak and a crazy dunker, that may be the only thing he really does well. Dunks are exciting, but they don't win basketball games. Quality NBA players have to be able to do a lot more than that.
At the same time, his frame appears tiny and he's lacking something which I can't really put my finger on.
Evans, while I love him as a player, is definitely not one of the better youngsters on the Utah team. I don't envision him being any more than a bench-warmer for the rest of his career.
5. Demarre Carroll
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Demarre Carroll was nothing more than a cast-off from the Memphis Grizzlies when the Utah Jazz decided to take a chance on him.
Ever since, he's been a valuable commodity and role player off the bench, providing key minutes and production when the Jazz have needed it most. Josh Howard struggled a bit in the postseason, and Carroll was able to at least somewhat pick up the slack.
I imagine Carroll to be on the roster for the foreseeable future, as the Jazz have great need of quality role players that know their limits and understand their role.
Carroll is exactly like that. He will be the perfect back-up to Gordon Hayward down the road.
He comes in ranked at No. 5 among the young Jazz players.
4. Enes Kanter
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Unfortunately, I chose to put Enes Kanter at the number four spot. Last year's No. 3 overall draft pick has been decent, but hasn't shown the play that we all hoped he would.
Don't get me wrong—there's still time for the young center to develop. But Jazz fans will get impatient quick if Kanter doesn't start to show his true potential as soon as next season. We gave up a lot for the pick, and many see Kanter down low in the future alongside Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors.
He showed flashes this year of great rebounding, but more often than not, he appeared timid and hesitant at the basket. Kanter definitely was able to dominate the glass plenty of times, but his touch has seemed off when putting the ball back in the hoop.
Let's hope we see Kanter's true colors soon.
3. Alec Burks
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I love Alec Burks. Earlier in the year, I was praising Burks as one of the best guard prospects out of last year's draft.
And I still stand by that opinion.
In the limited minutes he received, Burks showed incredible confidence and always made the most of his time on the floor. I envision the slasher out of Colorado to be a decent starting two-guard very soon.
Burks is prone to drawing fouls when slashing to the rim, which is something the Jazz have sorely needed. Plus, his free-throw shooting last year wasn't half bad (85 percent for the year).
The only crack I can see to his game is his lack of a decent outside shot. If he can add that to his arsenal, he could be very dangerous and a potential all-star down the road.
After a full offseason and training camp, expect the young prospect to come back with plenty of fire, increased confidence, and ready to receive more minutes.
2. Gordon Hayward
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Gordon Hayward is definitely one of the future stars of this young franchise.
Once a not-so-popular draft pick out of Butler, Hayward really came into his own last season and showed why he was so highly touted coming out of college.
Finally away from the critical eye of Deron Williams, Hayward has blossomed under the watch of Tyrone Corbin. Easily one of the better defenders on the team, Gordon is on his way to being a very damaging player on both ends of the court.
Honestly, I foresee a few All-Star game appearances in his future and a full-time starting gig next year. Although he struggled mightily in the postseason, don't let that scare you, Jazz fans—he's young and still developing.
But the potential is there and we've already seen plenty of what he can offer. It's not a matter of if he'll put it all together, but when.
1. Derrick Favors
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And, of course, the number one young player on the Jazz roster is none other than Derrick Favors.
As the future corner piece of this franchise, the shy player out of George Tech is going to be a deadly force as early as next year.
He pretty much has earned a permanent starting spot on the Jazz roster after his incredible effort against San Antonio in the postseason. The Jazz are definitely going to be exploring trades for either Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap, so they can open up more minutes for the young, promising big man.
In the playoffs alone, Derrick averaged nearly a double-double with almost 12 points, 9 rebounds, and a block and a half a game.
Many Jazz fans were probably wondering why Corbin didn't start Favors the entire series against San Antonio, especially due to his excellent play off the bench.
A core built around Favors and Hayward appears to be the future of this franchise. If the development continues as expected, teams will be fearing matchups against the Utah Jazz very soon.
Imagine how much damage this team would do with a quality, veteran pass-first point guard in the mold of Steve Nash, Andre Miller or Raymond Felton.
Think about it. The future is bright.
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