The Utah Jazz have decided to look towards the future without reducing their chances of being a playoff squad this upcoming season.
After officially extending forward Derrick Favors and being engaged in the same discussions with shooter Gordon Hayward, the Salt Lake City organization made another positive move in their quest to maintain a solid, young core as they decided to exercise the options over third-year players Enes Kanter and Alec Burks.
This move was confirmed by GM Dennis Lindsey, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone as both players are viewed as a strong part of the future of the team.
Enes Kanter was chosen with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 Draft and has lived up to the expectations so far. Considering he was a bit raw when selected, the Jazz took a gamble on his upside and have been more than pleased with the results so far. Kanter is a strong presence inside at both ends of the court and should continue to improve as he’s poised to gain more minutes this year.
Alec Burks, on the other hand, was selected 12th overall in the same year. The Missouri product showed an improvement in his shooting percentages last season, and despite the fact he has averaged only seven points per game, he figures to have a much more prominent role this season. However, Burks needs to be able to gain a consistent stroke on his shooting to take his game to the next level.
It’s clear that both players still have a lot to learn as they are only entering their third year in the NBA. But if they can progress the way Hayward and Favors have, then the Jazz are clearly on the right path of establishing a young core for the future.