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Utah Jazz: Player capsules and team glance

Published October 26, 2012 9:16 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Starters

Mo Williams, PG

Height/weight • 6-foot-1, 195 pounds

Age • 29

College • Alabama

Year • 10

2011-12 stats • 13.2 points, 3.1 assists, 1.9 rebounds

What he brings • Confidence, swagger and a shooter's mentality at the point guard position. Devin Harris never clicked in Salt Lake City and the Jazz finally made an adjustment after being swept by San Antonio during the first round of the 2012 playoffs. Williams should at least equal Harris' numbers. But can he be the pass-first floor leader Utah truly needs? The Jazz's 2012-13 success could ultimately depend upon a player whose game has rarely matched his bravado.

Gordon Hayward, SG/SF

Height/weight • 6-foot-8, 210 pounds

Age • 22

College • Butler

Year • 3

2011-12 stats • 11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists

What he brings • Improving talent in almost every area of the game. Two years ago, Hayward was a risk. Now, he rivals Favors as the Jazz's most promising young player, and only increased playing time appears to be standing in the way of Hayward's ability to take the next step in his career. Hayward can shoot, pass, finish and defend. His confidence continues to rise. His range has only grown. But like many of Utah's players, his role is undefined heading into a new season.

Paul Millsap, PF

Height/weight • 6-foot-8, 253 pounds

Age • 27

College • Louisiana Tech

Year • 7

2011-12 stats • 16.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists

What he brings • Everything an NBA player should be. Millsap has improved every year he's been in the league, and he played the best all-around ball of his career in 2011-12. His ballhandling and outside shooting touch became sharper, while 1.8 average steals placed him fourth in the league. Millsap's future in Utah should be cemented. Except it never has been. He's a classic 'tweener, and six years of hard work have only resulted in an intriguing position battle with rising star Derrick Favors.

Marvin Williams, SF

Height/weight • 6-foot-9, 245 pounds

Age • 26

College •North Carolina

Year • 8

2011-12 stats • 10.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists

What he brings • A solid but seldom overpowering game. The No. 2 overall pick of the 2005 draft hasn't been a bust, but he hasn't been Chris Paul or Deron Williams, either. Williams has never asserted himself in the NBA, and an unexpected journey to Utah could restart his stalled career. His outside range and basketball intelligence should be plusses. But will Williams ever return to the glory of his Tar Heel days?

Al Jefferson, C

Height/weight • 6-foot-10, 289 pounds

Age • 27

College • None

Year • 9

2011-12 stats • 19.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists

What he brings • A 20-10 statistical line almost every game. Jefferson produced a career year last season, pushing Utah into the playoffs and often dominating the offensive end of the court. His shot had never been sweeter, his touch had never been softer, and he paired with Paul Millsap to provide the Jazz with an intimidating presence in the paint. Then the postseason arrived. All of Jefferson's worst traits came to life, and he enters a contract year facing an uncertain future. Set to make $15 million this season, Jefferson is the biggest man in SLC. But how much longer can Utah afford to keep him in uniform? And will he ever play NBA-caliber defense, or even learn how to defend the pick-and-roll?

Reserves

Derrick Favors, PF/C

Height/weight • 6-foot-10, 248 pounds

Age • 21

College • Georgia Tech

Year • 3

2011-12 stats • 8.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 0.7 assists

What he brings • Power. Potential. The ability to dominate a game and the possibility he could be the best big man in a Jazz uniform since Karl Malone owned the court. Favors was a beast toward the end of the 2011-12 campaign, and he entered training camp pushing Millsap for a spot in the starting rotation. Foul trouble and an outside touch are still concerns, and he's only 21. But if the Jazz are ever going to compete for an NBA title, Favors must be unleashed before the rest of the league catches on.

Randy Foye, SG

Height/weight • 6-foot-4, 213 pounds

Age • 29

College • Villanova

Year • 7

2011-12 stats • 11 points, 2.2 assists, 2.1 rebounds

What he brings • Foye joins Mo and Marvin Williams as the Jazz's primary offseason acquisitions. Like the Williamses, Foye is in the second stage of his career. And while Utah must receive consistent production from Mo and Marvin to compete in the Western Conference, Foye could be the biggest difference-maker. The ex-Los Angeles Clipper has the potential to torch the nets from 3-point land. It's exactly what the Jazz were missing last season, and exactly what Foye must bring this year for Utah to have a shot.

Alec Burks, SG

Height/weight • 6-foot-6, 202 pounds

Age • 21

College • Colorado

Year • 2

2011-12 stats • 7.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists

What he brings • Burks was the biggest surprise on the 2011-12 Jazz, playing more like a fearless veteran than a shaky rookie. Relying on sharp drives toward the basket and a startling ability to finish at the rim, his game only improved as the season wound down. Burks' second year should be even better. But he's facing the same dilemma as everyone from Hayward and Favors to Foye and Marvin Williams: Utah's loaded roster leaves little room for playing time.

Enes Kanter, C

Height/weight • 6-foot-11, 267 pounds

Age • 20

College • Kentucky (did not play)

Year • 2

2011-12 stats • 4.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.1 assists

What he brings • The No. 3 overall pick of the 2011 draft exceeded expectations during his rookie year. He then spent the offseason improving his footwork and shooting touch, while slimming down and shaping up his wrestler-like frame. Like Favors, Kanter has the potential to dominate, potentially giving Utah a deadly inside combination for the future. But as long as Jefferson's on the floor, Kanter's time will be contained.

Jeremy Evans, PF/SF

Height/weight • 6-foot-9, 194 pounds

Age • 24

College • Western Kentucky

Year • 3

2011-12 stats • 2.1 points, 1.7 rebounds, 0.4 assists

What he brings • One of the most electrifying games in the league. The 2012 All-Star slam dunk champion can leap over cars and has spent two seasons as one of the best finishers in the game. But will he ever get more than a few minutes on the court? Evans must find an outside shot, or the three-year, $5.5 million deal he signed last summer will eventually be a waste.

DeMarre Carroll, SF

Height/weight • 6-foot-8, 212 pounds

Age • 26

College • Missouri

Year • 4

2011-12 stats • 4.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists

What he brings • Is hard work a talent? When it comes to Carroll, the answer is yes. He doesn't excel in any facet of the game and rarely wows. But Carroll is a clawer and a scrapper, and he was the perfect late-season antidote for a 2011-12 Jazz team that began to lose its edge before sharpening itself for a postseason run. How will Carroll get on the court this year, though, when Hayward and Marvin Williams need time at small forward?

Earl Watson, PG

Height/weight • 6-foot-1, 199 pounds

Age • 33

College • UCLA

Year • 12

2011-12 stats • 3 points, 4.3 assists, 2.4 rebounds

What he brings • Wisdom, experience, toughness and a whole lot of attitude. Watson runs the point like a seasoned professional and occasionally sinks a floating 3-pointer. That's about it. But when it comes to having an old-school backup at point guard, few in the league top Watson. He has the makings of a future coach, and he can step in on a moment's notice to run a team.

Jamaal Tinsley, PG

Height/weight • 6-foot-3, 197 pounds

Age • 34

College • Iowa State

Year • 10

2011-12 stats • 3.7 points, 3.3 assists, 1.2 rebounds

What he brings • Tinsley was one of the best stories of the 2011-12 season. After trashing his career in Indiana, he redeemed it in SLC. Pairing with Watson to back up then-starter Devin Harris, Tinsley was a key component to the Jazz's late-season playoff push. At 34, time will eventually catch up with the crafty veteran, but with Watson recovering from knee surgery, Tinsley can extend his career another year for Utah to hold ground in the backcourt.

Kevin Murphy, SG

Height/weight • 6-foot-6, 185 pounds

Age • 22

College • Tennessee Tech

Year • Rookie

What he brings • A soft touch and a scoring mentality. Murphy could spend much of 2012-13 in the Development League, since Hayward, Foye and Burks are expected to soak up time at shooting guard. The rookie can shoot, though, and Utah has long been in need of attacking guards at the wing position. Jazz at a glance

2011-12 record • 36-30 (third in Northwest Division)

Playoffs • Fell 4-0 to San Antonio in first round

Coach • Tyrone Corbin (44-50 in two seasons)

Assistant coaches • Sidney Lowe, Jeff Hornacek, Michael Sanders, Brad Jones

Projected starters • Mo Williams (point guard), Gordon Hayward (shooting guard), Marvin Williams (small forward), Paul Millsap (power forward), Al Jefferson (center)

Key reserves • Enes Kanter, Alec Burks, DeMarre Carroll, Earl Watson, Jamaal Tinsley, Jeremy Evans

Departures • Devin Harris, C.J. Miles, Josh Howard

Additions • Mo Williams, Marvin Williams, Foye, Kevin Murphy