Those who like to live in the moment might not appreciate it, but as the Utah Jazz enjoy the best record in the NBA, ESPN’s Kevin Pelton and Bobby Marks on Tuesday took their annual look at how well they think each team in the league is positioned for the next three years.
Their “NBA Future Power Rankings” take into account the players currently on teams’ rosters, who is in the front office, the salary cap situation, the market the team is in, and its draft capital.
The Jazz come in at No. 8 among the league’s 30 teams. They finished in a tie for fifth in the players category with the Los Angeles Lakers, tied for first in management with the Philadelphia 76ers, tied for 27th in money with the Brooklyn Nets, 24th in market and 23rd in draft.
Noting that Utah moved up two spots from last year’s rankings, Marks observed how Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell are primed to be with the Jazz for the next few years and that most of the team’s rotation is under contract for next season.
On the downside, Marks noted that Mike Conley will be a free agent this summer and Utah is “right at the luxury tax threshold.”
That said, Marks concluded, “One positive is that new owner Ryan Smith proved this year that the team is willing to spend and go into the tax in order to assemble a championship roster. The Jazz rank No. 1 in management and have a Coach of the Year candidate in Quin Snyder.”
The Nets topped the list and the Cleveland Cavaliers came in last place.