Requiring a needle-moving offseason after two straight disappointing playoffs, the Utah Jazz accomplished … something this summer.
For the past two seasons, the Utah Jazz have been good, but not great. Donovan Mitchell‘s two seasons in the NBA have resulted in 101 total wins. The underlying numbers portray them as even better than that, but they’ve run into a brick wall in consecutive postseasons.
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The narratives for why the team had a ceiling were the same each time. Mitchell needs help. Starting two bigs, no matter how much they’re staggered, is inefficient. They need more shooting.
The fact that Utah has been this good with such limitations is quite an accomplishment. Churning out the fourth-best Net Rating in the league in each of these seasons is no small feat.
But something had to change, no doubt. Waves had to be made. The franchise couldn’t feasibly sell a product with a known expiration date.
The team didn’t just make waves; Utah hit the Association with a tsunami. The front office targeted the correct pieces to complement Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, making the regular season roster demonstrably better.
The Jazz have been known for their depth for several years now, but some had to be sacrificed this summer. The end result is one of the best starting lineups in the West; here’s how they constructed it.