I have had conversations with people regarding the fact that I believe that Trey Burke has the most pressure than anybody that was drafted. I can argue this in another post but my question is what members of the Jazz have the most pressure on them this year? Here is my list started by those that have the most pressure to succeed this year.
Ty Corbin– This is really an obvious answer. He has one year left on his contract and has not been offered an extension that we know of. Last year many believed that he failed to succeed because of the flawed roster. He has been given a lot of excuses as to why he still has a job, there is no excuse now.
We have been told that Corbin’s not necessarily going to be judged based on wins and losses, which of course Corbin should be happy with. He will be judged based on how the Jazz develop defensively which is not something Corbin has really needed to coach yet. This is my opinion but I believe he will also be judged on whether or not he puts the best players on the court. This means giving opportunities to all players and letting them try to perform. If players like Ian Clark and Jeremy Evans don’t get opportunities then Corbin might not be here next year.
Gordon Hayward– The difference in pressure between Corbin and Hayward is huge but Hayward has the most pressure on the team. Hayward is expected to be the leader and face of the Jazz organization. He is by far our best all-around player. He will be expected to score, handle the ball at times, control the game, all while defending the opposing teams’ best players. From the minute he was drafted and booed, Jazz management has compared him to the great John Stockton with his leadership. Hayward will try to prove to the Jazz that he can be the leader that he was at Butler in order to sign a big extension. He will also be proving to Jazz fans that he deserved to be picked higher than Paul George.
Trey Burke– I know that it is probably unfair to put this much pressure on a rookie. He will most likely be the starter of this young team. The pressure for Point Guards in Utah is already high. He will be expected to control the offense, learn the plays, make the other players better, be a great defender against bigger point guards, and he had better shoot better than 24%. The reason I say he has so much pressure is because the Jazz have other options. Raul Neto played well in his brief stint at the Summer League, he will most likely be over next year to challenge Burke for that position. Trey Burke was the best point guard of this draft, but he was arguably not the best collegiate point guard last year. If Trey Burke doesn’t show promise next year, who is to say the Jazz wouldn’t take Marcus Smart if they miss out on Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins.
Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter– Both number three draft picks, both big men, both have different styles and skill sets. Favors is an excellent defender but mediocre on offense and the opposite is true for Kanter. Both will probably be playing alongside each other, hopefully for years to come. It will be up to them to complement each other and to work together. The pressure is there because they are expected to play well, but there is nobody that will really challenge their jobs any time soon. If they want any sort of money like they should expect, they will need to take advantage of the time and opportunity that they have been given.
Marvin Williams– If Williams had been a free agent, based on the way the rest of the roster has been made, Marvin Williams would probably not be wearing a Jazz uniform. Williams will need to get healthy and prove that he still belongs in this league. Last year he took a decline in all statistics and will most likely not get paid near what he was making. He is still only 27 years old so the pressure will be on him not so much for the Jazz but for himself.
Alec Burks– Alec Burks can play and he showed great leadership last year. He played excellent for the Jazz summer team. Jazz fans wanted Burks to play far more than he did and he will get the opportunity if he takes it. He might never reach the heights of Hayward, Favors, and Kanter in Jazz history but he will have an opportunity to be a great role player on this young team.
The Jazz Fans– Time for the soapbox. Last year was constant complaining about the roster, Coach Corbin, player minutes, and being mediocre for far too long. The complaints were warranted; this is why I feel that Jazz management did what they did. Now that they went young, it is our turn to put pressure on ourselves to support these young players. This also means to make sure we see less green seats in the stands. I have put extra pressure on myself to make sure I attend more games next year. I hope all Jazz fans will stand with me.
The great thing about this team is that the roster is filled with guys that want to prove something and the only person that could be on the team next year besides those already mentioned is Rudy Gobert. I will run down the list but I will not explain each one in great detail.
Jeremy Evans– He is believed to be a one-dimensional player. Evans needs to show more skill or else he might not be with the Jazz.
Brandon Rush– Coming off of surgery last year, he has an opportunity to stick with the Jazz or be another expiring contract on the way out.
Rudy Gobert– Jazz brass and management appear to already know that he will be a project, but with a short bench he could see considerable minutes that Kanter could have only dreamed of as a rookie.
Ian Clark– The newest addition to the Jazz. He is an undrafted rookie that played extremely well in the summer league and earned a two-year contract. Jazz are hopeful he can be another Wesley Matthews. If he can be he could find a good comfortable home with the Jazz for a while.
Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson– Two players that might not make with the Jazz for the entire season. They will be playing for their careers, problem is, they might not see enough time to prove it.
John Lucas III– He knows his role, and mentoring young Trey Burke could be a simple role for next year.
This is my list for those in the Jazz organization that could feel the most pressure next year. Do you agree or disagree? I would love your comments