ESPN Doesn’t Rank Jazz Among NBA Contenders Next Season

Sep 28, 2020, 2:18 PM

Donovan Mitchell - Utah Jazz - LeBron James - Los Angeles Lakers...

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (R) garters in a pass as Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (L) defends during an NBA game in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 4, 2019. (Photo by GEORGE FREY / AFP) (Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz were mere inches away from beating the Denver Nuggets and advancing to face the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Semifinals. But that wasn’t enough to earn them respect as contenders when the next NBA season rolls around according to ESPN.

In their latest article, ESPN’s NBA analysts Kevin Pelton and Bobby Marks each left the Jazz off of their top 10 contenders for the 2021 season. This comes despite the Jazz finishing tied for the NBA’s eighth-best record alongside the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Miami Heat, who just punched their ticket to the NBA Finals.

The Jazz were eliminated by the Nuggets in seven games after building a 3-1 series advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. The Jazz were without forward Bojan Bogdanovic, the team’s second-leading scorer who had season-ending surgery on his wrist in May.

Denver went on to defeat the Clippers in the second round of the playoffs, again erasing a 3-1 series deficit, before being eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.

Who Made The NBA Contenders List?

Both Pelton and Marks listed 10 teams ahead of the Jazz as contenders for the 2021 NBA season, though their lists varied slightly.

Both analysts had the Lakers, Clippers, Heat, Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, and Dallas Mavericks on their lists.

Pelton added the Philadelphia 76ers to his list of contenders despite a first-round sweep at the hands of the Celtics. Pelton added the Toronto Raptors who were eliminated by the Celtics in seven games of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

When Will Next NBA Season Begin?

The NBA Finals between the Lakers and Heat will get underway on Wednesday, but for the 28 teams that have already been eliminated, all eyes are on next season. Now, they just need to know when that will begin. According to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, his “best guess” is that the season will begin in January.

Silver joined broadcaster and current CNN contributor Bob Costas to detail the latest NBA news and when to expect the league return next year.

The NBA had originally targeted a December 1 beginning to the 2020-21 season when it announced its Orlando restart plans, but with the NBA Finals set to conclude in mid-October, the turnaround was deemed too aggressive.

The NBA has toyed with the idea of restarting next season in another bubble environment, or potentially hosting several secure playing environments across the US, though secluding players from their families for the second time in as many seasons may be a tough sell.

The continuing emergence of rapid testing limited travel may allow the NBA to avoid such a dramatic approach next year.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz guard Isaiah Collier...

Ben Anderson

Jazz Fall To Clippers In Vegas Summer League

The Utah Jazz dropped to 2-2 at the Las Vegas Summer League after falling to the Los Angeles Clippers 105-88.

14 hours ago

Russell Westbrook #0 of the LA Clippers reacts against the Utah Jazz...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Trade For Russell Westbrook, Again

For the second time, the Utah Jazz are acquiring Russell Westbrook, this time in a sign and trade for guard Kris Dunn.

23 hours ago

Keyonte George NBA Summer League Salt Lake City Utah Jazz...

Chandler Holt

Are NBA Summer League Struggles A Cause For Concern?

The NBA offseason is driven by recency bias and high expectations, with Summer League players feeling that pressure the most.

24 hours ago

Utah Jazz forward Taylor Hendricks...

Ben Anderson

Taylor Hendricks Thrives In Jazz Win Over Raptors

Taylor Hendricks had the best performance of his basketball career against the Toronto Raptors scoring 23 points and grabbing nine rebounds.

2 days ago

Utah Jazz Houston Rockets Taylor Hendricks...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Mailbag: Are Jazz Good At Developing Players?

Welcome to the Utah Jazz mailbag where every week our NBA insiders answer your questions on social media about your favorite team.

3 days ago

Utah Jazz rookie Kyle Filipowski...

Ben Anderson

Kings Embarrass Jazz In Second Vegas Summer League Game

The entire Utah Jazz roster struggled in game two of the Vegas Summer League as they were drubbed by the Sacramento Kings 82-70.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

ESPN Doesn’t Rank Jazz Among NBA Contenders Next Season