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RUMOR: Jazz might start Royce O’Neale at power forward

Royce O'Neale, Jazz

The Utah Jazz have high hopes for the upcoming season. After acquiring point guard Mike Conley and forward Bojan Bogdanovic, Utah believes that they have put together a team that can now contend for an NBA championship, especially after the fall of the Golden State Warriors dynasty.

It’s obvious that Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Bogdanovic and Rudy Gobert will start. However, who will get the power forward spot that Derrick Favors previously filled? According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, the Jazz are contemplating giving Royce O’Neale the nod.

“They homed in on Bogdanovic to surround Mitchell with another shooter. They went after Green because he’s another guy capable of making shots from the corner. They are contemplating starting Royce O’Neale at power forward.”

O’Neale has played for the Jazz for two seasons now. Last season, he averaged 5.2 points. 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He played in all 82 games for Utah but started only 16 of them.

The Jazz hope they can hone O’Neale into a stereotypical 3-and-D wing. He has already shown defensive grit and the willingness to do the unenviable job of guarding some of the best wings in the game. Now, he will focus on continuing to knock down threes at a consistent rate as defenses focus in on Conley and Mitchell.

However the Jazz fill out their roster, it’ll be interesting to see how far they can go in a crowded Western Conference.