Key Additions: Trey Burke, John Lucas III,
Key Departures: Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Mo Williams, Randy Foye
This off season was one of significant transition for the Utah Jazz franchise. They opted to, instead of resigning veterans and attempting to remain mediocre, move on completely to their young core and build for the future. Letting Al Jefferson and more importantly Paul Millsap leave meant that the second unit would be moving a lot of players to the starting line up. There are several reasons this will help Utah in the long term. First and foremost the Jazz will be losing a ton of games this season and that will give them an excellent shot at this upcoming draft class which looks like one of the more loaded ones in recent memory. The absence of veterans on the roster will allow key young players like Gordon Hayward to get valuable on court experience and allow them to reach their full potential more quickly than if they were fight for playing time or coming off the bench. Overall though the Jazz will be taking a step back this year.
This is not a year where Utah will be in the playoff picture but development of young talent is always important and the development of chemistry between Hayward and rookie Trey Burke could be huge for this team. The problem with this team, as with all bottom dwellers in the NBA, is a lack of defense. Last season the Jazz were at the bottom of the defensive standings and transitioning from some veteran presence to almost no veterans is not the way to improve that ranking. Offensively it will be up to Gordon Hayward to make plays and score at an increased rate but never the less Utah looks like a team which will lack both scoring and consistent defense. This is no model for success. There is hope for Utah fans but it rests on them making a great selection in next seasons rookie draft.