May 1, 2023, 10:48 pm
The Utah Jazz tore their team down to the studs during the offseason, trading away Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale for eight first-round picks, among other draft assets. They curiously traded for three big men (Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk and Walker Kessler) to replace them, while bringing in Collin Sexton, who was returning from a torn meniscus, and Talen Horton-Tucker, who can’t shoot. From Day One, they were supposed to tank and give upper management the best shot at drafting generational talent Victor Wembanyama.
Apparently, the players never got the memo.
How’d It Go?
Despite Vegas setting the Jazz’s line for regular season wins at just 24.5 before the season started, the Jazz were 27-28 at the trade deadline and were in the hunt for a playoff spot well into March. The Jazz were Markkanen’s team from the beginning, allowing him to set career-highs in scoring average, field-goal percentage and minutes per game. As a result, he made his first NBA All-Star Game appearance and won the Most Improved Player Award at the end of the season. Kessler was exactly as advertised in his rookie season, emerging as an elite shot blocker and double-double threat every night. Olynyk rebounded nicely from an injury-riddled season with the Pistons, setting career-highs in minutes per game and scoring average while appearing in 68 games.
In the end, the Jazz’s defiant pursuit of a playoff spot was derailed by injuries down the stretch — some conveniently aligned with helping draft odds, as well. Second-leading scorer Jordan Clarkson missed all but one game in March due to a finger sprain and third-leading scorer Sexton missed that entire month with a hamstring strain. Ultimately, the Jazz finished with a record of 37-45, leaving them three games out of the final spot in the play-in tournament. The Jazz weren’t willing to hard tank, knowing that their roster was too good to “catch up” to other teams out there, but also knew that a late dip would be better than fighting for the 10th seed.
Despite having massive roster turnover and 34-year old Will Hardy replace Quin Snyder as their head coach, the Jazz were the same perimeter-oriented team that they were in 2021-22. For the second year in a row, the Jazz were among the league leaders in drives and screens while using post-ups and elbow touches less frequently than most teams. They were once again among the best rebounding teams in the league with Markkanen, Olynyk and Kessler offsetting the loss of Gobert.
Hardy never seemed to embrace the tank, starting his veterans from the beginning of the season up to the trade deadline. Sexton needed Mike Conley to be traded to the Timberwolves in order to become a full-time starter. Kessler came off the bench behind Olynyk and only joined the starting lineup after Jarred Vanderbilt was dealt to the Lakers in February. And not long after he became a starter, Sexton himself suffered from a hamstring strain, making way for Talen Horton-Tucker to finally start games. Despite Kessler, Sexton and Horton-Tucker all being full-time starters for the last two months of the season, none of them averaged more than 24.0 MPG.
All in all, you can credit Hardy with getting his players to come together on a team that had the looks of a one-year pit stop for a lot of them. He unlocked new levels to Markkanen’s game and was able to put younger players like Kessler and THT in positions to flourish. The circumstances surrounding the team would’ve forgiven a lot of poor performance, but the Jazz were a pretty competitive group all things considered, and instilling those habits should pay off later in Hardy’s tenure.
The PlayersLauri MarkkanenPF, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 66 66 34.4 8.7 17.3 49.9 5.3 6.0 87.5 3.0 7.7 39.1 25.6 8.6 1.9 0.6 0.6 1.9 21-22 CLE 61 61 30.8 5.1 11.5 44.5 2.3 2.6 86.8 2.2 6.2 35.8 14.8 5.7 1.3 0.8 0.5 0.9 20-21 CHI 50 25 25.9 4.9 10.2 47.8 1.5 1.8 83.0 2.3 5.8 40.1 13.6 5.3 0.9 0.5 0.3 1.0
ADP: 84/98 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 26/21 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 23/19 (8/9-cat)
Markkanen was the best fantasy player on the Jazz, finishing the season as a top-25 player despite being drafted no higher than 80th in standard leagues. Markkanen only played about 4.0 MPG more than he did in 2021-22 with the Cavs, but he ran with the additional playing time, nearly doubling his scoring average and free-throw attempts. Markkanen broke out in a huge way, leading the Jazz in minutes per game (34.4 MPG), scoring (25.6 PPG), field-goal attempts (17.3 FGA), free-throw attempts (6.0 FTA), rebounding (8.6 RPG) and 3-pointers (3.0 3PM). Markkanen is under contract for another two seasons and is in line for an even bigger offensive role with Clarkson possibly declining his player option this offseason and Olynyk’s contract expiring at the end of next season. He had been a bit lost since a strong rookie year, and though he was solid in his run with Cleveland, it looked like he was settling in as a guy who has some scoring talent but best suited to be a third option. Not anymore.Walker KesslerC, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 74 40 23.0 4.0 5.6 72.0 1.1 2.1 51.6 0.0 0.0 33.3 9.2 8.4 0.9 0.4 2.3 0.8
ADP: 141/142 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 80/49 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 96/57 (8/9-cat)
Kessler also crushed his ADP in 2022-23, which was in the neighborhood of 140. His incredibly low turnover average (0.8 TOV) vaulted him to top-60 value in 9-cat. Kessler proved himself to be an elite rim protector in his rookie season, averaging 2.3 BPG in only 23.0 MPG. For comparison, Gobert averaged fewer blocks (2.1 BPG) in considerably more minutes (32.1 MPG) in 2021-22. Kessler rode that shotblocking acumen to a team-leading defensive rating of 111, but also surprisingly led all Jazz regulars with an offensive rating of 140, probably due to his remarkable 72.0 FG%. Kessler should be a consistent source of double-doubles and blocks next season. However, he has a path to increased usage (and scoring) if the Jazz lean into a rebuild and waive the veteran Olynyk before June 28. The move would save the Jazz just over $9M and clear the way for Kessler to play more minutes. Guys who block a lot of shots are always valuable, and Kessler is producing right out of the starting gates — not an easy task for a defensive anchor.Kelly OlynykPF, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 68 68 28.6 4.1 8.2 49.9 2.9 3.4 85.3 1.4 3.5 39.4 12.5 6.2 3.7 0.9 0.5 2.5 21-22 DET 41 1 18.6 3.1 7.0 44.8 1.7 2.2 77.5 1.0 2.9 33.6 8.9 4.3 2.7 0.8 0.5 1.4 20-21 HOU 69 61 28.6 4.8 9.9 48.7 2.0 2.4 82.0 1.8 5.3 34.2 13.5 7.0 2.9 1.1 0.6 1.8
ADP: 140/141 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 79/101 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 77/109 (8/9-cat)
Olynyk had a nice bounce-back season after battling injuries and a crowded frontcourt rotation with the Pistons in 2021-22. Like fellow center Kessler, Olynyk’s ADP was also around 140, but his fantasy ranking was capped at top-80 value due to his general lack of blocks and underwhelming rebounding numbers for his size and position. The per-minute output has never been in question, but things were looking dicey for Olynyk at the start of the season when he looked like an obvious trade or shutdown candidate with the Jazz set for a long rebuild. Luckily for him, Utah proved they could win games with this ragtag group, paving the way for a full season of KO. Olynyk started all 68 games he played for the Jazz, which allowed to fully showcase his wide range of skills for the first time since he started 24 of 27 games for the Rockets in 2020-21. As well as Olynyk played this season, the Jazz could save $9M next season if they waive him by June 28. Olynyk is only guaranteed $3M for 2023-24, but that jumps all the way up to $12M if the Jazz keep him around.Jordan ClarksonSG, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 61 61 32.6 7.5 16.9 44.4 3.3 4.0 81.6 2.5 7.5 33.8 20.8 4.0 4.4 0.5 0.2 3.0 21-22 UTA 78 1 27.1 5.9 14.1 42.0 1.8 2.2 82.8 2.4 7.6 32.1 16.1 3.4 2.4 0.8 0.2 1.6 20-21 UTA 67 1 26.6 6.7 15.7 42.3 1.9 2.1 89.2 3.0 8.8 34.4 18.2 4.0 2.5 0.9 0.1 1.7
ADP: 126/132 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 129/186 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 121/187 (8/9-cat)
You would think that Markkanen led the Jazz in usage with the All-Star calibre season he had in 2022-23, but that wasn’t the case. In his first season as a starter for the Jazz, Clarkson edged out Markkanen for the team lead with a usage rating of 27.8%. Clarkson’s ranking in 8-cat was right on par with his ADP, which ranged from 125 to 130. His 3.0 TOV almost dragged him out of the top-200 in 9-cat. Clarkson got to the free-throw line more as a starter, averaging a career-high 4.0 FTA, but it didn’t boost his scoring in any meaningful way. His 20.8 PPG in 2022-23 was virtually the same as the 18.4 PPG that he posted in 2020-21 as a sixth man. However, Clarkson’s career-high 4.4 APG was a pleasant surprise for his fantasy GMs, considering the other playmakers that the Jazz had at their disposal. Perhaps Clarkson can continue to grow in the playmaking department now that Conley is out of the picture, but there is no guarantee that he sticks around in Utah. There is a strong possibility that he declines his player option this summer, since the raise of just under $1M that he is due in 2023-24 is far less than what he can get with a new contract in free agency. He’s a pretty empty calories player but if you can score like Clarkson, you’ll always get a long look from someone, in fantasy or reality.Collin SextonPG, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 48 15 23.9 4.9 9.8 50.6 3.4 4.1 81.9 1.0 2.5 39.3 14.3 2.2 2.9 0.6 0.1 1.8 21-22 CLE 11 11 28.7 6.2 13.7 45.0 2.6 3.5 74.4 1.0 4.1 24.4 16.0 3.3 2.1 0.9 0.0 2.8 20-21 CLE 59 59 35.5 8.8 18.5 47.5 5.2 6.4 81.2 1.6 4.4 37.3 24.5 3.1 4.4 1.1 0.2 2.8
ADP: 72/86 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 245/264 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 198/240 (8/9-cat)
There is no denying the potential that Sexton showed with the Cavs before he tore his left meniscus, but he had a down year in 2022-23 because he came off the bench for most of the season, competing for minutes and usage with the shot-happy Malik Beasley in the second unit. Fantasy GMs obviously had higher expectations, with his ADP ranging from 70 to 90, but he ended up finishing the season outside the top-200. He was eased back into things but the Jazz just didn’t stop winning early on, making it difficult to deliver a passing of the torch until the trade deadline. Sexton also suffered a pair of hamstring strains that kept him out of the lineup, including down the home stretch of the season when he could’ve really run wild. However, he is clearly part of the Jazz’s future since they signed him to a four-year, $72M extension after acquiring him in the Donovan Mitchell trade. With Conley already out of the picture for next season and Clarkson possibly joining him, fantasy GMs should expect a bounce-back season from Sexton in 2023-24.Talen Horton-TuckerSG, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 65 20 20.2 4.0 9.4 41.9 1.9 2.6 75.0 0.9 3.1 28.6 10.7 3.2 3.8 0.6 0.4 1.9 21-22 LAL 59 18 25.4 3.7 9.0 41.7 1.6 2.0 80.0 0.8 3.0 27.4 9.9 3.3 2.6 1.0 0.5 1.4 20-21 LAL 64 4 20.2 3.5 7.5 46.1 1.5 2.0 78.0 0.6 2.0 27.9 9.0 2.6 2.8 1.0 0.3 1.6
ADP: 141/142 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 199/247 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 234/293 (8/9-cat)
Horton-Tucker was still a bit of a project when the Jazz acquired him along with Stanley Johnson from the Lakers for Patrick Beverley in the offseason. He had already been showing flashes as a playmaker in his three seasons with the Lakers, but his growth was slowed by the presence of superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Despite the Jazz not having a ball-dominant superstar to begin the 2022-23 season, Horton-Tucker was not immediately given that opportunity to grow, with his playing time remaining below 17.0 MPG from October to December 2022. As a result, Horton-Tucker fell well short of his ADP in the vicinity of 140, finishing the season ranked outside the top-200. It’s worth noting that even at that time when he was playing limited minutes, Horton-Tucker managed to log 10 assists on November 12 vs. the Wizards, a game in which he only played 17 minutes. Horton-Tucker struggled with his shooting efficiency all season but eventually settled in as a playmaker, averaging better than 6.0 APG from February onward, grabbing full hold of the opportunity presented to him by Malik Beasley and Conley’s trades and injuries to Clarkson and Sexton. Horton-Tucker has indicated his desire to be a point guard in the NBA, and that could influence whether he picks up his player option for 2023-24. Even if Clarkson declines his player option this summer, Horton-Tucker would still have a healthy Sexton to contend with for point guard minutes, and that might be enough for him to opt out of the $11M that he will be owed next season.Kris DunnPG, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 22 3 25.8 5.3 9.8 53.7 1.9 2.4 77.4 0.8 1.6 47.2 13.2 4.5 5.6 1.1 0.5 1.6 21-22 POR 14 3 24.0 3.1 7.3 43.1 1.2 1.3 94.4 0.1 0.8 9.1 7.6 3.5 5.6 1.6 0.2 2.3 20-21 ATL 4 11.3 0.3 3.0 8.3 0.8 1.0 75.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 1.3 1.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.8
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 299/298 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 75/70 (8/9-cat)
Dunn was likely not drafted in any fantasy league in 2022-23, but when he joined the Jazz in late February, fantasy GMs were tripping over each other trying to grab him off waivers. Dunn only played 22 games for the Jazz, but his solid per-game averages across multiple categories carried him to top-75 value. Injuries that knocked both Sexton and Clarkson out for virtually all of March certainly gave Dunn a path to extended minutes. Dunn is under contract for next season and could be poised for a full season of fantasy relevance if Clarkson declines his player option this summer.Ochai AgbajiSG, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 59 22 20.5 2.8 6.5 42.7 0.9 1.2 81.2 1.4 3.9 35.5 7.9 2.1 1.1 0.3 0.3 0.7
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 295/293 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 342/347 (8/9-cat)
Agbaji was originally drafted by the Cavs but was then packaged along with Sexton and Markkanen in the Donovan Mitchell trade. Consistent with the theme of the Jazz refusing to tank in their rebuild, the rookie averaged 14.7 MPG in October, but simply fell out of the rotation over the next two months. Agbaji resumed playing regular minutes in the new year, but didn’t actually start producing until February when he averaged 1.9 3PM in 23.3 MPG. Agbaji finally became fantasy-relevant in March when he averaged 12.4 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.1 APG and 2.4 3PM in 30.1 MPG. All told, Agbaji spent the 2022-23 fantasy season sliding in and out of the top-300. It’s no coincidence that Agbaji needed extended absences from Clarkson and Sexton in order to show meaningful progress, but the Jazz will likely be very patient with him. Agbaji is still on a rookie-scale contract for next season and very affordable team options for the two seasons after that. He will likely need either Horton-Tucker or Clarkson to decline their player options this summer for him to become draft-worthy in standard leagues next season, but we would expect a more consistent presence either way.Simone FontecchioSF, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 52 6 14.7 2.2 6.0 36.9 0.7 0.8 79.5 1.2 3.7 33.0 6.3 1.7 0.8 0.3 0.2 0.8
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 349/364 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 419/434 (8/9-cat)
Of all the Jazz players who slid in and out of the top-400 in 2022-23, Fontecchio was the most intriguing. He played sporadically to start the season, but then found a more consistent role off the bench in February when the injury bug started to take hold of the Jazz. Fontecchio put his multifaceted game on display quite regularly and ultimately hit his stride in March, where he averaged 11.4 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.2 APG and 2.2 3PM in 23.5 MPG. Unfortunately, many of those numbers were compiled on poor shooting stats. He was also productive in games where either Clarkson, Conley or Markkanen were out of the lineup, so clearly he can make an impact with more opportunity. Fontecchio is under contract for one more season in 2023-24 and at the relative bargain of $3M, he will likely have more runway to further his growth. He can be expected to progress faster than other rookies might because at just 28 years old, he already has 11 seasons of professional basketball under his belt, 10 of which he played in Italy, Germany and Spain.Luka SamanicPF, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 7 4 23.0 3.7 8.1 45.6 1.3 1.9 69.2 1.1 4.4 25.8 9.9 4.3 2.1 0.9 0.3 1.4 21-22 NY 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 20-21 SA 33 4 9.3 1.4 3.2 44.8 0.5 0.9 55.2 0.4 1.3 27.9 3.7 2.1 0.5 0.2 0.2 0.6
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 443/446 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 211/233 (8/9-cat)
Samanic only joined the Jazz in late March and subsequently only got into seven games, but showed flashes of promise. He nearly double-doubled in his first game for the Jazz (against his former team in the Spurs, no less), and then reached 23 points (9-of-14 FG, 3-of-6 3PT, 2-of-4 FT) with eight rebounds in 30 minutes a week later vs. the Nuggets. With Samanic turning 24 next season and having only one more year left on his contract, there is a good chance that the Jazz keep him around for 2023-24, since it would only cost them $2M.Damian JonesC, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 41 1 11.6 1.3 2.1 64.0 0.5 0.7 75.9 0.2 0.4 58.8 3.5 3.0 0.4 0.2 0.5 0.6 21-22 SAC 55 14 17.9 3.0 4.7 65.0 1.7 2.3 73.0 0.2 0.5 33.3 7.9 4.4 1.2 0.5 0.8 1.1 20-21 SAC 38 9 13.4 1.6 2.4 67.8 1.1 1.5 73.2 0.0 0.1 33.3 4.3 3.1 0.7 0.3 0.7 0.6
ADP: 140/140 (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 355/346 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 374/363 (8/9-cat)
Jones had an ADP of around 140 at the beginning of 2022-23, but that was because he had seemingly won the Lakers’ starting center job out of training camp, allowing Anthony Davis to play his preferred position at power forward. However, he started exactly one game for the Lakers and then proceeded to average 8.0 MPG in 22 appearances. As you can imagine, his fantasy value plummeted, settling around the top-375. The Jazz then acquired him at the trade deadline along with Russell Westbrook and Juan Toscano-Anderson in the three-team deal that saw Conley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker leave Utah. Jones didn’t play much better as a member of the Jazz and will likely pick up his player option for $2.6M in 2023-24. However, he should remain off the fantasy radar until he starts playing regular minutes.Rudy GaySF, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 56 0 14.6 1.9 5.1 38.0 0.8 0.9 85.7 0.6 2.3 25.4 5.2 2.9 1.0 0.3 0.3 0.7 21-22 UTA 54 1 18.9 2.9 6.9 41.4 1.1 1.4 77.9 1.3 3.7 35.0 8.1 4.4 1.0 0.5 0.3 0.8 20-21 SA 63 1 21.6 4.2 10.0 42.0 1.3 1.6 80.4 1.7 4.4 38.1 11.4 4.8 1.4 0.7 0.6 1.0
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 322/321 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 381/380 (8/9-cat)
Gay played a career-low 14.6 MPG in 2022-23, so as you can imagine, he was completely off the fantasy radar all season. He only averaged 5.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 1.0 APG in 56 games and barely stayed inside the top-400. Surprisingly, he was very much in the rotation and only missed a couple of weeks due to a left hand sprain in late November. Gay will likely pick up the $6M player option for next season, the last year of his current contract. However, there is nothing much to expect from Gay as he enters his age 37 season.Udoka AzubuikeC, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 36 4 10.0 1.6 2.0 81.9 0.2 0.6 35.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.5 3.3 0.3 0.2 0.4 0.5 21-22 UTA 17 5 11.5 2.2 2.9 75.5 0.4 0.6 54.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.7 4.2 0.0 0.1 0.6 0.7 20-21 UTA 14 3.9 0.3 0.6 44.4 0.3 0.4 66.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9 0.9 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.2
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 380/374 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 397/380 (8/9-cat)
Like Gay, Azubuike struggled to hold onto top-400 value in 2022-23, averaging only 10.0 MPG in 36 games. While he might have been poised for a bigger role when Gobert was dealt to the Timberwolves, the emergence of Kessler quickly put that to bed. Azubuike has a team option of $3.9M for next season, but the Jazz would probably only pick it up if they waive Olynyk before June 28. Otherwise, the Jazz frontcourt rotation would be incredibly crowded. In any case, Azubuike should not be drafted in any fantasy league this upcoming season.Micah PotterC, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 7 0 7.4 1.4 2.1 66.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 1.0 57.1 3.4 2.3 0.6 0.1 0.0 0.3 21-22 DET 3 10.3 1.7 3.7 45.5 0.7 0.7 100.0 0.0 0.7 0.0 4.0 3.0 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.3
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 480/475 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 422/397 (8/9-cat)
Potter was on a two-way contract in 2022-23 and only got into seven NBA games, double-doubling in the second-last game of the regular season. He has only played 10 NBA games in two seasons so far, so his fantasy outlook isn’t bright. He is however, young (25 years old next season) and has good size (6’10”, 248 lbs).Juan Toscano-AndersonPF, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 52 9 13.5 1.2 2.8 44.8 0.4 0.5 79.2 0.2 0.8 18.6 3.0 2.4 1.3 0.3 0.2 0.7 21-22 GS 72 6 13.5 1.6 3.2 48.5 0.6 1.0 57.1 0.4 1.2 30.6 4.0 2.4 1.7 0.7 0.3 0.9 20-21 GS 53 16 20.9 2.3 3.9 57.9 0.4 0.6 71.0 0.7 1.7 40.2 5.7 4.4 2.8 0.8 0.5 1.2
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 352/360 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 418/426 (8/9-cat)
Toscano-Anderson battled nagging ankle and back injuries in 2022-23, but still managed to get into 52 games, most of them with the Lakers. He did see increased playing time since joining the Jazz at the trade deadline, but didn’t have much to show for it, averaging 3.4 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 1.8 APG in 15.2 MPG. His salary comes off the books at the end of this season, and that is what makes him most valuable to the Jazz.Johnny JuzangSG, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 18 0 12.9 1.9 5.8 33.7 0.1 0.2 50.0 0.8 3.5 23.8 4.8 2.2 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.2
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 457/452 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 480/459 (8/9-cat)
Juzang was undrafted and signed to a two-way contract, but he never got to play in Summer League because of injuries sustained from a car accident. Juzang only got into 18 NBA games and finishing well outside the top-450 in fantasy as a result. At that, he only saw NBA action from February 28 onward when the Jazz backcourt rotation was threadbare because of trades and injuries. Juzang’s production in both the NBA and G League wasn’t remarkable, so it’s hard to see the Jazz qualifying him for next season at $1.76M, which is more than triple his 2022-23 salary.Vernon Carey Jr.PF, Utah Jazz
Season Team GP GS MPG FGM FGA FG% FTM FTA FT% 3PTM 3PTA 3PT% PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 22-23 UTA 11 0 2.5 0.2 0.7 25.0 0.2 0.2 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 1.0 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 21-22 WAS 7 1 6.3 1.0 1.9 53.8 0.9 1.9 46.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.9 1.7 0.0 0.3 0.1 0.4 20-21 CHA 19 4 6.1 0.9 1.9 50.0 0.5 0.6 81.8 0.1 0.4 14.3 2.4 1.4 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.3
ADP: NA/NA (ESPN/Yahoo) | Total Value: 495/491 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 511/504 (8/9-cat)
Carey only played 11 games, all with the Wizards, in 2022-23 before he was waived. He only averaged 2.5 MPG. The Jazz signed him just before the regular season ended to round out their Summer League roster. Carey averaged 20.7 PPG and 8.1 RPG in the G League, but never showed a 3-point shooting stroke or elite rim protection. Carey remains an incredible longshot to make the Jazz roster for next season.
It has to be Lauri Markkanen. Rarely do you see someone drafted in the 80 to 100 range end up in the top-25 and make an All-Star appearance. But exactly how good was Markkanen compared to the other stars of the NBA?
- Markkanen’s 49.9 FG% ranked him 10th among the 37 players in the NBA who averaged more than 17.0 FGA.
- Of the 52 players in the NBA with a usage of at least 25.9%, Markkanen’s 17.9 TOV% was the lowest.
- Markkanen’s 3.0 3PM ranked him 12th in the NBA.
Markkanen shot the ball better and took better care of it than most players despite having it in his hands all the time. He started off shooting extremely well and while it looked like an unsustainable run, he pretty much never cooled off. It was a massive leap for a player who was shaping up as a one-way, complementary presence in the league. The Jazz dialed up Markkanen’s number in all kinds of ways and he delivered, looking like the FIBA superstar version of himself that carries Finland on his back. More help is coming for the Jazz but knowing that Markkanen can shoulder a heavy burden answers a massive question for the team’s future.
There are two options here. Sexton was drafted relatively high in fantasy and finished well below his ADP, but that had a lot to do with coach Hardy playing Conley ahead of him until the trade deadline and the Jazz needing to manage Sexton’s workload after his return from a torn meniscus. Jordan Clarkson was the real fantasy letdown because his stats showed very little improvement despite him having a full-time starting gig. However, Clarkson wasn’t drafted very high in fantasy to begin with, so his fantasy GMs might not really feel a sense of loss.
One to Watch
Walker Kessler will very likely see a bump in fantasy value next season because he projects to be a full-time starter. However, he will see an even bigger bump if the Jazz waive Olynyk to save $9M. Kessler is a solid bet to average a double-double and be among the league’s leaders in blocks next season, even if Olynyk is still in the fold. Center is a demanding defensive position, and Kessler came into the league from day one with the ability to not only hold his own, but act as a positive presence. We’ll be watching to see if there are any growing pains or if Kessler can build on an impressive baseline.
One Burning Question
A lot went right for the Jazz last year despite falling short of the playoffs, but as the roster settles into one that’s a bit more “normal” and consistent, some changes are bound to occur. Will Markkanen’s usage and production in 2023-24 be impacted by Sexton, who the Jazz will need to stay healthy and start full-time next season? They started together for one season with the Cavs, but that partnership only lasted eight games due to Sexton’s knee injury. Markkanen’s fantasy value in 2022-23 was driven primarily by his scoring, so any loss of usage on his part would affect his value considerably. Markkanen’s fantasy GMs in keeper leagues should still hold onto him this offseason, but they may need to prepare for him to fall out of the top-40 as a changing roster around him chips away at some of his opportunities.
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