Post Kantar Jazz Finding a Rhythm
*Photo via USA Today
The Jazz this year have not played very well, despite having a decent core group of guys it was clear a change was needed. The Jazz shipped out young big man, Enes Kantar. In a trade in which they didn’t receive any big player in return, instead it gave guys more minutes and the chance to shine. They were 19-32 prior to the Kantar trade, since they are 9-2. They aren’t beating just any teams either, along this hot streak, they have beaten; Houston, Portland, San Antonio, and Memphis. All four of these teams are in the upper class of Western Conference talent, which shows, despite moving the 22 year old Kantar.
This move has elevated the Jazz. Since the trade, Kantars replacement, Rudy Gobert has been a stud. He’s averaging 10.5 PPG, 14.1 RPG, 3.1 BLKS, and in the increase of playing time he is still only averaging 1.8 fouls per game. Which as we know can be an issue among young big men around the league. As well as Gobert’s improved play , Derek Favors has really been a key factor for Utah. He’s averaging 18 PPG 9.0 RPG and his +/- is at 7.9 from the -1.0 it was with Kantar in Utah. This trade so far has benefited both sides; OKC has the two way center they were lacking, while Utah has been able to find a groove with the line-up change. How this holds up for Utah down the stretch and next year is still up in the air, however it may be the start for Utah fans to get excited about Jazz basketball.