It was a rather successful season for the #Utah Jazz, which was unfortunately followed by a miserable offseason. Utah went into the offseason fully aware that star #Free Agent #Gordon Hayward would test the market, with a decent chance of leaving.

Losing key pieces

Both George Hill and Gordon Hayward ditched the Jazz on the same day. On July 4, Hill signed a deal with the Sacramento Kings, and Hayward agreed to a max deal with the Boston Celtics. Hill became a crucial part to the team’s success last season, as he averaged career numbers and was extremely efficient.

Of course, Hayward was the team’s leader and star player, which will completely crush Utah this season.

Hayward led the Jazz in scoring and became an All-Star for the first time in his career but decided to reunite with college head coach Brad Stevens in Boston.

Adding replacement pieces

To replace Hill, the Jazz made a minor trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire Ricky Rubio, who is a pass-first point guard that is limited offensively. While Rubio is a solid replacement, Hill was a much better option due to his ability to score and defend.

The Jazz also signed Thabo Sefolosha, hoping he can provide perimeter defense, veteran leadership, and toughness. Sefolosha is also a limited offensive player, but he is a strong defensive piece. In addition to Sefolosha, Utah added Jonas Jerebko as well. Known for his energy and hustle, Jerebko should be a serviceable player off Utah’s bench.

Lastly, the Jazz signed Ekpe Udoh to add frontline depth, bringing in a lengthy veteran rim protector who has been dominant overseas.

Re-signing a key player

Joe Ingles was one of Utah’s important pieces last season, and he decided to remain with the team long term by signing a four-year, $52 million deal. Ingles was excellent defensively during the playoffs and hit many timely outside shots with extreme efficiency. With Hayward gone, he should receive plenty more minutes this season.

The 2017 NBA draft

During draft day, the Jazz traded up by sending Trey Lyles and the 24th overall pick for the 13th overall pick. With the 13th selection, they took Donovan Mitchell, an athletic two guard with exceptional defensive abilities. Utah also traded its 30th and 41st pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for the 28th pick and selected big man Tony Bradley, a terrific rebounder with solid intangibles.

Losing Hayward and Hill will greatly hurt the team this season, possibly causing them to miss the playoffs. Although the Jazz did a decent job during the draft and free agency, they weren’t able to fully replace the two aforementioned veterans.

Roster outlook

PG: Ricky Rubio/Dante Exum/Raul Neto

SG: Rodney Hood/Thabo Sefolosha/Donovan Mitchell/Alec Burks

SF: Joe Ingles/Joe Johnson/Royce O’Neale/Eric Griffin

PF: Derrick Favors/Jonas Jerebko/Joel Bolomboy

C: Rudy Gobert/Tony Bradley/Ekpe Udoh

Coach: Quin Snyder

Offseason Grade: D+