Ten Players That Will Never Wear A Utah Jazz Uniform
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz are possibly in the market for one more player to fill out their roster, recently there was some chatter on Twitter about what it would take for Russell Westbrook to join the team.
Scott Mitchell and Alex Kirry of KSL’s UnRivaled agree – you will never see Westbrook in a Jazz uniform.
The NBA free agency period finally cooled off. The Utah Jazz arguably had their best off-season ever, trading for Mike Conley and signing Bojan Bogdanovic.
Westbrook will not be part of the Jazz’s future plans, one reason being his contract. It pays him an average of $42.75 million over the next for years.
The main reason he will never be a Jazzman is the multiple run-ins with fans in Salt Lake City, according to Kirry and Mitchell.
This got the duo thinking about other players who will never see themselves in a Jazz uniform ever – or ever again.
10. Gordon Hayward
Hayward broke millions of Utah Jazz fans’ hearts when he announced in the Players Tribune that he was taking a large contract to join the Boston Celtics on July 4, 2017. That move has not gone as planned for Hayward. The Celtics never became the team they hoped it would.
Jazz fans are doing just fine with Donovan Mitchell – the immediate fan favorite and budding superstar.
“If he were available, there is no way the Jazz would sign him this offseason,” Kirry said. “If he were available and were to take a pay cut, he would not even be close to the best guy they could have gotten for the money that got Bojan and Mike Conley for, even if he had not had the history at Utah.”
9. James Harden
Yes, James Harden can score a lot of points but his style of play to get there is not exactly everyone’s cup of tea.
During the Rockets and Jazz playoff series, the idea of a swap between Harden and Donovan Mitchell got brought up. The responses overwhelmingly favored keeping the current Jazz star.
8. Hassan Whiteside
Kirry added this pick to the list. He is very talented and just signed with the Portland Trailblazers but he is known around the league of being a headcase.
This idea started to trend as the duo went through the list. There are plenty of players who do not have “Jazz DNA.”
7. DeMarcus Cousins
Scott Mitchell and Kirry pointed out that his attitude and immaturity cost him millions of dollars and he is just not a “Utah Jazz guy”.
Cousins would simply not be a good fit for the team or community.
6. Enes Kanter
This is one of Kirry’s favorites on the list.
“This is a guy where the fans would revolt because he has said too many bad things about Utah. He has a personality that is not the guy you would want to attract to your organization, politically or because of his Twitter presence,” Kirry said.
The former Utah Jazz center had some choice comments that did not sit well while he was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder when he returned for a game against his old team.
“I think the difference is, I like playing basketball [with the Thunder],” Kanter said. “I think that’s the most important thing. I never liked playing basketball before in my NBA career, and this is the first time I felt like playing basketball there, for my team, for the fans, for my teammates for my coaches, for everybody. So, that’s the first time.”
Kanter will not be welcomed back to Salt Lake City anytime soon.
5. Jimmer Fredette
Fredette did just sign a deal with Greek team Panathinaikos from the EuroLeague so that would be the first hurdle but the real reason the former BYU star would never join the Utah Jazz is not that his skill set is lacking, but because he would create a media circus that the Jazz do not need.
“The thing about Jimmer is that the offense has to run through him and the Jazz are not wired that way,” Scott Mitchell said.
4. Kevin Durant
Scott Mitchell has repeatedly said that the Utah Jazz are just one Kevin Durant-type player away from competing for an NBA Title. It looks like Conley is that guy for the Jazz.
The real reason why the Jazz will never put Durant in a jersey is his need to be the main guy on any team he is on and that will not fly in this team’s culture, according to Scott Mitchell.
3. Kyrie Irving
There were rumblings that Irving could be a fit for the Jazz but that was more of a pipe dream. Both hosts agreed the Jazz should give this a hard-pass.
2. LeBron James
If James were to go to a mid-market team he would head home and play for the Cleveland Cavaliers with a third stint to wrap up his career.
He loves the major markets and the notoriety they bring which is why he is with the Los Angeles Lakers and previously spent time with the Miami Heat.
He has a big brand with interests outside of basketball that could not be achieved in Salt Lake City.
1. Russell Westbrook
This is obvious. He does not like Salt Lake City or the Utah Jazz after being involved in a few instances that seemed racially motivated.
The most recent conflict was this past season when a fan made comments toward Westbrook and he lashed out.
Even if somehow Westbrook came to Utah, it would be a pretty awkward situation.
However, Scott Mitchell would welcome Westbrook to the Jazz.
“I think if Russell Westbrook actually came here, maybe he would get along with people, I don’t know,” Scott Mitchell said. “He is a great player but on the downside of his career and that is why Paul George probably left. If there is buying into team ball and how the Jazz are wired, I don’t know if I would turn something down.”