When the Utah Jazz traded All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell last summer, just about everyone expected them to be one of the NBA’s worst teams during the 2022-23 season.
But they won 10 of their first 13 games and were in contention for a play-in tournament spot until the final days of the regular season.
This year, the Jazz have even more reason to feel confident about perhaps making it to the postseason.
They traded for forward John Collins earlier this summer, and they have now welcomed him to the Utah via Twitter.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) September 11, 2023
A big reason for Utah’s success last season was the emergence of Lauri Markkanen, who nearly doubled his scoring average from the previous season to 25.6 points a game and earned his first All-Star appearance.
Now, he will have some help up front in the form of Collins.
Collins, who is 6-foot-9 and 226 pounds, put up 13.1 points and 6.5 rebounds a game last season as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.
His best season came during the 2019-20 campaign when he averaged 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per contest while shooting 58.3 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from 3-point range.
Behind Collins, Markkanen, and Walker Kessler, the Jazz will have an interesting and promising frontline this coming season.
Kessler, their starting center, averaged 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.3 blocked shots a game last year, and many think highly of his potential moving forward.
It will be difficult for the Jazz to get into the postseason in the always-loaded Western Conference, but they’re young and hungry enough to surprise people.NEXT: Stats Show Utah Jazz Duo Has Shined During FIBA World Cup