Smooth moves in Utah this offseason

By Jalon Dixon, Columnist

The Utah Jazz are dancing to their own tune, as this may be their most productive offseason in recent memory.

In the Wild Western Conference, the Jazz have acquired players that might not gauge the star power of forwards Lebron James or Kawhi Leonard, but do provide valuable skills to a championship contender. 

Starting with the trade for Mike Conley, the Jazz are getting an All-Star caliber point guard. Unlike Ricky Rubio, who now plays for the Phoenix Suns, Conley provides a primary or secondary ball handler with a knack for scoring the basketball alongside standout guard Donovan Mitchell. With a backcourt duo of Conley and Mitchell, the Jazz now have two players capable of orchestrating the offense while also averaging over 20 points per game.  

Next is the free agent signing of forward Bojan Bogdanovic, whom they snagged from the Indiana Pacers. As probably one of the most unrecognized players on one of the most underrated teams last year in the Pacers, Bogdanovic led them to a 43 – 34 record in the absence of their star point guard Victor Oladipo. Averaging 18 points on over 40 percent shooting from the field and from three, he brings floor spacing, range, and can be a scoring threat at any time throughout the course of a game. These two pick-ups alone have added much needed fire power to a team lacking a reliable secondary and tertiary scorer. 

Now the Jazz come into the season with a starting lineup of Conley, Mitchell, Bogdanovic, forward Joe Ingles and center Rudy Gobert. Not to mention sufficient role players like forwards Ed Davis and Jeff Green, and guard Dante Exum off the bench. This team may be lacking the headliner star, but they have a dynamic backcourt duo, were able to address their biggest needs offensively and still have the potential to remain stout defensively. To me, the Jazz easily had the best offseason not involving acquiring superstar talent. 

Right now, I have them as third or fourth best team in the West and within the top ten overall in the NBA. Coming off a swift first round exit in the playoffs, the Jazz now gear up a roster capable going pound for pound against any starting five in the league. The talent is definitely there, possibly enough to reach the Conference Finals. Sleeper team to come out of the West? Guess we will have to wait and see.

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