The 2021-22 NBA season will attempt to be as close to a normal NBA season as possible after two years playing through a pandemic. The COVID situation in the United States has not improved as much as expected, but the league expects to get a full 82 games in while pushing for its players, coaches and staff to get vaccinated.
DKNation will be going through all 30 teams ahead of the season, looking at how the roster shapes up for the 2021-22 campaign. Here we take a look at the Utah Jazz, who will try to capitalize on their recent regular-season successes with a deep playoff run.
Utah Jazz 2021-22 Outlook
Key additions: Rudy Gay, Hassan Whiteside
The Jazz added some depth in free agency, but the most important business was bringing back Mike Conley. Gay is a veteran who has some playoff experience, while Whiteside can provide some cushion behind Gobert in spot minutes. Don’t expect either player to contribute heavily as games get more meaningful, but these are useful pieces during the regular season.
Key departures: Georges Niang
Niang wasn’t the first name you went to on the scouting report, but he could shoot from the perimeter with deadly efficiency. The Jazz have been launching triples at a ridiculous clip in recent seasons, so losing Niang does put a small dent in their lineup. Ultimately, he’s not a key player for them but will impact their shooting numbers early on.
The Jazz expect to compete for a championship. That’s why they are running it back with Conley, Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. Utah is banking on continuity and some internal growth, along with home-court advantage in the postseason. Last season’s exit will be tough to swallow given the circumstances, but Utah is on the short list of title contenders entering the 2021-22 season.
Fantasy basketball player to watch: Jordan Clarkson
Clarkson has carved out a nice role for himself in Utah. After starting off his career strong with the Lakers, Clarkson was traded to the Cavaliers and struggled to get going. The Jazz made the move for him and the guard has thrived in a second-unit role. He’s the favorite to win Sixth Man of the Year again, but his production is great for DFS and fantasy managers. Clarkson averaged 18.4 points per game last season and should be around the same mark again this year barring injuries. If you’re looking for value in DFS lineups, Clarkson is a good play.