Ranking the 5 Best Offseason Acquisitions in Utah Jazz History
The Utah Jazz aren't typically known for their huge or heralded offseason moves, but the organization has made some major acquisitions over the course of its existence.
None of those, however, involved John Stockton, Karl Malone, Deron Williams or most of the biggest stars who played for Utah. They were all selected through the NBA draft by the organization.
But while those players were the undisputed leaders of their respective Jazz squads, it may have been several big offseason acquisitions that put their Jazz teams over the top.
Here is a look at five such additions the Jazz made who rank among Utah's career leaders in points, rebounds, assists, steals and almost every other major statistical category. Each added significant depth to the legacy of the franchise.
Acquired: July 30, 2004 via free agency
Utah Stats: 19.3 points and 10.5 rebounds
He elevated his game to an even higher level in Utah.
Despite playing for the Jazz for just six seasons, Boozer ranks among the top 10 in Jazz history in field goals, defensive rebounds and total rebounds. He's fifth in points per game and second in rebounds per game—ahead of legendary Utah power forward Karl Malone.
From 2004 to 2010, Boozer helped carry the Jazz to four playoff appearances and led the team in scoring four times.
A lot of his success was tied to Deron Williams, the fantastic point guard who set Boozer up for years.
Boozer and Williams were one of the most effective pick-and-roll combinations in the NBA while they played together. While there was always a rumble that Boozer was only successful because he played with Williams, history has shown that it was a two-way street.
Since Boozer severed the connection by signing with the Bulls in 2010, his scoring average has gone down and so has Williams' assist average.
Their success together was certainly influenced by the system of head coach Jerry Sloan, but the chemistry between the point guard and power forward was the fuel for that system for years.
Acquired: Sept. 13, 1979 via trade
Utah Stats: 29.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists
Adrian Dantley averaged 19.9 points and 7.2 rebounds over his first three seasons in Buffalo, Indiana and Los Angeles, before the Utah Jazz finally gave Dantley a long-term home when they acquired him from the Lakers in exchange for Spencer Haywood.
The Jazz clearly came out on top in that trade, as Dantley went on to become arguably the most prolific scorer in team history. Karl Malone holds the club record for total points, but Dantley's average in Utah was about four points better per game.
Dantley averaged over 30 points a game in four of his seven years with the Jazz. During the 1983-84 season, he not only won his second scoring title, but also led the organization to its first playoff appearance. That berth was the start of a 20-year streak of postseason appearances for the Jazz.
Acquired: May 20, 1974 via trade
Utah Stats: 24.2 points, 5.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds
A true legend of the game of basketball, "Pistol" Pete Maravich had already reached a certain mythical status before ever joining the Jazz.
His introduction to the world took place at Louisiana State University, where he averaged more than 44 points a game over three seasons under his head coach and father, Press Maravich.
The ridiculous ability that the younger Maravich showed in college translated to the NBA, as he ranks 20th in league history in career scoring average. It also got him drafted third overall by the Atlanta Hawks.
After four years in Atlanta, Maravich was traded to the Jazz.
He was a great first star for the new franchise in New Orleans. If you had to compare his game to a genre of music, it would almost certainly be jazz—free-flowing, spontaneous and fun.
His knack for scoring was tied to an unprecedented level of flair and showmanship that he brought to the court. He also had a seemingly bottomless bag of tricks that he had developed as a youngster and that allowed him to get to the basket and fake out and lose defenders in ways few others have ever been able to duplicate.
During the 1976-77 season, Marovich juked, spun, scooped and shot his way to the league's scoring title, averaging 31.1 points.
However, don't let all this talk of scoring fool you into thinking Pistol Pete was one-dimensional. He was also a creative and willing passer who led the Jazz in assists for four of the five full seasons he was on the team.
Acquired: June 25, 1990 via trade
Utah Stats: 18.3 points and 2.7 rebounds
Despite being the team's second-leading scorer in each of the four years he was in Utah, Jeff Malone has become little more than a footnote in the annals of Jazz history.
He was the less-celebrated third wheel of a legitimate "Big Three", alongside Karl Malone and John Stockton.
Together, the trio helped establish the Jerry Sloan era as the Jazz became one of the most consistent teams in the NBA.
Acquiring Malone from the Washington Bullets also helped to eventually land Jeff Hornacek. In 1994, Utah and Philadelphia swapped the two shooting guards before the trade deadline and Hornacek helped the Jazz reach two NBA Finals in '97 and '98.
Hired: Assistant coach in 1984, head coach in 1988
Coaching Record in Utah: 1,127-682 (.623)
You may think I'm cheating a little bit on this one, but the impact that Jerry Sloan had on the Utah Jazz cannot be overstated. Acquiring him in Utah was as big as the acquisition of any individual player not named Karl Malone or John Stockton.
Sloan established a culture of discipline, toughness and ultimately, winning, in Utah that lasted for over 20 years and still lingers there today.
Sloan may now have the chance to cultivate that culture once again.
According to KSL.com., the organization is bringing back one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time as a senior basketball advisor.
I'd love to see Sloan return to the Jazz as the head coach, but any role he has with the team is better than no role. If he can influence the young core of Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks and Trey Burke in any way similar to how he influenced Stockton and Malone, Utah's rebuilding might not take very long at all.