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What kind of win total could the Utah Jazz expect next season?

ESPN’s projections have the Jazz finishing among the bottom five teams in the Western Conference in the 2022-23 season

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New Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy, flanked by Jazz owner Ryan Smith, left, and Jazz CEO Danny Ainge, right.

New Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy, flanked by Jazz owner Ryan Smith, left, and Jazz CEO Danny Ainge, right, speaks during a press conference held to introduce him at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Utah Jazz aren’t expected to extend their playoff streak to seven straight years, not after kicking off a rebuild that’s highlighted thus far by the trade of Rudy Gobert.

With rumors and reports surrounding Donovan Mitchell and a possible trade, many are predicting the immediate outlook for Utah — particularly in the 2022-23 season — could be quite bleak, with CEO Danny Ainge charged with rebuilding the franchise into a contender.

It’s little surprise, then, that any projections for next season — outside of draft order — look rough for the Jazz under new head coach Will Hardy.

ESPN’s projected win totals for Western Conference teams, released Tuesday, reflects that outlook for Utah.

The Worldwide Leader predicts that the Jazz will go 26-56 during the 2022-23 season and finish as one of the bottom five teams in the Western Conference.

That would be Utah’s worst season since 2013-14, when the Jazz went 25-57 in Tyrone Corbin’s final season as head coach.

The Jazz have won 30 or fewer games only six times since moving to Utah in 1979, and four of those seasons came in the franchise’s first four in the Beehive State. 

Utah also went 26-56 in the 2004-05 season.

What win totals is ESPN predicting for Western Conference teams in 2022-23?

The other teams ESPN projected will finish at the bottom of the Western Conference include the Sacramento Kings (34-48), Oklahoma City Thunder (25-57), San Antonio Spurs (24-58) and Houston Rockets (24-58).

Teams that ESPN predicted among the Western Conference contenders include the Phoenix Suns (56-26), Golden State Warriors (55-27), Denver Nuggets (53-29), Memphis Grizzlies (51-31), Los Angeles Clippers (50-32) and Dallas Mavericks (49-33). 

The Western Conference teams that ESPN predicts will be in play-in tournament territory include the Minnesota Timberwolves (49-33), New Orleans Pelicans (43-39), Los Angeles Lakers (42-40) and Portland Trail Blazers (35-47).

How long did it take for Utah to become a playoff team the last two times the Jazz won fewer than 30 games?

Two years after that 2004-05 season, Utah went 51-31 and — behind Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer — made a surprising run to the conference finals during the 2006-07 season.

That started a stretch where the Jazz made the playoffs five of the next six seasons.

Following that 2013-14 campaign, it took Utah three years before it was postseason bound. The Jazz went 51-31 in the 2016-17 season and advanced to the conference semifinals. 

That started Utah’s current streak of six straight playoff appearances.