Before the beginning of the NBA season the Utah Jazz will thin their roster down to 15 many of the rotational positions are filled but the Jazz will be looking to trim the rest of their down to just a few players.
Gobert, Pleiss, Favors, Booker, Lyles, Hayward, Hood, Burks, Burke, Exum, Ingles and Neto all have guaranteed and or have multi-year deals and are therefore pretty likely to be with the team when the season starts so we’ll leave them out of the discussion.
Who is in contention
Brock Motum: The Aussie Center has decent Traditional Center ability and can even shoot a little from Behind the arc.
Jack Cooley: A grit and grind type of player who always seems to work his way into rebounds and shots you would never expect him to get but somehow he out works the other player.
Grant Jerrett: One of the oft overlooked assets from the Enes Kanter trade. He probably the greatest stretch four potential of any of the players on the bubble.
J.J. O’brien: A rookie who showed out well in summer league. One of if not the best defenders on the Jazz summer league roster and shot well from the field and behind the arc in limited attempts.
Chris Johnson: Was on the team last year, maybe the best balance of offense and defense we have.
Elijah Millsap: An elite defender, hasn’t quite figured out how to play offensively in the NBA yet. If the team thinks he can become an average offensive player in the NBA he will likely make the team.
Bryce Cotton: Was signed by the Jazz late last season. Is a small 6’1″ but is an explosive athlete and incredibly quick. Played very well in summer league where he was able to get to the basket almost at will while shooting a decent 6-17 from behind the arc.
Olivier Hanlan: Selected with the first of our two second round draft picks. Was an explosive scorer at Boston college but shot poorly for most of summer league. Is likely fifth on our list of PG’s.
The players mentioned above take up twelve spots leaving 3 three spots open.
I really like Bryce Cotton and even though he would be our fourth point guard I think he deserves a shot at, at least the third point guard spot if not the back spot.
Chris Johnson and J.J. O’brien seem to bring similar skill sets to the table so I think only one of them will make the team.
The third player I would pick because he’s the best wing defender we have and he brings a toughness and work ethic to the locker room that we need.
So why did I leave out all the big men? With the additions of Pleiss (7’3″) and Lyles (6’10”) to our already tall front line the Jazz already have plenty of size in a what is becoming a small-ball league. The more guards we have the versatile we will be. We also have a few wings in Hayward and Hood that could play the four spot in a pinch.
Nobody quite knows who will be included on the Jazz opening day roster but the Jazz certainly have some intriguing prospect to mull over.