If there’s one thing we can all agree on about the Utah Jazz, it’s that they’ve had a very clear identity for the last two decades. Jerry Sloan had long been the man behind the bench, and after the Karl Malone/John Stockton era, Deron Williams quickly became the heart and soul of the team.
With Williams and Sloan now gone, it’s tough to pick out who embodies the Jazz. centre Al Jefferson has been disappointing in his first season with Utah, Andrei Kirilenko isn’t the same player he once was and could soon be traded himself, and Paul Millsap, while a good talent, isn’t among the NBA’s recognisable faces.
The Jazz may hope that Devin Harris finds consistency in Utah or that Derrick favours develops into a premier power forward, but for the first time in a long time, it’s not quite clear who’s leading the Jazz.
Of course, there’s a ready made solution to that problem.
Fredette has performed so well this season that he’s crept into the first half of most draft boards. That happens to be just about where New Jersey’s first round pick that Utah acquired will be located.
If anyone has a feel for how Fredette will adapt to the pros, its basketball people in Utah. In a weak draft, Fredette could justifiably be selected around pick No. 10, and the Jazz could instantly have their new saviour .
Fredette will never be a Deron Williams level player in the NBA, but he could be the answer to Utah’s identity crisis. If nothing else, he’d be a major draw for Jazz fans as the team undergoes what could be a laborious rebuilding process.
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