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I enjoy jazz music. Am I a connoisseur? No, so if I misrepresent the genre, don’t throw a hissy fit. With that said, jazz is so smooth to me. I especially love that it is primarily based on improvisation.

Very cool. So, it’s always funny to me that the Utah Jazz have been such a structured offensive team for so long. Except for a couple of Deron Williams years and the first four years of John Stockton, the Jazz have consistently been in the bottom third of the league for offensive pace. Conversely, they have been one of the more efficient offensive teams over the past 25 years and have routinely ranked high in offensive rating. Now that Gordon Hayward is gone and Ricky Rubio is in, will there be more improv in Utah this season? Will our own Viz throw internet tomatoes at me for my preview of his beloved Jazz?

2016 record: 51-31

Key acquisitions:

Key losses:

Outlook:

This is still a playoff team, but I have some doubts about whether this could be a 50-win team. Losing a player of Hayward’s caliber is going to hurt. Who can create offense outside the structure of the offense? Already, the team has suffered injuries to both Dante Exum and Rodney Hood and Derrick Favors is no bastion of health. How will Ricky Rubio fit in? Will Quin Snyder push the pace to get more early offense? There are questions, y’all. With all that said, there is talent and Snyder is a good coach, so the team will be competitive. Just how much is the question.

PG – It’s all about the J for Rubio. He shot 40% from the field for the first time in his career. From three-land, he shot 30%. The PnR with Rudy Gobert is going to be a staple and could be deadly, but you have to imagine that teams will just sag down and make Rubio shoot the J. I do have confidence in Snyder’s ability to design offensive sets with this in mind, though. The main thing for me is the pace at which the Jazz are going to play. They were dead-last and I do think they push the pace a little more this year. Rubio should be a nightly double-dub threat, grab around four boards, and pilfer close to two a game. He’ll be fine in Utah. Dante Exum was slated to backup Rubio, but unfortunately, he separated his left shoulder and is going to miss most of the season. Raul Neto will now be the primary backup. He’s a good shooter (career 38% from three-land), has been in the Utah system for two years, and could get some steals. Donovan Mitchell could also see some time at point.

SGRodney Hood is a popular come back candidate, as he shoots 36% from three-land and is expected to be an integral piece of the offense. Unfortunately, he injured his neck in the preseason. While it doesn’t sound serious, Hood missed 23 games last season and 32 game his rookie year. Hood doesn’t contribute much in the ancillary categories, but he’d get plenty of shot opportunities. He averaged 11.3 and 12.3 the past two years with that number expected to increase with the departure of Hayward. Donovan Mitchell is really good. The rookie balled out in Summer League and has continued the impressive play in the preseason. He plays really good defense, can shoot from outside, break people down off the dribble, and is tough as nails. If given the minutes, he could potentially challenge for ROY honors. He’s that good. Alec Burks. Often hyped, he’s never been able to put it together. Injuries have been a factor, but he’s just been inconsistent. He shoots well from the outside and, with the injury to Exum, could find some more minutes.

SF – And your replacement for Hayward is……….drum roll please……Joe Ingles.

Ok, that wasn’t fair. Ingles is a good player. He shoots 40% from three-land, will grab some boards, dish out a few dimes, and will get his pilfer on. He’s not flashy or sexy, but his hoops IQ is high. Joe Johnson and Thabo Sefolosha will back up Ingles. Snyder called Johnson a potential Sixth Man of the Year candidate. Uh…..no. This is what I wrote about Johnson in my player rankings:

When it’s all said and done, Joe Johnson is going to go down in NBA history as the greatest anonymous non-superstar. Hmm, I don’t even know if that makes sense to me, but hear me out. First, the name. Joe Johnson. Seriously? It doesn’t get more generic than that. Second, there was a stretch in his career when he was really good. Like really, really good. But he was never a superstar, yet he got paid like one. Did you know that JJ was an All-Star for six straight seasons? Now, this will be his 18th year in the league. Only 17 players have played in more NBA seasons. Do you think future generations will ever speak about Joe Johnson? Shit, we don’t even talk about him now! Anyways, I just wanted to give props to Joe.

He can still shoot (41% from three-land last season), grab a couple of boards, and dish out a dime or two here. Can’t imagine him getting too many minutes, though. Low-20s. Sefolosha is a decent player. Can shoot the three (34%), grab boards, and get his pilfer on. If Johnson ain’t getting many minutes, where do you think that leaves Thabo?

PFDerrick Favors is the starter. And it looks like he’s healthy! I think Viz just jizzed in his pants. Or maybe he’s been jizzing all preseason. Anyways, when healthy, Favors is a beast down low. 16 and 8 with a steal and 1.5 blocks is what he’ll probably put up. And he won’t kill you in FT% (70%). Just know that the injury risk is high. Jonas Jerebko is the backup. He can board and shoot the three (35%). If Favors goes down, he could be of some value.

C – Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! Gobert is a beast. Sky-high FG%, nightly double-dub, and an insane number of blocks. FT% is in the 60s, but he is so dominant in the other categories that it doesn’t really matter. Ekpe Udoh is the backup. He’s been playing in Europe the past two years. He’s only here to give Gobert a break.

  1. kalone says:
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    Hey, maybe a dumb question… How do I see pricing for bball tools and possibly sign up?

      • kalone says:
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        @Son: Cool, thanks!

        One other quick question that might also be for Rudy, y’all used to have a “$” value on the sortable stats that was sort of a comprehensive player rater across roto cats. Is that still a part of the Stocktonator?

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @kalone: Not sure. I’d assume that it will be, but he should have the page up with all the pertinent information.

  2. Dante Green says:
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    9-cat, 18-team league

    PG1 Rubio
    PG2 Collison
    SG1 Crabbe
    SG2 Brown
    SF1 Leonard
    SF2 Butler
    SF3 Richardson
    PF1 Gordon
    PF2 Johnson
    C1 Capela

    IR1 Curry
    IR2 Holmes

    I think my team is all set for the regular season. The last player I snagged from the wire was Josh Richardson and I don’t think I’ll be making any more moves soon.

    I’m not too optimistic about Curry. Carlisle said he’s expecting him to ready by the start of the season. I think that’s BS so I’m tempering my expectations. I’m expecting the worst.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Dante Green: Like the squad. Nice job on the JRich pickup. I’m also very skeptical on Seth Curry. I also have some concerns with Kawhi as well. Anyways, solid squad

      • Dante Green says:
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        @Son:

        Ugh, yea. I had the 10th pick and just couldn’t pass up on Kawhi. Ugh I hope he’s ready for the regular season!

        I hope I win my first title with you as my advisor. Hah

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @Dante Green: I hear you.

          Ha! I hope you win as well. Good luck Dante!

  3. PuffTheMagicDragic says:
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    Son the man! Sup?

    Who’d you pick? Maker, Collins, Swanigan?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Hmmm, it depends on what you’re looking for. Thon for the 3s. Collins for the boards and possible blocks, but he may not play until later. Biggie is he most well-rounded and could get some time early.

      • PuffTheMagicDragic says:
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        @Son: Thanks, man! I need PF, C.

        Here’s my lineup:
        Kyle Lowry Tor – PG
        D’Angelo Russell Bkn – PG,SG
        Allen Crabbe Bkn – PG,SG
        Gary Harris Den – SG,SF
        Kentavious Caldwell-Pope LAL – SG
        Danilo Gallinari LAC – SF,PF
        Robert Covington Phi – SF,PF
        Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Bkn – SF,PF
        James Johnson Mia – SF,PF
        Paul Millsap Den – PF,C
        JaMychal Green Mem – PF
        Karl-Anthony Towns Min – C

        I want to replace Green with one of those players I’ve mentioned.

  4. Shahed says:
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    Hey Son,

    What are your thoughts on this team in RCL, 12 Team, 9 Cat, H2H.

    1. (10) John Wall PG
    2. (15) Rudy Gobert C
    3. (34) Kevin Love PF,C
    4. (39) Paul Millsap PF,C
    5. (58) Nicolas Batum SG,SF
    6. (63) Andrew Wiggins SG,SF
    7. (82) Tim Hardaway Jr. SG,SF
    8. (87) Gorgui Dieng PF,C
    9. (106) Rajon Rondo PG
    10. (111) J.J. Redick SG
    11. (130) Jordan Clarkson PG,SG
    12. (135) C.J. Miles SG,SF
    13. (154) Alex Len PF,C

    Drafted on Sep 30. Batum and Rondo both injured, which screws me, moved to IL. Picked up Tucker (will stream this spot) and Dejounte Murray. I wanted Ish Smith, but he got picked up before I could get him.

    Monk, Mitchell, Winslow, Swanigan, J. Simmons, Olynyk, J. Brown, J. Collins, T. Maker, S. Labissiere, L. Stephenson all available.

    What are your thoughts? Any changes?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Shahed: Yeah, Rondo injury hurts. Need assists. You know I’m not a fan of Wiggins so….you have other players that are similar as well. Dieng looks like he’s going to be the backup center. Minutes may come down. I like DMitch, especially with Hood injury

      • Shahed says:
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        @Son: I dropped CJ Miles for Mitchell. I drafted Wiggins just for the points, felt like I needed the points. I’m gonna keep an eye on Monk, you like Mitchell more than Monk?

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @Shahed: I love Monk. He’s going to chuck up shots and make a grip of them. DMitch is more well-rounded, though

  5. Chris says:
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    Hey Son! Recently got on Razzball and love the site!

    Was just hoping to get your thoughts on this team! H2H, 12 team, 9 cats.

    1. Steph Curry PG,SG (4)
    2. Myles Turner PF,C (21)
    3. Kevin Love PF,C (28)
    4. Victor Oladipo PG,SG (45)
    5. Serge Ibaka PF,C (52)
    6. James Johnson SF,PF (69)
    7. Tim Hardaway Jr SG,SF (76)
    8. Dennis Smith Jr PG (93)
    9. Willy Hernangomez C (100)
    10. Buddy Hield SG (117)
    11. Allen Crabbe PG,SG,SF (124)
    12. Josh Richardson PG,SG,SF (141)
    13. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SF,PF (148)

    Pretty light on assists, was thinking if I should just punt that or make some moves to beef that up. Ish Smith is on the waiver, so he’s viable. Thoughts?

    Thanks!

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Welcome!

      Yeah, light there. Definitely a viable strategy. Ringer just submitted a “punt assist” article, so keep an eye out for it soon. I’d pass on Ish

      • Chris says:
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        @Son: Thanks!

        I’ll keep a lookout for that! Rather loving the team, expecting big years for Turner and Dipo. Surprised that I could get DSJ at round 8.

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @Chris: Yeah, I love Myles and DSJ as well. I’m like Dipo, but don’t love him…..yet

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