The Utah Jazz came into their series against the Dallas Mavericks with an advantage. After all, Dallas has been without their star guard Luka Doncic. However, Utah finds themselves down 2-1 in the series and with momentum slipping. A Uhah Jazz team that are just a year removed from having the best record in the NBA. Now, they might see themselves going home in the first round for the second time in four years. In particular, it would be a devastating loss to the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson, two former second round picks with chips on their shoulders.
With former Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge joining the Utah Jazz as the head of basketball operations, one thing can be certain: change is coming to the Jazz. But the question is what kind of change do they need? Is it in the coaching staff? Do they need to change their supporting cast? Or is it in the foundation of their star players? The answer lies in the truth that the Utah Jazz might be broken in almost every aspect on the basketball court, and they need to bring in a roster with a very different look.
The Utah Jazz need to split up Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert
If there is anything that is important to have on a team that has aspirations of winning a championship, it’s unity. And after years of ups and downs, it’s time to split up Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. Recent statistics that were discovered show that Donovan Mitchell only attempts 2 passes to Rudy Gobert a game. And since Gobert sets the most screens in the NBA, that’s a massive problem. Danny Ainge needs to part ways with Gobert or Mitchell for the sake of the franchise. Build around one and trade the other for assets and talent that can help this team going forward.
Donovan Mitchell is the player that would both be the biggest trade asset and the best player to build around. And although Gobert is a multiple time Defensive player of the year winner, his offensive numbers might cause hesitancy in other front offices. However, that does not mean there won’t be bidders. Donovan Mitchell simply doesn’t like Rudy Gobert. There have been numerous reports, but also it can be backed by statistics on the court at this point. And even if these guys liked each other, there would still be cause to go in a different direction.
The Jazz are unathletic as a whole, and suffer on the perimeter
Where the Dallas Mavericks present the most problems for Utah, and every other team in the league, is on the perimeter. The Utah Jazz have issues with wing depth and the ability to defend shots beyond the arc. And since Gobert is their only truly great ring protector other than his backup Hassan Whiteside, Gobert is often forced to try to guard both. Not only is this Jazz team disjointed on the offensive end, but it’s in their defensive efforts as well. And it is particularly frightening when your defense gets run over two games in a row in the postseason. Especially when that second game was at home.
One potential name of interest for the Jazz seems to be Pistons forward Jerami Grant. Jerami would be a natural fit in Utah with his abilities on both ends of the court. However, the Jazz would need to acquire more assets that are desirable in return. Because when you have an aging expensive roster who traded pieces to build this team, you don’t have much to give in return. There will be freed up cap space for their Joe Ingles trade made at the deadline after his season ending surgery. And there could be assets in moving other players from this roster.
The Utah Jazz need change, and they need it at every level. Perhaps even at coach.
With how much this season has unraveled for this Jazz team, and continued disappointing results, Utah needs change. And that change might even have to come at the expense of Quin Snyder. Although Snyder is one of the best coaches in the NBA, the regression has been problematic. In addition, regular season success can only mean so much when the playoff success hasn’t been nearly there. And with some big changes needed on this roster, that change should be accompanied by a coaching change as well.
The Utah jazz are reminiscent of the Los Angeles Clippers with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. You can win a lot of games, come up short, and try again for only so long. But at the end of the day, the locker room can be fragile, and whatever happens on the court affects off the court. The truth this from a morale standpoint, this team can’t be saved. And with a lot of length but no athleticism throughout the roster, there needs to be change and it needs to be changed quickly.
Featured Image Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
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