Donovan Mitchell burst on the scene as a top NBA scorer last season, after being drafted 13th overall out of Louisville. Mitchell averaged 20 points per game, but also 1.5 steals per game. He is now coming into his sophomore season in the NBA, and this is where we start seeing potential trends and outlooks for younger players. Utah has a great core right now, and Mitchell is going to likely lead this team in scoring again. Something went horribly wrong if the year ends and Mitchell is not the leading scorer on the Jazz. Look for another big year out of the second year guard.
Rudy Gobert won the Defensive Player Of The Year award last season, and has averaged over two blocks per game in each of the last four seasons. Gobert has also added to his game some offense as the attempts continue to rise. Gobert is not used offensively, but his 7’1 frame is the best rim protecting center in basketball right now. The only real knock on Gobert is that he played just 56 games last season, and health will be a key factor in him repeating. The Jazz are also pushing the pace a bit more this season which will be interesting given his size.
It is sometimes odd for a team to not make any moves, and Utah really didn’t. They signed one draft pick, and the rest of their roster is the same. With a backcourt under the age of 28, and polished veterans everywhere else, the Jazz did not need to make any moves. They were a playoff team last season, and the emergence of Donovan Mitchell gives them a potential superstar for the future. They drafted Grayson Allen out of Duke. The Jazz already have plenty of guard depth, so it is hard to envision Allen having a role in year one barring any injuries.
Joe Ingles was finally put on the map last year, and mainly because he looks like Toby Flenderson from The Office. He is a sharpshooting small forward who is a very underrated defender. Ingles can guard multiple positions, and is a career 44% three point shooter. He is also a great locker room presence, and is coming off a career high in points at 11.5 per game. He is not the flashiest player in the game, and is certainly not bringing what Gordon Hayward brought, but his overall play is crucial to Utah and the success they are having right now.
Ricky Rubio is coming off a career high in points, averaging 13.1 last season. While his assists took a dip, he put together a strong season and stayed healthy. It was Rubio’s first year in Utah, and things didn’t quite pan out for Minnesota. Rubio has found himself in Utah, and has looked to finally settle in for a good role. Rubio isn’t going to be the focal point of an offense, and will hand the keys to Donovan Mitchell at times, which bodes well for Rubio. He will be a key part of the Jazz making the playoffs two years in a row.