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The Jazz performed nicely in this year's draft also, adding Enes Kanter and Alec Burks to their roster of young and proven players alike.
It's difficult to predict the immediate future of the franchise, as a trade is almost certain to take place involving one or more of Utah's post players when the lockout ends.
There's a logjam at the 4 and 5 positions, as they have Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, Mehmet Okur, and Enes Kanter.
Doing the math, that's three players capable of putting up 20 points and 10 rebounds per night, four players with All-Star potential (Mehmet Okur has already made an All-Star appearance), and five players that deserve a starting role on a team.
Sadly, we're not going to induce trade speculation here; we will simply expound on what the Jazz could do to claim a championship.
First off, let me state the fact that I believe dealing Deron Williams to the Nets was irrevocably the correct move in part by Kevin O'Connor and Greg Miller (general manager and CEO, respectively), and will be an essential part in sustaining this franchise's "elite" status.
Although they missed the playoffs this year, it's general knowledge that things must get worse before they get better. How soon things get better the better question, as no one has that particular answer.
The first step toward championship contention for the Jazz would be to instigate a defensive mindset. Utah was utterly lacking on the defensive end this past season and needs to improve, not to mention their rebounding deficiencies. Those were two of the Utah Jazz's hallmark traits as a team in the past.
A new offensive scheme might also help their efforts, but wouldn't be absolutely necessary.
The team management, fans, and players all seem to trust in head coach Tyrone Corbin to bring the Jazz back into the playoffs, and that brings us to the main point I will make for Utah:
Trust and team chemistry are absolutely essential here. Trades and injuries have taken their toll on the Jazz in the past, and they direly need to keep a healthy roster in order for the team to play, well, like an actual team.
Utah will also have over $25 million in spending money after the lockout ends, in part due to the expiration of Andrei Kirilenko's maximum contract.
If the Jazz can get better defensively, grow together, trust each other, staydevoid of injuries, sign the right players with their money, and build themselves up for a few seasons, I wouldn't bet against them to bring home a title.
Synopsis: Utah ranked 26th overall in the league in rebounding, 18th in three-point field goal percentages, 13th in points per game, and 17th in turnovers. The Jazz have to be more aggressive at rebounding, try to up their three-point average, score prolifically, and make better on-court decisions.