The Utah Jazz have had a fairly low-key offseason. Though they haven’t signed any big name free agents, the Jazz have made some great under-the-radar decisions. Quietly but surely, the Jazz have improved their roster and are looking to make some noise in the Western Conference.
With the addition of Mo Williams, Marvin Williams and Randy Foye, it’s time to evaluate the roster and determine who has the best potential to contribute. Here are the power rankings of the Utah Jazz roster for the 2012-2013 NBA Season:
2011-2012 College Stats:
20.6 PPG, .416 3P%, 5.2 RPG
The Utah Jazz selected Kevin Murphy with the 47th pick in the draft. After he averaged 20 PPG for Tennessee Tech, the Jazz are hoping Murphy can bring his shooting touch to the team. His 50 point explosive performance against SIU-Edwardsville last season shows he has potential, but how well will his talent transition to the NBA?
Kevin Murphy takes the last slot after a lackluster performance at the Orlando Summer League. After only averaging 8.6 PPG and 25 percent from behind the arc, it may be awhile before he finds his rhythm and is able to make a difference for the Jazz.
3.7 PPG, 3.3 APG
Jamaal Tinsley was the third-string point guard for the Jazz last season, and that’s likely to remain the case. Utah took a chance on him last year and helped him transition back into the league. In return, he was able to bring veteran experience to the team and performed well during stretches.
4.5 PPG, .875 FT%
DeMarre Carroll has been with the Jazz since February of this past year. He was able to bring hustle and energy to the team, and even started in the final nine games of the season. A self-proclaimed “junkyard dog”, Carroll prides himself on hustling and playing tough defense.
Jazz assistant coach Sidney Lowe may have said it best, “You really admire guys like DeMarre. They’re not going to get the accolades, but they’re going to make plays that help you win the game.” Don’t expect him to be a starter, but he may be able to make a difference in a few games.
3.0 PPG, 4.3 APG
Earl Watson played back-up point guard for the Jazz for the majority of last season. He was pretty miserable offensively, shooting only 34 percent from the field and an abysmal 19 percent from behind the arc, but was above average defensively. He was also good for assists and the occasional steal.
He may never be a great player, but Watson is a solid veteran and a leader off the bench. He has a love for the game and enthusiasm for his team. While recovering from his knee surgery, he was with the Jazz for the entire Summer League, simply because he wanted to be there. His support and locker room presence alone are worth his spot on the team.
2.1 PPG, .643 FG%
Slam Dunk Contest Winner Jeremy Evans has always been a fan favorite for the Utah Jazz. He may be a fairly one-dimensional player, but he brings an explosiveness off the bench that is infectious. The Human Pogo Stick earned himself a three-year contract with Jazz, and has shown improvement through a solid performance in the Orlando Summer League. After averaging 10.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG and making the highlight reel a few times, Evans is ready to prove he is capable of more playing time. Plus—the kid has some serious hops.
4.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 13.2 MPG
After being drafted third last year, Enes Kanter may be taking longer to develop than some fans may have hoped for. However, he is improving. The 6'11" center from Turkey got off to a rough start in the Summer League, but was able to rebound (pun intended) and averaged a solid 10.4 PPG and 8.8 RPG.
Enes Kanter still has amazing potential. He is a rebounding machine, self-motivated and has a desire to learn and improve. He’s been working on his post moves, is in great shape and is ready to show his improvement to the Utah Jazz organization.
11.0 PPG, .386 3P%, .859 FT%
Randy Foye is the newest member of the Utah Jazz, and is excited for the opportunity. Foye was teammates with other new Jazz-man Mo Williams last year and also played with Al Jefferson in Minnesota. Full of compliments for the organization, he plans on helping the Jazz through his shooting, his ability to make plays and his toughness.
Foye is primarily a shooting guard, but is also able to play point guard if asked. He’s a great three-point shooter as well and should be a great addition to the Jazz. Also, Randy Foye is also active in charity work, operating his own charitable organization.
7.2 PPG, 15.9 MPG
Second-year man Alec Burks has been making strides this offseason. Burks was the best player for the Jazz during the Orlando Summer League, averaging 17.2 PPG and earning seven free throw attempts per game. He was confident, explosive and was out to prove he is capable of starting in this league.
His numbers may not have been amazing last year, but Alec Burks should see his playing time increase. He’s capable of performing well, and if he does, he just may earn that starting spot.
10.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, .389 3P%
Marvin Williams was traded to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Devin Harris on July 2nd. The Jazz were in need of a solid wing player, and Marvin Williams fits that bill. Many found him disappointing since he was a No. 2 draft pick (chosen before the likes of Deron Williams and Chris Paul) and never quite lived up to expectations. Though he hasn’t been outstanding, he has been consistently solid. A new situation with Utah provides Williams the opportunity to breathe life into his career. Without the pressure of living up to Atlanta’s expectations, Marvin should find success in Utah.
13.2 PPG, .389 3P%, .900 FT%
After being drafted 47th by the Jazz in 2003, Mo Williams has found his way back to Utah. The former All-Star is a welcome upgrade over the inconsistent Devin Harris and will be the starting point guard for the Jazz this season. Not only does Williams bring leadership and veteran experience to the team, he is also a great three-point shooter and a capable scorer. He is excited to be back in Utah and may be here for a while.
11.8 PPG, .346 3P%, .832 FT%
Gordon Hayward is one of the rising stars for the Utah Jazz. After a solid sophomore season in the NBA, Hayward was chosen to be on the 2012 USA Men’s Select Team, giving him an opportunity to learn from some of the league’s best.
Though he virtually disappeared in the playoffs this past year (shooting a ridiculous 18 percent), Hayward has proven he is capable of putting up great numbers in multiple statistical categories. He is constantly working on his game, living by the motto #improveeveryday on his twitter account. Expect Hayward to do just that this upcoming season. He is capable of great things.
16.6 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 1.8 SPG
Utah is known for their loaded frontcourt, and Paul Millsap is a formidable member of that group. After starting off his career backing up Carlos Boozer, Millsap has transformed into a quality starter in this league. He hustles, rebounds the ball well, and was fourth in the league in steals this past year. He has also been expanding his game to include the three-point shot. He doesn’t shoot it that often, but Jazz fans sure know he can.
With the emergence of Derrick Favors, Millsap played some small forward last year. While no one knows what will happen with the line-ups this year, Millsap is sure to play his heart out.
8.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 21.3 MPG
Utah has found its rising star in young big man Derrick Favors. With the capability to be an elite defender and an outstanding rebounder, Favors could very well become the face of the Utah Jazz. Radio announcer David Locke has even compared him to Dwight Howard. After many fans complained that he didn’t get enough playing time during the regular season, Favors showed glimpses of greatness during the playoffs. The Jazz may have been swept, but the growth of Derrick Favors is worth noting.
Favors was also given the opportunity to play for the 2012 USA Men’s Select Team, earning praise from New York’s Tyson Chandler, “He’s been good. It’s a great learning process for him, and he definitely held his own.” Favors has amazing potential, and should be given adequate opportunity to prove himself this upcoming season.
19.2 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 1.7 BPG
Al Jefferson was Utah’s leading scorer this past year and also led the team in rebounding. Averaging just under 20 and 10, Jefferson was Utah’s best player and a borderline All-Star. His early critics pointed out his unwillingness to pass the ball, but he proved them wrong this past year, having a career high in assists. Jefferson may not be a ‘traditional’ center, but he is a productive one. Expect Jefferson to have another great year.
The Utah Jazz have made the necessary moves to improve this offseason. They’ve addressed their weaknesses and they’ve gotten better. It will be interesting to see how things turn out. Jazz fans are in for an exciting ride.