With the signing of Ian Clark the Utah Jazz now have 13 players under contract this season. Much ado has been made about Clark being the Las Vegas Summer League championship game MVP. He scored 33 points to lead the Warriors’ team to the victory. Clark has had himself quite the summer. He played well in both the Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues which lead to the Jazz signing him to a 2 year deal. A good opportunity for a young man to earn some playing time on a young team. A word of caution to Jazz fans however; just like we should not get too down on Trey Burke’s summer performance we shouldn’t get too high about Clark’s performance either. He deserves congratulations for his hard work paying off but he was signed to fill out a roster and as an insurance policy. He is the 3rd string point guard and shooting guard.
What I like most about the roster Dennis Lindsey has constructed is it is competitive. The role players know their roles but they will compete and push the starters to be better. This will be especially good for Trey Burke and Alec Burks. Although Trey is starting as a rookie, he has hungry players behind him that will help him to work hard and prove he deserves to start. Alec Burks is in the same situation. It will be fun to see Richard Jefferson and Marvin Williams compete for minutes once Marvin is healed. Should also be fun to watch Biedrins, Gobert and Evans compete for the backup big man minutes. Here’s a look at the roster.
PG – Trey Burke – It’s his job to lose, but when your back up wants to take you to Houston to meet his Hall of Fame father to workout this offseason, I think he’s in good hands. Legit ROY candidate.
SG – Alec Burks – Alec looked bigger, motivated, and clearly better than everyone in summer league. This is a big year for him.
SF – Gordon Hayward – White Mamba is ready to lead. 18, 5 and 5 is very possible for him this year.
PF – Derrick Favors – Favors and Hayward are developing great chemistry and should complement each other nicely as the team leaders. I think Derrick could average 20 & 10 this year.
C – Enes Kanter – If Enes is fully recovered, he should have a big year too. I think 16 & 8 is very realistic for him this year.
PG – John Lucas III and Ian Clark – JLIII was brought in for a reason. It will take a lot for Clark to move up as the backup.
SG – Brandon Rush and Ian Clark – If Rush has regained his old form, he will be a 6th man of the year candidate and possible starter if Burks struggles.
SF – Richard Jefferson and Marvin Williams – Marvin has the best chance of a long term future with the team. RJ should do just fine filling in for a while.
PF – Andris Biedrins and Jeremy Evans – I know Jeremy is anxious to prove his worth but Biedrins is the better defender and rebounder. Will be interesting to watch this battle.
C – Andris Biedrins and Rudy Gobert – Gobert’s ability to block shots and alter them as well will force Corbin to play him. Gobert is Jeremy’s biggest threat to playing time.
I can’t wait for training camp and the preseason. It will be fun to watch this team develop chemistry and see who solidifies themselves as backups. Make no mistake about it however, these young guys are hungry and anxious to show what they can do.