I had the privilege of talking with Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports about the Utah Jazz and here is the conversation:
Me: What are your thoughts on the Derrick Favors extension?
Marc Spears: First off he is young. Did he earn it? no. Does he have enormous potential? yes. Al and Millsap are gone, leaving the opportunity open for Favors to warrant that type of money. He’s one of the young faces of the future and he’s a young star. One thing you have to remember is he would get a lot of interest in free agency with his size and upside. Can’t let a player like that go. Honestly I’m not surprised by the signing and it shows the Jazz’s faith in Favors. Now the pressure is on Favors to live up to the extension.”
Me: Hayward is also talking extension and might get an 8 figure deal as well, would that be worth it for Utah?
Well Gordon is their best player. He’s extremely underrated.. probably one of the most underrated in all of the NBA. He’s talented and versatile. He’s a potential all-star and as with Favors, Hayward will receive a lot of interest in free agency so locking him up is a good idea. They are the two cornerstones of the Jazz.”
Me: What is the biggest weakness of the Jazz in your opinion?
Definitely the point guard position. They have a rookie point first off who struggled in summer league and has had his challenges in preseason. Then he(Burke) got hurt and they have John Lucas III running the team who is at best a backup. The Jazz have to be the weakest in the NBA at the position and that’s a tough deal for a team this young.”
Me: What’s the best case and worst case scenarios for the Jazz this season?
The best case is what the Jazz did last year where they are fighting for the 8th seed. Again they are a young team and have minimal veteran leadership with the pickups from Golden State. This is a rebuilding year but the Jazz definitely have young talent.
The worst case is no playoffs. The Jazz won’t be the worst team cause they have too much talent, but it could be a season where intelligent Jazz fans start wanting the Jazz to tank for a better pick in next years coveted draft.
Me: How many wins will the Jazz have?
That’s a tough one… I’m going to say 30 wins.
Me: Who will have the better season and is the better fantasy option, Enes Kanter or Derrick Favors?
Favors will be as he expected to get more minutes. Favors has the more polished offensive game and he just got that contract so he has bigger expectations to live up to. Favors should average 15 points a game and he’s great at rebounding. He also should be close to the top in blocks.
I love Kanter, but I’m still waiting for how he played in the Nike Hoop Summit to translate to the NBA.
Me: Talking fantasy, Hayward is the 93rd ranked player. His per 36 stats were almost identical to Paul George’s. With the minutes this year can Hayward do what Paul George did last year?
That’s a very interesting find. With Sap and Al gone, Hayward will get more of the load. He could definitely be a 20+ point scorer, but I’ve never seen him be assertive or an assassin type scorer. He does have the opportunity though and he has an all around game that will fill up a stat sheet. I really like Burks as a scorer too. He could score in his sleep. But yeah Hayward could definitely be a fantasy sleeper.
Thanks to Marc Spears for the interview and everyone should go follow Marc on twitter @spearsNBAyahoo.