Winners: Utah Jazz
Had the Utah Jazz finished up their offseason following the acquisition of Mike Conley, fans would’ve gone into the 2019-20 season more than satisfied with the upgrade at point guard. As the great front offices do, there was more in store, and Utah is certainly better off because of it.
Over the last couple of years, the Jazz have desperately lacked a viable option at power forward. What Derrick Favors brought to the table he did at a fairly high level, but he wasn’t the one to push the offense to the level it needed to be at in order to realistically move up in the conference standings.
After the loss of Victor Oladipo, Bojan Bogdanovic stepped up mightily in helping keep Indiana afloat. He averaged a career-high 18.0 points per game last season and was a lethal threat from deep, having shot 42.5 percent from beyond the arc. His four-year, $73 million deal is a useful asset.
Utah ran the third-most pick-and-rolls per game last season. With Bogdanovic drawing out that weak-side defender, this outside shooter is sure to do wonders for ball-handlers Conley and Donovan Mitchell, along with the towering Rudy Gobert diving to the paint.
In another move that helps negate the loss of Favors, the Jazz also brought in journeyman Ed Davis on a manageable two-year, $10 million deal. Despite averaging a hair under 18 minutes a game last season, Davis still managed to haul in 8.6 rebounds a night, bringing tremendous energy to the boards that is sure to serve Utah well.
No team appears to be taking advantage of the wide open West more than the Jazz. They now boast one of the most talented starting fives in the league with two offensive upgrades to complement a top-ranked defense. After years floating around the middle, this may be the year for Utah to works its way to the top.