• Russell Schmidt

NBA Future Power Rankings 13. Utah Jazz


*Photo via NBAE

The Utah Jazz were in the midst of another lost season at 18-35 when a midseason trade altered their fortunes. Utah chose center Rudy Gobert over Enes Kanter and shipped Kanter to the Oklahoma City Thunder. With the additions of Gobert and Dante Exum into the starting lineup, the Jazz took off, finishing the season with a 20-9 record and new found hope.

Starting shooting guard, Alec Burks, returns to a roster with legitimate playoff aspirations this season. However, those aspirations may be put on hold as Exum is now lost for the season with a torn ACL. Definitely a setback, but make no mistake, this Utah team is coming.

Utah will be a free agency player in the coming years as they have their core on rookie (or cap friendly) deals for the next three to four seasons. Along with an abundance of young assets, they will retain all of the picks and potentially have an extra two first rounders and seven second round selections within the next three years. Utah could be a landing spot for a big time free agent or a trade destination for a disgruntled star on an expiring deal.

The Utah Jazz are poised to climb the ranks of the Western Conference and challenge for a playoff spot in the near future. With both Gobert as a defensive force and a bruiser in Derrick Favors dominating the paint, Utah has an intimidating front line. Gordon Hayward leads a perimeter attack which will certainly be upgraded soon. Under the direction of young head coach, Quin Snyder, the Jazz will develop offensively while still being one of the best defensive teams in the league going forward.

Now enjoy Rudy Gobert rejecting everyone…EVERYONE.

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Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com, NBA.com, ESPN.com

Salary cap and contract information courtesy of Spotrac.com, Hoopshype.com, Basketballinsiders.com

Future draft commitments and rosters information courtesy of RealGM.com

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