The turbulent summer for the Utah Jazz is almost complete. Jazz fans were able to get closure on multiple fronts, and as usual, some parties won, while others will enter the 2022-23 season behind the eight-ball.
Let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers of this crazy summer.
Winner(s): Donovan Mitchell & Rudy Gobert
The two former Jazzmen were traded to franchises that have a real chance of competing for a title. Nobody had these two destinations on their bingo card to start the summer, but with Jazz executive Danny Ainge steering the ship, anything is possible.
Jazz fans will keep an eye on December 9 (Gobert) and January 10 (Mitchell) when the two All-Stars return to Salt Lake City.
Loser: New York Knicks
The Knicks were the heavy favorite to land Mitchell, but in typical fashion, executive Leon Rose decided tripping over dollars to pick up pennies was in New York’s best interest. The Knicks are projected to be a 40-win team this year.
That’s just good enough to take them out of the Victor Wembayana and Scoot Henderson conversation, but also bad enough to not be playing games that really matter. Another wasted year for the Knicks.
Winner(s): Danny Ainge
Ainge was able to net Utah eight first-round picks and three pick swaps this summer. That’s not even mentioning players like Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, and Ochai Agbaji, who landed on the Jazz.
'Trader Danny' lived up to his reputation and the Jazz are in a position to be relevant again soon. Utah will have to hit on some of these picks, but there'll also be some room for error, thanks to Ainge.
Loser(s): Royce O’Neale & Bojan Bogdoavic
O’Neale was sent to the dysfunctional Brooklyn Nets and Bogdanovic to a team still rebuilding — the Detroit Pistons. O’Neale will be getting a crash course on how to be an NBA diva, while Bogdanovic will have to postpone his chances of being an NBA champion for a year.
It always could be worse, but they weren’t dealt the hand given to Gobert and Mitchell.
Winner(s): Collin Sexton, Ochai Agbaji & Simone Fontecchio
This trio of new Jazz players was thrown into a situation where they’ll have opportunities to thrive. Sexton would have been coming off the bench for Cleveland, but now having an offense run through him.
Agbaji and Fontecchio will have a chance to start due to departure of Mitchell and Bogdanovic. Whether they're NBA-ready remains to be seen, but at the least, they’ll get more live reps to show their worth.
Loser: 2022-23 Jazz season
Make no mistake about it, the 2022-23 Jazz season is going to be a tank job. It was the right move by Utah, but these rebuilds are never fun. Oddsmakers have Utah only winning 25 games this year, and if this holds true, this year won’t be one for the books.
Jazz fans will have fun getting to know the new roster during the honeymoon stage, but be prepared for the losses to start piling up.
There may never be an offseason like this one, and only time will tell how it all shakes out.
Follow Patrick on Twitter @pbyrnesNBA.