UTAH JAZZ

Coach Hardy Likes Jazz Offensive Versatility, Praises Three Rookies

Sep 27, 2022, 4:19 PM | Updated: 4:19 pm

Utah-Jazz-Ochai-Agbaji...

Utah Jazz rookie Ochai Agbaji (Deseret News: Kristin Murphy)

(Deseret News: Kristin Murphy)

SALT LAKE CITY –  With 14 new faces, including four rookies, and a roster that is far from finalized, it’s difficult to predict what the Utah Jazz will look like this season.

But first-year head coach Will Hardy said he already likes the offensive versatility the team has at practice.

“We don’t have a lot of guys who are pigeonholed in one position,” Hardy said. ” I think we have a lot of guys who can play at a couple of different spots.”

The Jazz had the top offensive rating in the NBA last season but traded away Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Bojan Bogdanovic during the summer.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ben Anderson (@benshoops)

That leaves the team without three of their top four scorers from last year’s roster, with only Jordan Clarkson returning this season.

However, there are several new faces on the Jazz who are candidates to fill those vacancies.

Collin Sexton averaged 24.3 points in his last healthy season with the Cleveland Cavaliers and will be relied upon heavily to carry the Jazz offensive load.

Lauri Markkanen averages 15.4 points per game for his career, while Malik Beasley averaged 19.7 points per game for the Minnesota Timberwolves just two seasons ago.

“I think we’re a skilled offensive team,” Hardy acknowledged. ‘We have a lot of guys who can dribble, pass, and shoot and it gives us a lot of versatility on that end.”

Rookies Play Well In First Day With Jazz

The Jazz enter the season with three rookies on guaranteed contracts this season.

Walker Kessler joined the team in the Gobert trade, Ochaci Agbaji came to Utah in exchange for Mitchell, and Italian sensation Simone Fontecchio signed with the Jazz over the summer.

All three players drew the praise of their new coach after day one of practice.

“They were great, each of them had some good moments today, each of them had some rookie moments today,” Hardy said.

Agbaji was the 14th overall pick in June’s draft while Kessler was selected 22nd overall. Fontecchio has years of experience playing overseason and was touted as the top international small forward by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

All three of those guys were incredibly excited and probably a little bit anxious to start today,” Hardy said. “This is a big moment for them, their first real NBA practice so I thought they all handled themselves great.”

Agbaji and Fontecchi will battle for minutes on the wing while Kessler will look to carve out a role at center.

“There are a lot of things as you guys know that you just don’t learn out there until you actually feel it,” Hardy said, “so that’s why training camp is really important.”

The Jazz’s three rookies will look to make their debut on Sunday as the team travels to Edmonton to face the Toronto Raptors to being preseason play.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz Notes season outcomes Lauri Markkanen...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes Season Grades: Did Utah’s Season Go As Planned?

The Utah Jazz had a very interesting season. With a bottom-10 record, many fans were left wondering if this was the plan all along.

10 minutes ago

Keyonte-George-Utah-Jazz-NBA...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Mailbag: Is Keyonte George’s Shooting A Concern?

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

19 hours ago

Utah Jazz CEO Danny Ainge...

Ben Anderson

Danny Ainge: Jazz Ready To Go ‘Big Game Hunting’

With the Utah Jazz 2023-24 season complete, CEO Danny Ainge opened up about the team's successes and failures, and its plans for the future.

21 hours ago

Lauri-Markkanen-Utah-Jazz-NBA...

Ben Anderson

What Will Utah Jazz Do This Offseason?

Though all eyes will be on the Arizona Coyotes relocation, the Utah Jazz enter an offseason that will help sculpt the organization's future.

2 days ago

: Brice Sensabaugh #8 of the Utah Jazz is guarded by Jonathan Kuminga #00 of the Golden State Warri...

Ben Anderson

Jazz Clinch Eighth-Best Lottery Odds With Loss To Warriors

The Utah Jazz included the season with a 123-116 loss to the Golden State Warriors to lock up the eighth-best odds to win the draft lottery.

3 days ago

Dario Saric #20 of the Golden State Warriors is guarded by Micah Potter #25 of the Utah Jazz...

Ben Anderson

Jazz Lose To Warriors In Season Finale

The Utah Jazz fell to the Golden State Warriors 123-116 to close the 2023-224 season with a record of 31-51. 

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-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!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

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.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

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.

Coach Hardy Likes Jazz Offensive Versatility, Praises Three Rookies