NBA season preview 2013/14: Utah Jazz

Who will be the best in the West this year? The clean-out at the Utah Jazz for the future has...

Who will be the best in the West this year?

The clean-out at the Utah Jazz for the future has well and truly begun with most of the veterans of the side from a year ago moving on to greener pastures – or just bigger pay days.

Forward lynch-pins Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap have moved on along with veteran guard Mo Williams in their place is a side the Jazz front office will be hoping can turn into a good side with time.

However, that time is not this season.

The fortunes of the side will rest largely with Derrick Favors at power forward, Enes Kanter at centre, Gordon Hayward at the three, while in the backcourt, Alec Burks and Trey Burke will run the show.

Not the side to be sending a shiver up the spines of the heavyweight contenders in a stacked Western conference in spite of some of their recent improvements.

Favors and Kanter has been able to bide their time in recent season and learn from Millsap and Jefferson and should revel in the chance to finally became starting five stars.

The biggest question marks occur in the rest of the side and their very thin bench.

Hayward is entering his fourth year in the league and he has started to show signs he is turning into the spot-up shooter and wing player the side needs to space the floor.

Hayward averaged a career-high 14.1 points a game last season in less than on court than in 2011-12.

He also shot 41 per cent from beyond the arc, but he will need to continue to mature physically to keep up with the players he has to defend.

The Jazz picked up Burke in the draft and he has all of the natural skills to be able to help make the team somewhat competitive.

Possessing great length for a guard and an ability to make his own shot as much as get teammates into the game Burke could be the point guard for the Jazz for the next six to eight years if they can add pieces around him.

The Jazz could have a good young team in the making, but against the best in the West and much of the East, they are likely to struggle this season.

Utah Jazz predicted finish: 14th

Rankings

Offence: 6/10

Defence: 6/10

Front court: 7/10

Back court: 6/10

Bench: 4/10

Coach: 5/10

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