Building a New Foundation for Success


Dusty Robins

Fist game of the Utah Jazz season, playing the Denver Nuggets

During the 2021-2022 season the Utah Jazz were led by Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley. Donovan led the team in points per game with 25.9, Rudy with rebounds per game at 14.7 and Donovan and Conley both led the team in assists per game with 5.3. The Jazz finished the regular season 5th place in the Western Conference. Then they took on the 4th seeded Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Playoffs.

In the NBA Playoffs, teams will play a best of 7 series. The team that gets four wins first will then move on to the next round of the playoffs.

The Jazz started off strong by winning the first game of the series against the Dallas Mavericks by a score of 99-93. They were led by Donovan Mitchell with 32 points and 6 assists. The next two games were a bit of a struggle for the Jazz and they lost both games by a score of 104-110 and 118-126. Their next game went down to the wire. With 30 seconds left the Jazz had the ball and scored on an alley-oop play from Donovan to Rudy to go up with 11 seconds left in the game. Dallas had one more opportunity to score but missed a game winning 3 pointer. Utah tied the series at 2 games a piece. Dallas went on to win the next two games to win the series and move on to the next round.

Many fans were disappointed in the way that the team has performed in the playoffs for the past couple of years and wanted to see change in the team this past offseason.

One of the first big things that happened in the offseason was Jazz head coach, Quin Snyder, stepping down June 5, 2022 after 8 seasons as Utah Jazz head coach. Twenty four days later Will Hardy was hired and became the new head coach. The next day Royce O’neale got traded to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for a 2023 first-round draft pick.

The two biggest trades for the Jazz this offseason was trading away All Star Rudy Gobert and All Star Donovan Mitchell. Gobert got traded on July 6th 2022 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Jazz received Malik Beasley, Patrick Beaverley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Leandro Bolmaro. They also got 2023, 2025, and 2027 unprotected first-round picks and a pick swap in 2026. The Jazz also received a top-five protected pick for 2029. After receiving Beverley in July the Jazz quickly turned around and traded Beverley away in August to the Los Angeles Lakers for Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson.

Donovan Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers September 1, 2022 for Colin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, and Ochai Adbaji. They also acquired 1st round unprotected draft picks in 2025, 2027, and 2029.

“When I first heard about the trade I was surprised, because we had already traded Rudy away so I thought we were keeping Mitchell,” said Brock Hansen. “I was sad because I thought this meant that we weren’t going to win any games this season.”

One of the final moves the Jazz made this offseason was trading away Bojan Bogdanovic to the Detroit Pistons for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee.

The Utah Jazz started off the 2022-2023 season hot, winning their first three games of the season and surprising many people. Currently, Utah is sitting in third place in the Western Conference with a record of 10-6. This season Utah has been led by Lauri Markkanen and Mike Conley. Markkanen is leading the team in points per game with 21.2 and 8.4 rebounds per game. Conley is also leading the team in assists per game with 8.1.

In all Utah has a very bright future with all of the players and draft picks they have received this offseason. It will be interesting to see what type of success The Jazz will have in the upcoming years.