Jazz Mailbag: Jazz want to win games this season, right (wink, wink)? But how many?

The Utah Jazz’s opening evening roster is about, the sector has a brand spanking new courtroom, and on Wednesday evening the 2022-23 season will likely be off and working.

That approach it’s an ideal time to open up the mailbag and solution some last-minute preseason questions.

These first two questions are comparable, and they’re identical to numerous different questions that had been submitted. Basically, folks want to know, are the Jazz tanking?

Very merely, the solution is sure.

The greatest items of proof are that the Jazz traded away the avid gamers that saved them in playoff rivalry over the previous few years. The maximum essential items the Jazz won in the ones trades had been long term belongings. They sought after massive hauls of draft alternatives and so they were given what they sought after.

The Jazz didn’t make those offers as a result of they had been attempting to recover right now, as a result of they sought after to compete for a name this season. The Jazz done the beginnings of a rebuilding plan.

With that during thoughts, let’s have a look at what we all know to solution the query above. The Los Angeles Lakers had been a 33-win group final yr. They overlooked the playoffs. The San Antonio Spurs had been a 33-win group in 2021. They overlooked the playoffs. Even within the shortened 2020 NBA season, the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies overlooked the playoffs after racking up 34 wins every.

The lesson right here: A 33-win season isn’t excellent sufficient to make the playoffs, and it misses the mark on getting the most productive lottery odds.

The Jazz didn’t ship a big entrance place of work contingent to Las Vegas to watch Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson play as a result of they identical to gazing basketball. They want a top draft pick out and the ones two avid gamers will likely be going first and 2nd total within the upcoming draft.

You have heard that the Jazz want to win games. That is what common supervisor Justin Zanik has stated publicly, that’s what head trainer Will Hardy has stated and that’s what the avid gamers have stated, and all of this is comprehensible.

There are not any NBA avid gamers who want to lose. There isn’t an NBA trainer who’s going to trainer avid gamers to lose. So after they say they want to win, they don’t seem to be mendacity. But if a entrance place of work is making an attempt to build up their odds at a top draft pick out, it’s their process to remove profitable items from a group, disrupt the composition of the group, and make certain that the group isn’t arrange to win.

Zanik isn’t going to sit down in entrance of a microphone and say that the Jazz are purposefully going to be dangerous this yr as a result of they want to remove from the aggressive nature of the NBA product, possibility income and push for losses for the next share probability at touchdown Wembanyama. That would ship Adam Silver right into a fury, it will lead to the Jazz being fined, and if the Jazz had been too brazen about tanking, that might be able to imply even heavier punishment from the league.

You is not going to discover a entrance place of work govt who’s going to admit, at the report, that the Jazz are tanking. But the proof is obvious. They want top draft alternatives, they want price in what they traded away their stars for, and so they want the most productive conceivable probability at a brighter long term.

Now, with all of that during thoughts, let’s have a look at this subsequent query. The Jazz introduced on Kelly Olynyk, who’s if truth be told simplest beneath contract in the course of the 2023-24 season and that 2nd yr is in part assured.

If I had been to ask, who would win you extra games: Olynyk or Bojan Bogdanovic? My solution can be Bogdanovic, which is why he’s now not in a Jazz uniform anymore. Olynyk despite the fact that, with just a $12 million deal, might be simply traded subsequent yr when his deal is expiring and now not totally assured. It’s additionally conceivable {that a} business that includes Olynyk may web a long term asset, or be a part of a bigger deal, which might then make the Bogdanovic business glance significantly better. So, we’ve to wait and notice how that pans out.

Rudy Gay isn’t profitable the Jazz any games.

If I had been a making a bet lady, the participant I’d say is in all probability to be traded by means of the business cut-off date is Jordan Clarkson. Mike Conley can also be to be had, but additionally will almost definitely relaxation a excellent collection of games this season.

If the Jazz weren’t tanking, wouldn’t they’ve flipped a few of their belongings to get a celeb on this roster? Wouldn’t they insist on retaining their best possible position avid gamers?

This is a tank yr.

Absolutely now not.

There are unquestionably avid gamers who appear to be they may issue right into a long term Jazz group, and that the Jazz can be hesitant to come with in a deal, however this isn’t a group that has untouchable avid gamers. For the right value, any deal can also be made.

Do I feel that the Jazz truly like Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton and Jarred Vanderbilt and Walker Kessler? Yes. But are they untouchable? No.

Great query. Ochai Agbaji, the No. 14 total pick out in this yr’s draft, obtained by means of the Jazz within the deal that despatched Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, performed precisely 23.1 mins right through the preseason, most commonly right through rubbish time. He didn’t play in any respect in probably the most preseason games.

Gay however, going into to his seventeenth yr within the NBA, performed 60.8 mins throughout 3 preseason games.

The common season might be other and there may well be extra alternative for Agbaji, we will be able to’t know needless to say. But if preseason is any indication, it appears as despite the fact that Agbaji goes to have to earn his time at the flooring simply as he would with another group.

Maybe the rotations and mins distributions will alternate after the business cut-off date. Maybe there will likely be some extra motion that we aren’t expecting right now. But I’m additionally questioning why Agbaji didn’t get extra runs right through the preseason and what his alternatives are going to appear to be within the upcoming days, weeks and months.

Again, we’ve to have a look at the preseason for some context and base predictions at the proof in entrance people.

Two-way avid gamers Johnny Juzang and Micah Potter aren’t going to be featured closely. Of the 15 common roster avid gamers, it seems like Udoka Azubuike, Leandro Bolmaro, Simone Fontecchio and Agbaji are on the tail finish of the pecking order. That leaves an 11-man rotation that can almost definitely get the lion’s proportion of the rotational mins.

I nonetheless assume that would alternate as soon as the business cut-off date passes or another offers are made that vary the roster, however for right now, it sort of feels the ones are the avid gamers that may be preventing for his or her alternatives.

New Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy, flanked by Jazz owner Ryan Smith, left, and Jazz CEO Danny Ainge, right.

New Utah Jazz head trainer Will Hardy, flanked by means of Jazz proprietor Ryan Smith, left, and Jazz CEO Danny Ainge, right, speaks right through a press convention held to introduce him at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

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