Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans is the ultimate wild card for the team this season and into the future. Jeremy entered this season being somewhat of an afterthought for many Jazz fans, understandably, as Utah has some exciting names in the frontcourt and the fact that Jeremy hasn’t seen much of the floor in his previous three years with the team. Jazz fans have been eager to see what Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter could do with more time and to watch their newly drafted 7-footer (Rudy Gobert) in action. Though one of the most interesting players to watch this season is Evans, as he will finally get his opportunity to prove his worth in extended minutes.
Jeremy has now played in 10 games this season, and is getting his fair share of minutes. At 21 minutes per game, Evans is averaging about eight points and six rebounds per game. Those averages aren’t really anything special, but Jeremy is playing his role exactly how he should. Clearly Jeremy is not going to be a go-to-guy on offense, but he will collect points as a result of his freakish athletic ability and an ever improving jumpshot. Evans is also collecting one block, one assist, and one steal per game.
The most important part of Jeremy’s game this season has been his efficiency. Evans is shooting about 61 percent from the field so far, best on the team. He also leads the team in true shooting percentage (62 percent), player efficiency rating (20 compared to a league average of 15), offensive rating and win shares per 48 minutes. Being the most effective scorer on one of the league’s worst teams might not be an extreme accomplishment, but his numbers would be good on any team. Take a look at Jeremy’s shot chart. In the three major areas Jeremy has attempted shots from (restricted area, rest of the paint and mid-range), Jeremy is shooting above the league average from each and is also attempting about 65 percent of his shots in the paint.
Though it’s likely we see some sort of regression to the mean, it’s clear that Jeremy has earned a place in the rotation. It will be interesting to see how Ty Corbin incorporates Evans into a frontcourt that is already manned by Favors, Kanter, Gobert, and Marvin Williams. Andris Biedrins and Mike Harris are also fighting for minutes. With this kinds of logjam, it may be difficult to give Evans as many minutes as he deserves, but it is clear he should be on the court.