Utah Jazz 2011-12 Depth Chart
In a matter of days last season, the Utah Jazz had their franchise flipped upside down, losing both their Hall of Fame coach and all-star point guard. Utilizing the draft and the Deron Williams trade, the Jazz have rebuilt very quickly.
With so many fresh faces and free agency before the season, Coach Tyrone Corbin will have a lot of important decisions to make about the roster and depth chart for the upcoming season.
When/if the NBA season starts this year, this is how the depth chart will look for the Utah Jazz.
Point Guard: Devin Harris, Sebastian Telfair, Earl Watson
Sebastian Telfair will be reunited with ex-teammate Al Jefferson.
The Jazz only have one point guard under contract: Devin Harris. While he may not be the long-term solution at point guard, he's very serviceable and not too expensive.
This offseason is not a good one for elite point guards. Next year, however, is. So for now, Harris is staying put.
Everyone loves Ronnie Price for his hustle, but his inability to run an offense or shoot the ball make him a liability for the team. The Jazz will release him, keep Earl Watson, and sign Sebastian Telfair from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
For only a small amount more in salary cap space, Telfair's averages last year of 7.2 PPG, 3 APG, and 40% 3-point shooting will be a much needed upgrade over Price's line of of 3.3 PPG, 0.9 APG and dreadful 29% from three.
Shooting Guard: Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Raja Bell
Gordon Hayward held his own against Kobe Bryant late last season.
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Some say that Gordon Hayward is more of a small forward. I believe he's better suited at shooting guard.
During the last six games of the season while getting starter minutes at shooting guard, Hayward averaged 18 PPG, 2.8 APG, 3 RPG, and a whopping 57.9% from three. He plays sound defense and also gives Utah a length advantage.
Raja Bell is a class-act guy. But to be honest, age is catching up with him. He shot 5 percent worse than his career average from three and an abysmal 40.9 percent from the field overall. He's not as quick on defense as he used to be, either.
The Jazz go with youth here and rookie Alec Burks at number two on the depth chart.
Small Forward: Wilson Chandler, CJ Miles, Jeremy Evans
The Jazz steal Wilson Chandler.
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The Jazz will make a big splash in the free agency market by signing restricted free agent Wilson Chandler. With the new CBA and lots of players needing new contracts, money will be tight for Denver.
The Nuggets' priorities will lie in re-signing Nenê, Arron Afflalo, Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith. After drafting Jordan Hamilton and having Danilo Gallinari starting at small forward, Denver can afford to lose Chandler, too.
Utah, however, will have Andrei Kirilenko's crippling $17.8 million contract off the books and room to sign. Chandler will sign with Utah for higher pay, a chance to start immediately, and to be part of a solid core of young players.
It is well documented how inconsistent C.J. Miles is. Shooting 40.7 percent from the field and 32.2 percent from three does not cut it to be a starter. However, he and Jeremy Evans should provide some spark off the bench.
Power Forward: Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap
Derrick Favors is ready to be a starter.
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Every Utah Jazz fan has to appreciate what Paul Millsap has done for the franchise. He's a blue-collar player who doesn't take nights off. He has developed a consistent mid-range jumper and plays good defense. His biggest problem is the fact that he is undersized.
Although Derrick Favors is a work in progress, he is the power forward of the future for the Jazz. He's long, fast, and ridiculously athletic.
He does still need to work on his jump shot and footwork. But for too long the Jazz have struggled against longer teams like the Los Angeles Lakers. Favors can change that.
Paul Millsap could also try to adjust to playing small forward. But if he's not willing to be the sixth man or learn a new position, the Jazz might need to trade him while he's hot.
Center: Al Jefferson, Enes Kanter, Mehmet Okur
Al Jefferson will start at center.
There is a surprising number of Jazz fans who are critics of Al Jefferson. But really, how many better centers are out there? Statistically, among centers he ranks 4th in scoring, 6th in rebounds, 6th in blocked shots and 2nd in double-doubles. He also had the lowest turnover ratio for any player in the NBA.
He's a bit undersized and doesn't get the best positioning on the defensive end, but Big Al is a very good center with a great touch and loads of post moves. He didn't have the best season as far as shooting percentage, but that's because he was the only offensive option at times for the Jazz.
Mehmet Okur is getting older and is often injured. He should be a good mentor, though, for a young and inexperienced Enes Kanter.