Since the emergence of Donovan Mitchell and the defensive dominance of Rudy Gobert, media and NBA critics have debated who the true No. 1 was on the Utah Jazz. With the departure of Gobert, there's no longer a discussion as to who the alpha is in Utah.
As the roster is currently constructed, and with Mitchell still in a Jazz jersey, this is his team. Beyond him, there is quite the drop-off in talent and All-Star wherewithal but there are still several significant role players and offensive threats.
During the Gobert/Mitchell era, the third option changed from night to night, and with most of those players still on the roster, the Jazz and new head coach Will Hardy will be looking for someone to step up on a more consistent basis.
Former Sixth Man of the Year, Jordan Clarkson, took up that mantle and gave the Jazz the lift they needed to win many games over the past two seasons. Although Clarkson is a great sparkplug that provides a seemingly infinite amount of energy for the team, his talents are best utilized and maximized off the bench and hardly the consistency that one would expect from a number two option.
There is, of course, Bojan Bogdanovic, who has been probably the most consistent offensive threat outside of Mitchell from the remaining core of the team. But Bogdanovic is nearing the twilight of his career as the 33-year-old enters his 12th NBA season. As consistent as he's been, he has shown signs of age, and to expect him to fill in as the No. 2 would be unfair.
Mike Conley was expected to come in and be that solid third option that would take the Jazz to their first championship. Unfortunately, that never panned out, and Conley has played well below expectations most of his tenure. It's likely due to his age and injuries, but looking forward, Conley is far beyond anything other than a solid role player and veteran presence in the locker room.
Finally, examining the newcomers, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Walker Kessler, all can be expected to be formidable role players that will provide the Jazz with great energy and defensive prowess. If any of these players fill in the role of the No. 2, this will be a very pleasant surprise, or the Jazz will be a very bad basketball team.
This leaves us with Malik Beasley and the clear favorite for the No. 2 option behind Mitchell. Beasley has had an up-and-down start to his career, but he is only 25 and has a lot to prove from a consistency perspective.
There's no doubt that Beasley has the talent to be a consistent 20-plus-points-per-game scorer at all levels. He has the size and length to be a solid wing defender and be the stopper the Jazz have missed the past couple of years, especially in the clutch.
Beasley will have an opportunity from day one to show his impact and take that leap. Pending the yet-to-be-seen, Gobert-less Jazz defense, if Mitchell can depend on Beasley to be a steady No. 2 option while the rest of the roster fills in where needed, the Jazz could be a solid threat to win on a night-to-night basis.
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