While all the focus is on Donovan Mitchell and the Cavaliers, the Jazz are doing what they hoped this offseason — starting over with some promising new talent.
Oh, and if you throw in the Rudy Gobert trade with the Timberwolves, the Jazz have now stockpiled a whopping 15 first-round picks over the next seven years.
Along with all that, it’s pretty evident that Utah’s front office team of CEO Danny Ainge and GM Justin Zanik aren’t finished. Word is, they are also looking to trade off older veterans such as Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley. Though Clarkson and Sexton played together with the Cavs, and sources said that Clarkson may be the one vet Utah keeps.
Anyway, the Jazz are likely still to land more fresh faces and daft picks this season, and perhaps do so even before the start of training camp at the end of the month.
Right now, their starting five very well could look like this:
Sexton, Horton-Tucker, Markkanen, Bogdanovic and maybe rookie Walker Kessler at center, with Clarkson, Agbaji, Rudy Gay, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Nickeil
Alexander-Walker among the reserves.
That won’t win you many games, and there are still tons of gaps to fill. Namely, who’s the point guard? Who’s the center? And do you actually have a bench (especially if you unload the veterans)?
Now, don’t misunderstand, the Jazz are just fine with not winning a whole lot. And Sexton, Horton-Tucker and Markkanen are nice starting points. Also, Agbaji is a lottery pick and may turn out to be quite a find as well.
Surely, the Jazz aren’t a finished product, not even this season. But it’s going to be a process under first-time head coach Will Hardy.
As Sarah Todd of the Deseret News wrote: “The Jazz front office will have to navigate the 2022-23 season and seasons to come with a sense of patience and balance before choosing the perfect moment to push back into the fold. Timing will be everything.”
Indeed it will.