just less than a month away from us Utah Jazoo Season Opener. Jazz players have started coming back to Salt Lake City ahead of the start of camp a week from today. Looking at this upcoming season, there is no question that it is going to be very different from the past decade or so. All signs point to Jazz winning a lot of games. To Vegas Insider, his current over/under for wins for the 2022–23 season is set at 26.5 which is in the bottom five in the NBA. The Jazz went from the 50-winning perennial team to the bottom feeder with incredible speed. Despite the Jazz not winning a lot of games this season, there is still a lot to see.
new young talent
The Jazz has spent the past few years trying to score a run in a championship. He scored a very good run but couldn’t pull it off. Instead of continuing to beat the dead horse, he swapped the dead horse for a shiny new young handsome pony. This pony has the looks of Colin Sexton, Jared Vanderbilt, Ochai Agbaji, Laurie Markkanen; All the boys in their early twenties and all have some great basketball talent. Laurie Markkanen is fresh off an incredible EuroBasket performance, where he was one of the most electrifying players in the entire tournament.
He only surpassed Giannis Antetokounmpo on 28 points per outing in points per game throughout the tournament. He shot 54/40/90 splits, and took Finland to their first EuroBasket quarterfinal appearance. Of all the different players the Jazz achieved over the summer, I’m personally most excited to see Laurie Markkanen.
Collin Sexton seems excited to be in Utah. He, along with a few other players, played a University of Utah football game his first weekend in the city. Sexton is another guy who’s just a fun player to play basketball. His effort, energy and athleticism is definitely something to look forward to this season.
Simone Fontecchio is another interesting player to watch for this season. Like Markkanen, Fontecchio has had his fair share of dominating during the FIBA EuroBasket. Fontecchio Something that gives off Ingalls vibes. Smart, gritty, international player who is making his NBA debut in his late twenties after some professional experience in Europe. It worked out very well for Joe Ingalls, so we’ll see if Fontecio can follow in Joe’s footsteps in Utah.
Assuming he doesn’t do business and actually lives in Utah.. Jordan Clarkson is going to have a lot of fun this season. I really hope he sticks around, because the flamethrower will be absolutely open. His green light is going the greenest we’ve ever seen. An average of 30 points per game, an all-star bid, some 50-point performances, what’s the maximum limit? Obviously the Jazz isn’t planning on winning too many games and claiming a playoff spot, so the Jesse All-LLL season could be a long one without any limitations.
Victor Vembanyama Highlights
As a team that’s tanking potential this season, all Jazz fans need to be familiar with Victor Vembanyama. Most, if not all, NBA fans in general are probably very familiar with him, with him being viewed as the NBA’s best prospect since LeBron James. It seems like every day a new clip of him playing is coming out which is absolutely absurd. This man is a freak.
If the Jazz is tanking this year, it’s because of them. The Jazz front office has tons of draft picks and young assets, which opens up the possibility of making a big trade for the #1 pick in next year’s draft, even if they don’t make it to the lottery. Sounds like a good idea, but then again that’s probably what most teams in the league are thinking. This guy is generational, and jazz fans are definitely in the mix to land him next summer.
hug the tank
In my eyes, tanking isn’t much fun. Trying not to win every game you play feels really lame and weird to me. Jazz is definitely showing all signs of tanking this season without saying “we’re tanking,” and that’s okay. If you think about it, there’s basically no point starting a team with a new coach, new players, new (AWFUL) jerseys, and expect them to compete for anything. If the goal was to make the playoffs, what’s the point? As mentioned above, the Jazz has a chance to take off a generation of players and build around that in next year’s draft (plus a few other good players). Danny Eng clarified that the Jazz is in rebuilding mode, and his focus is on building a championship team for the future. This is going to take some time, and unfortunately, a lot of pitfalls. With each loss though, imagine a taller Rudy Gobert who can dribble and shoot like Kevin Durant.. makes it a little easier.
Once a Jazz Man, Always a Jazz Man
I know a lot of fans won’t agree, but I’m really excited to see the former Jazz guys on their new teams this year. It is interesting that these are all teams that have a good chance of being a good competitive team in this upcoming season.
Rudy in Minnesota, Don in Cleveland, Royce in Brooklyn, Joe in Milwaukee. In fact either of those teams could emerge as the favorites at some point in the season, depending on how things go. The Jazz invested a lot in those players when they were here, and they made some awesome memories in jazz uniforms. Might not be for everyone, but seeing them succeed in new places is definitely something I look forward to.