2. Gordon Hayward will be a new player now that he isnít worrying about his future contract. He should have gained confidence playing with the USA World Cup team for part of the summer and his shooting, which ranked near the bottom of the league last year, has to be improved, doesnít it? At age 24, heíll be older than the majority of his young teammates and should take on an increased leadership role with players such as Richard Jefferson and Marvin Williams no longer with the team.
He's been a streaky shooter since at least college so I wouldn't count on that changing. Hopefully they'll play to his strengths and not expect him to be a go to guy just because of his go to guy salary.
On the other hand, Hayward may find the pressure of living up to that max contract a bit overwhelming and could find himself pressing to show his worth. As soon as he has another 3 for 17 shooting night, fans may let him hear about it, also.
3. Alec Burks will be free. Not that he was under wraps with Corbin, but of all the players on the Jazz, Burks may be best-suited to be a breakout star, unless youíre looking at Dante Exum a decade or so down the road. Burks was the teamís second-leading scorer last year, but he was first in points per 36 minutes and first in points per 100 possessions and undoubtedly led the league in dipsy-doodle shots around the rim. Burks could thrive in Snyderís system.
On the other hand, Burks may get frustrated playing second or third fiddle to Hayward and Derrick Favors and not play up to his potential.
He and Kanter with maybe an improved Burke should be the guys they look to for scoring.
4. The Jazz have their best 3-point shooting threat since the days of Kyle Korver in Steve Novak, who joined the team as a free agent this year. In his two years with New York (2011-13), Novak made 282 3-pointers and shot 44.5 percent from 3-point range.
On the other hand, Novak may play like last year when he made just 52 3-pointers in 54 games with Toronto, while averaging just 3.3 points a game.
He's not their best threat because he shouldn't be playing every game.
5. Without the older guys from last year still around, the Jazz will field the youngest starting lineup in the NBA (average age 22.6), which will make for some exciting moments, both distressing and exhilarating.
On the other hand, the Jazz will miss Jefferson and Williams, who each played a big part for the Jazz last year. Itís unlikely new guys like Carrick Felix, Trevor Booker and Toureí Murry will be as good as Jefferson and Williams, who are playing in Dallas and Charlotte this year.
Booker can certainly be as good. Marvin was hurt and inconsistent.
A couple of X-factors are rookie Rodney Hood, who showed some game in the summer league, and second-year center Rudy Gobert, who also looked improved in Las Vegas. One or both of those players could step up and play a big factor in the Jazz's success this year. Also, point guard Trey Burke will have a year under his belt and certainly improve on his woeful 38 percent shooting from last year.
Hood should be in the rotation if not starting.
Donít expect a playoff season for the Jazz, who even if they are better, will be facing other improved teams throughout the league. If things go right, the Jazz could end up with 35 wins this season, which would be a big step for the young team.
On the other hand, the Jazz may only win 25 games again this season and get another top draft pick to build for the future.
Either way, we should be in for some exciting times with the Jazz this season.
They look to be tanking even harder this year. I hope they can at least compete nightly but it doesn't look good now.
Despite being the third overall pick in the 2011 draft, Kanter has never been able to eclipse the likes of Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke when it came to being the focal point of the teamís future plans. While that reduced role can be blamed on a variety of different factors, itís been easily apparent that Kanter hasnít improved at the same level as the previously mentioned trio.
He hasn't? Favors hasn't shown much growth at all and G appears to have peaked. Burke did get better running the team as the year went on. Enes didn't get to work out last off season because of his injury which set him back. Sounds like the latest injury shouldn't have slowed him up as much this year. We'll see. I expect much improvement in a contract year.
Now as Kanter embarks on his fourth NBA season, his future with the team appears to be uncertain. Before the season-opener against Houston on October 29th, the Jazz have one final opportunity to give him a new extension before he enters the 2015 off-season as a restricted free-agent. While Utah will still hold the keys to Kanterís basketball future in restricted free-agency, this period will be the final time where the Jazz can offer him an extension without the interference of other franchises.
While his contract situation will be figured out when the Jazz start their 2014-15 season, thereís still a lot of skepticism in the air surrounding his role inside the teamís front-court.
Following the departure of Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson during the 2013 off-season, Kanter and Derrick Favors were looked at to be the main catalysts of Utahís front-court for the future. However, those plans didnít exactly seem to work out, as offensive inconsistency and struggles on the defensive end helped push Kanter to the Jazz 2nd unit for the majority of the season.
Along with Burks he was their best scorer so I would emphasize him struggling.
In regards to his work on the offensive end, the aforementioned inconsistencies masked the fact that Kanter is in possession of a solid all-around offensive arsenal. With that in mind, Kanterís main method of attack continues to be in the post-up, which represents 31% of his overall production on the offensive end. While it might seem obvious due to the amount of the time that he spends in that specific area, Kanter showcases a large amount of comfort in post-up situations, which allows him to score in a multitude of different ways.
Perhaps the biggest reason behind Kanterís post-up success rests with his extremely solid footwork. By utilizing that skill, Kanter is easily able to create separation from the opposing front-court player. While itís rarely been showcased during his first three seasons with the Jazz, Kanter is able to use that footwork to create enough separation from the opposing defender to hit a turn-around jumper.
However, Kanterís main use for that aforementioned skill is to work his way past the opposition to get an easy look at the rim. As a 6í11Ē, 247 pound front-court player, itís extremely impressive to witness the quickness that Kanter exhibits when heís able to work around the opposition.
Now we need to see that quickness utilized at the other end.
Inside the paint, Kanter has continued to be extremely effective, as he shot 62% from inside the restricted area. As apparent for most front-court players, Kanter exhibits a large amount of confidence when heís working inside the paint. Because of his solid quickness, Kanterís able to get a consistent advantage over the opposition, whether utilizing the pivot to get a better angle at the rim or using his swift feet to work around an inside defender.
While his work in the low-post and inside the point sit at the center of his offensive repertoire, Kanter has shown an ability to hit a mid-range jumper. Even though it isnít with the same consistency as his work on other ends of the court, Kanter was able to shoot a respectable 38.7% from mid-range.
With the inclusion of Dante Exum and Rodney Hood to the Jazz organization, Kanterís prowess as a mid-range shooter should pay immediate dividends for the young duo. As Hood and Exum get accustomed to both the heightened NBA pace and Quin Snyderís offensive scheme, being able to work alongside Kanter in pick-and-roll situations, should help create some openings for the young duo as the opposing defense will probably look to keep their focus on the Jazz forward.
pick and pop might be more in his wheelhouse
A lot of the worries that surround Kanter rests with his ability, or inability, as an all-around defensive option. While there never be expectations that heíll ever be the same level of defender as his Utah teammate, Derrick Favors, Kanter has definitely struggled to be able to be able to consistently defend opposing front-court players.
Why not? Favors wasn't that special last year as expected on d
The main reason behind his defensive struggles is that it seems that Kanter showcases some hesitance when it comes to applying pressure to the opposing front-court player. That hesitance is continuously showcased in low-post and mid-range situations. In the low-post, Kanterís inability to apply pressure allows the opposition to easily work closer to the rim, which ultimately leads to a bevy of easy baskets.
While itís definitely a good idea to keep some space against a front-court player thatís working around the top of the key, because they can ultimately work their way towards the rim, Kanter rarely closes in when itís easily apparent that the opposition is going to shoot from mid-range.
Another large flaw with Kanterís defensive approach is that are a multitude of times where he zones in on the ball-handler rather than his designated opponent. While ďball-watchingĒ can occasionally be beneficial, there are too many times where the opposition is easily able to get an open look around the rim because Kanter focused on another player.
Sounds like effort was a big part of it. Needs to put the same effort at both ends.
In regards to the uncertainty that surrounds Kanterís Jazz future, itís doubtful that heís going to get that desired long-term extension before the season opener. While Kanterís on-court performance and base numbers (16.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per 36 minutes) definitely seem to be worthy of a solid extension, it really isnít apparent that heís made any notable strides during his three-year stint with the Jazz. As the team continues to examine the players that will hopefully carry them to future success, the lack of progression, especially with his defensive work, is a huge factor behind him potentially not getting that desired extension.
Again other than maybe Burks no one has improved close to the amount he has. He was the least experienced guy coming out of college
Can definitely see an extension for the right amount. Who knows what he'd accept to get his money and not risk injury? I'd guess Burks will be their main target though
Another huge reason behind Kanter not getting that extension rests with the 2015 Draft class and the apparent progression of Rudy Gobert. While Gobert wasnít a consistent part of the Jazz roster during the prior season, his performance during the FIBA World Cup is a sign that he has made strides on both ends of the court during the off-season.
Gobert/Kanter or Favors/Kanter make more sense than Favors/Gobert so Favors could be the guy that goes in the end once everyone gets over his potential.
The correlation between the 2015 NBA Draft and Kanter not getting that extension rests with the wide array of front-court prospects that might be in that class. While the Jazz will probably have some more success than they had during the prior season, theyíll probably still remain in the thick of the lottery picture. Inside that lottery range, the likes of Jahlil Okafor, Karl Towns, Cliff Alexander, Kristaps Porzingis and Willie Cauley-Stein sit as potential prospects that could be on the Jazz radar during next yearís draft.
Despite the worries about inconsistency, Kanter has still showcased an ability to score from multiple ends of the court, which will be extremely beneficial to a Jazz roster that has struggled through their fair share of offensive slumps. Especially with the uncertainty surrounding the offensive impact that Derrick Favors or Rudy Gobert will be able to make, Kanter should play a role as a solid and reliable offensive option.
A few days ago at HoopsHabit D'Joumbarey A. Moreau broke it all down and asks if Derrick Favors is the next Kwame Brown. Brilliant work. No really. It's a positive piece that has an eye grabbing headline. Solid points are made that other bigs from the same draft class have NBA niches already (DeMarcus Cousins is an All-Around talent, Larry Sanders great on defense, Greg Monroe is a legit back to the basket scorer, etc). Favors does not display any one generalized talent (besides, I guess, having played his entire career under bad coaches). Here's an excerpt:
What Favors can do though is use his ability to help create one of the best front courts in the NBA with his fellow rim protector center Enes Kanter. The way the Jazz are using Favors though is as an essential role player on a very productive winning team. Though their lineups have not translated into wins yet, the talent is there and they need better coaching (Counting on you, Quin Snyder).
A lot of people see Favors as one of the cornerstones of the franchise but that is something that is hard pressed for my eyes.
- D'Joumbarey A. Moreau, Hoops Habit / Fansided, 2014
Hard to argue with that. Kwame was a better defender than Favors has proven to be though.
Enes Kanter isn't much of a rim protector, but hey, I don't write for FanSided. And I'm not a national writer, I focus on mainly the Western Conference and in that the Jazz. So my eyes may see different things than Mr. Moreau's eyes do. Check it out, it's a good read. And for the record, the article asks questions. Questions that Derrick Favors has to answer with his play on the court.