All four of the 2021/22 Conference Finalists — the Warriors, Mavericks, Celtics and Heat — proved how far the Jazz are from contending for a championship, Sarah Todd of The Deseret News opines.
Todd notes that head coach Quin Snyder, whose status remains uncertain for next season, said Utah was very close to competing at the highest level at his end-of-season press conference.
“This year, I thought that our record didn’t necessarily reflect what we could do in the playoffs. I felt like we were this close to having a spark and kicking it in and finding that unity, that extra secret sauce, and taking off. And obviously that didn’t happen,” Snyder said, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Todd disagrees. Even assuming the Jazz had advanced past Dallas in the first round (they lost in six games), Todd is doubtful the Jazz would have been able to take the Suns to seven games in the second round, as Dallas was able to do.
She also doesn’t think the Jazz would have fared any better than the Mavs did against the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, if they’d gotten past Phoenix.
Ultimately, the Todd believes the flawed roster was too much to overcome, and Utah’s front office will have a tough job improving it this summer.
Here’s more from Utah:
- As our JD Shaw previously reported, the Jazz held a free agent mini-camp on Tuesday featuring a couple of G League standouts. Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune provides (via Twitter) the full list of 18 participants, many of whom have NBA experience: Tyler Johnson, Wes Iwundu, Patrick McCaw, Allen Crabbe, Alize Johnson, Chris Silva, Louis King, T.J. Leaf, Deividas Sirvydis, Aaron Henry, Carlik Jones, Derrick Alston, Isaiah Miller, Jared Wilson-Frame, Kevon Harris, and Tyrique Jones.
- The Jazz don’t control a pick in the upcoming draft at the moment, but they’re still working out 12 prospects on Thursday, according to Larsen (Twitter links). The first group features Texas Tech’s Adonis Arms, Mississippi State’s Iverson Molinar, St. John’s swingman Julian Champagnie, Kentucky’s Kellan Grady, Arkansas’ Stanley Umude, and Loyola Chicago’s Lucas Williamson. The second group will be Michigan’s Eli Brooks, Illinois’ Austin Hutcherson, Charlie Moore and Kameron McGusty of Miami (FL), Bowling Green’s Daeqwon Plowden, and Georgia Tech’s Jordan Usher. Champagnie and Molinar are Nos. 75 and No. 83 on ESPN’s big board, respectively.
- After working out for the Wizards earlier today, Illinois center Kofi Cockburn told reporters that he has a workout lined up with the Jazz as well (Twitter link via Josh Robbins of The Athletic). He’s No. 85 on ESPN’s board.