Utah Jazz: Year In Review 2022

Dec 29, 2022, 4:35 PM

Cleveland Cavaliers Guard Donovan Mitchell...

In the 2022 year in rewivew, the Utah Jazz traded Donovan Mitchell, makrking one of the biggest storylines of the year. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

(Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The 2022 Year in Review revealed one of the most tumultuous stretches in the history of the Utah Jazz franchise.

The Jazz went from one of the league’s top contenders to a roster on the verge of a full-on rebuild over the course of just 365 days.

From the departures of Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Quin Snyder, to the additions of Collin Sexton, Kelly Olynyk, and Lauri Markkanen, there was not a quiet month for the Jazz in 2022.

Here is the Utah Jazz Year In Review featuring the top 12 stories from January to December.

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Utah Jazz Year In Review: 2022

January: Joe Ingles Tears ACL

In what had already been an injury-plagued month for the Jazz, Joe Ingles torn ACL on January 30 against the Minnesota Timberwolves proved to be the beginning of the end for the team’s hopes of contending for an NBA title.

The veteran guard had already had a difficult 2021-22 season, but that injury ended his eight-year career in Utah at the age of 34.

Less than two weeks after the injury, the Jazz would trade Ingles for Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Juancho Hernangomez in a three-team deal including the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs.

February: Mitchell, Gobert Chosen As All-Stars

After the Ingles injury, the Jazz had a surprisingly strong February finishing the month with a 9-1 record, reigniting their hopes for a deep playoff run.

However, it was Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert getting selected to their third consecutive All-Star games that stole the headlines for the month.

Unfortunately, Mitchell came down with an illness and was able to play in Cleveland, while Gobert recorded six points, six rebounds, and a steal on a perfect 3-3 shooting in his 12 minutes on the floor.

The Jazz center even threw down an impressive 360 dunk during his final All-Star appearance in a Jazz uniform.

March: Jazz Late Implosions

Though there had been signs throughout the season that not all was well in Jazzland, it was never more apparent than the team’s five-game losing streak to close the month, underlined by a catastrophic loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

After leading the Clippers by 25 in the third quarter, the Jazz dropped what should have been an unlosable game, collapsing down the stretch in a way fans had seen too many times before.

The loss marked the Jazz’s 14th loss of the season after owning a double-digit second-half lead.

The five-game losing streak was part of a 4-7 stretch to end the regular season.

April: Jazz Era Ends By Shorthanded Mavericks

The Jazz had high hopes of a deep playoff run entering the 2021-22 season, but those were dashed by a shorthanded Dallas Mavericks team in the opening round of the playoffs.

Throughout the year the Jazz had repeatedly dismissed the value of the regular season, pointing their success in the playoffs as the only matter of importance.

The Jazz failed the final test of the Gobert, Mitchell, Snyder era after falling to the Mavericks who were without superstar Luka Doncic for the first three games of the series.

The game six loss in Salt Lake City proved to be the last time Mitchell, Gobert, and Snyder represented the Jazz.

May: Gobert Earns Record-Breaking All-Defensive Nod

In his final act as a member of the Jazz, Rudy Gobert was named to a record-setting sixth consecutive NBA All-Defensive First Team.

Gobert passed Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeen Olajuwon, and Ben Wallace for the most first-team selections with six.

The Jazzman earned the honors after missing out on his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award, finishing third behind winning Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, and second-place Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges.

June: Quin Snyder Resigns, Jazz Hire Hardy

After several months of rumors, Quin Snyder officially resigned as head coach of the Jazz on June 5th.

Snyder had been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers job throughout the regular season and those rumors intensified after Frank Vogel was fired in LA.

Ultimately, Snyder stepped away from coaching and has operated predominantly behind the scenes this season.

The team’s second-winningest coach, Snyder trails only Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan for career wins with the Jazz.

Less than a month after Snyder resigned, the Jazz ended their league-wide coaching search by hiring 34-year-old Will Hardy to lead the roster.

At the time, Hardy was the youngest leading man in the NBA.

July: Jazz Trade Gobert To Timberwolves

If Snyder’s exit was the drip that revealed the fractures in the previous era of the Jazz, the team’s decision to trade Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves was the watershed moment that let fans know the team’s run had officially come to an end.

The trade was first reported on July 1 and became official on July 6 as the Jazz sent Gobert to Minnesota in exchange for Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Balmaro, and rookie Walker Kessler.

The Timberwolves also sent the Jazz unprotected first-round picks in 2023, 2025, and 2027, and a pick swap in 2026.

Gobert’s early struggles in Minnesota have made the blockbuster swap loop like one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history.

The Jazz also traded forward Royce O’Neale to the Brooklyn Nets for a first-round pick in early July.

August: Jazz Acquire Talen Horton-Tucker

August was jam-packed with Donovan Mitchell trade rumors, but it was the newly acquired Patrick Beverley whose career in Utah came to a quick end when the Jazz traded him to the Lakers for Talen Horton-Tucker.

The move was a sign that the Jazz were looking to get younger, and not surround Mitchell with win-now veterans on the roster.

Horton-Tucker has been far from a home run for the Jazz, but Danny Ainge still got the better of the trade as Beverley has struggled mightily for the Lakers.

September: Jazz Trade Mitchell To Cavaliers

Two months to the day after trading Gobert to the Timberwolves the Jazz sent Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a massive haul of players and picks.

In exchange for Mitchell, the Jazz landed Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, and rookie Ochai Agbaji along with three future unprotected first-round picks, plus two pick swaps in 2026 and 2028.

Mitchell spent five seasons with the Jazz. He appeared in 345 games with 337 starts, averaging 23.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per contest, while shooting 44 percent from the field and 36 percent from the three-point line.

In late September, the Jazz would send Bojan Bogdanovic to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Kelly Olynyk.

October: Kessler Makes History In Debut

Walker Kessler wasted little time making a name for himself as a member of the Jazz.

The first-year big man scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while shooting a perfect 5-5 from the floor becoming the first player in NBA history to record a double-double while shooting 100 percent from the floor in their rookie debut.

Kessler has stuck as one of the top eight players in the Jazz rotation throughout the season and is the first rookie in team history to post a double-double of any kind in his NBA debut.

November: Markkanen Makes All-Star Bid

While it was Collin Sexton that earned the majority of the press in the Donovan Mitchell trade, Lauri Markkanen quickly made it clear that he was the Jazz’s best acquisition during the offseason.

Markkanen averaged 22.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, and shot an impressive 54 percent from the floor and 44 percent during November, giving himself a realistic shot of being named an All-Star this season.

The Finnish forward’s crown jewel came at home against the Phoenix Suns when he scored a career-high 38 points on 15-18 shooting to go with six rebounds and three assists.

Markkanen joined Karl Malone and Adrian Dantley as the only players in Jazz history to score at least 38 points on 80 percent shooting or better.

December: Gobert Makes Utah Return

December was the quietest month of the year for the Jazz, and still featured the most highly-anticipated return for a former player in franchise history.

After beating Minnesota on the road in the second game of the season, the Timberwolves downed the Jazz in Utah on December 9 behind a 22-point, 13-rebound double-double by Gobert.

The game came to a controversial close when Gobert converted a layup in front of the Jazz bench in the final seconds of the already-decided game.

That caps off the Year in Review for the Utah Jazz in 2022, the most tumultuous 12 months in franchise history.

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Utah Jazz: Year In Review 2022