25) Utah Jazz 43-39 in 2012-2013. 9th in the West. 3rd in the Northwest.
The Jazz went through a full revamping of the roster this offseason when they let Millsap and Jefferson go to pave way for the pair of young big men in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. The Jazz haven't been able to reach the levels of the late 90's team in quite some time, and are hoping another refreshing of their roster will help them get back there. Only time will tell in Utah.
Acquired: Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins, Brandon Rush, John Lucas III
Drafted: Trey Burke (#9), Rudy Gobert (#27)
Lost: Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Mo Williams, Earl Watson
Starters: Trey Burke (PG), Gordon Hayward (SG), Marvin Williams (SF), Derrick Favors (PF), Enes Kanter (C)
Bench: Brandon Rush (SG), Richard Jefferson (SF), John Lucas III (PG), Alec Burks (SG), Andris Biedrins (C)
Up: Gordon Hayward - Since his glory days at Butler, Hayward has gone on to make a name for himself on the Jazz. While the plentiful of frustrating and underperforming guards to play in Utah since Deron Williams' departure, Hayward has actually played quite well, and provided a long range shooter and scorer to help Utah's bigs.
Down: Andris Biedrins - It's tough to be Biedrins. Golden State gave him quite the contract back in 2008, yet since then a vast amount of injuries ruined his stamp as the Center on the Warriors. Ever since he's been an afterthought of a player, and now in Utah as part of the Andre Iguodala deal, it'll be up to him to prove he still has worth in the NBA, especially with his contract expiring this year.
X-Factor: Derrick Favors - The main piece of the Deron Williams trade was the #3 pick in the 2010 Draft. With Paul Millsap gone, Favors can go from 6th man to cornerstone of the Utah franchise. With the team going through a remodeling, the pressure won't be too high, yet fans will be looking for Favors to put up huge numbers in his first year as the team's "token player".
Question to Ponder...What kind of offense does Utah run?
A lot of people will suggest this team plays post up, hoping holes open up in the defense because of double-teams to Favors and Kanter, yet neither has shown they can pass out of the double team just yet. Also, this teams lacks many shooters, and just lost PG Trey Burke for multiple weeks to injury. This team will be relying on Marvin Williams and Alec Burks to keep the offense going outside the paint. Yeesh. Utah fans should prepare for a lot of bad offense from their team this year.
Bold Prediction for the Utah Jazz: Enes Kanter will win Most Improved Player of the Year
I like Kanter's game. Ever since he went 3rd in the 2011 NBA Draft, he's been stuck behind Al Jefferson. Now that Jefferson is gone, we will get to see just how well Kanter can play. He didn't play at all in college, yet I would imagine Kanter has been itching to go out there and prove himself for two years now. He's the starter, and I would expect a huge output from him with Favors being the option more likely to be double teamed and the rest of the team struggling to find much in the offensive department.
Projected Record: 28-54 14th in the West, 5th in the Northwest.