When NBA teams lose their biggest stars, they have a pair of options. One is to try to replace them and move on. When Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook signed an extension and helped lead the Thunder back to the playoffs. The second option is to rebuild, which is what the Miami Heat did when they lost LeBron James and they appear ready to step back up again this season. The Utah Jazz just lost their top player in Gordon Hayward and according to their general manager, they are not rebuilding.

Rudy Gobert

The Utah Jazz’s general manager Dennis Lindsey was talking to the Salt Lake Tribune and said that the team was not interested in rebuilding because they have a star remaining on their team that they still believe in.

Lindsey said that they will focus their efforts on showcasing their superstar center Rudy Gobert. This puts Utah more in line with the Thunder than the Heat, as Gobert will hope to keep the Jazz competitive despite the departure of Gordon Hayward.

Despite Gordon Hayward giving up on the Utah Jazz and heading to the Boston Celtics, Lindsey feels the team has too much talent to tear it down now. In the 2016-17 NBA season, Utah finished in first place in the Northwest, four games ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The finished tied for fourth overall in the Western Conference and lost in the second round of the NBA playoffs to the Golden State Warriors.

While Gordon Hayward led the team with 24.1 points a game, George Hill, Joe Johnson, and Rudy Gobert all scored in double-digits as well and Gobert led the team with 9.9 rebounds and 1.33 blocks a game.

When asked about the 2017-18 NBA season, Lindsey said they were planning to build a strong defensive team around Gobert.

The 2017-18 NBA season

While Rudy Gobert is the only one of those players returning to the Utah Jazz this upcoming season, he believes that the team will be better than they were last year. The Jazz traded for Ricky Rubio, acquiring the point guard from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Rubio averaged 9.1 assists and 11.1 points a game last season. The Jazz also brought in defensive specialist Thabo Sefolosha to help their defense remain strong.

As far as Rudy Gobert is concerned, he isn’t mad about Gordon Hayward leaving the Utah Jazz but he is disappointed in how it all went down. Gobert even responded to the departure by posting a video on Instagram with him singing “Loyal,” a video that many took as a parting shot to Hayward.