The Utah Jazz was one game shy of making it to the NBA playoffs last season. Despite the new look to their uniforms and home arena, they failed to get through the tiebreaker against Houston and they were the last team Kobe got to beat, scoring 60 points in his farewell game.
Riddled with injuries for most of the season, the Jazz was the best team in the NBA not to have made it to the playoffs.
Derrick Favors missed a total of 23 games, while Rudy Gobert missed 22, and Exum missed the entire season due to an ACL injury.
The Utah Jazz has benefited much from last year’s draft when they acquired Trey Lyles, who was able to build a solid performance as a rookie. The team also has a young and tractable list of players like Rodney Hood, and Hayward.
The future looks bright for Utah as long as they are able to keep healthy.
On Friday, Turner Sports reported that a veteran swingman Joe Johnson and the Jazz have mutually agreed to a two-year contract for $22 million.
The 35-year-old veteran may no longer be a prolific scorer as when he entered the NBA in 2001 via the Boston Celtics, but he is a proven shooter and role player. During his time with the Miami Heat in 24 games, he averaged 13.4 points with a 41.7 percent shooting from the 3-point territory.
Joe Johnson’s presence on the court will give leverage to the team’s younger players. He will be able to stretch out the defense, as a threat from the outside, and should be a great complement to Gordon Hayward who averaged 19.7 points last season.
Johnson is ranked ninth overall on the NBA’s all-time list of made three-point field goals with 1,832 in his entire career. Apart from his stability from the outside, he is also a great passer, which has helped him become a double-digit scorer for the past thirteen seasons.
Joe Johnson is also a seven-time all-star player, which is a pretty fair deal for $22 million in a span of two years.
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