Utah has been busy already this offseason, acquiring John Collins from the Atlanta Hawks for a surprisingly cheap cost. The Jazz roster now features multiple potent offensive threats in the frontcourt to play next to defensive anchor Walker Kessler. Collins, Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk and Taylor Hendricks can all fill it up, and we know about the scoring exploits of Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton in the backcourt. Utah posted a top-10 offensive efficiency number last season and could be even better on that end of the floor this year.
With that in mind, setting the table for those scorers and defending opposing ballhandlers on the other end should be viewed as huge priorities moving forward.
Jazz's biggest roster need
The biggest hole for the Jazz to address is at point guard. With Mike Conley gone to Minnesota, Utah could use a traditional point guard who can competently create and defend his position. Those players can be tough to find, and while Utah could explore the trade market, there may be a cheaper, veteran option still available in free agency.
With Utah's roster being so frontcourt dominant, it would make sense to add depth in the backcourt in case of injury as well. Kris Dunn is currently slated to be Utah's backup point guard, and while he's shown flashes of great defense during his career, staying on the floor has been an issue for him. Dunn has appeared in just 40 total games over the last three seasons combined.
Asking Sexton to be a primary creator isn't playing to his strengths, as he averaged just 2.9 assists per game last season for the Jazz.
Potential Jazz free agency additions
The pickings at point guard are pretty slim at this point of the offseason, but there are some reliable veterans still available for the Jazz.
Journeyman guard Ish Smith has a long history of being a reliable playmaker and was a valuable locker room presence for the Denver Nuggets during their championship run.
Ish Smith, 35, averaged 9 assists per-36 minutes with the Nuggets last year and showed he can still hold his own defensively. While on the surface there's no real long-term upside to giving minutes to a player Smith's age, that doesn't factor in his ability to get Utah's young forwards the ball in the right spots, at the right time. Utah already has a good mix of veterans, but point guard is where you arguably need one most.
If the Jazz want to skew younger and focus on helping their defense, Frank Ntilikina is probably the best point-of-attack defender available on the market. Ntilikina's shooting fell off a cliff last year with the Dallas Mavericks, but most of Ntilikina's value is tied to his ability to create chaos defensively. Defensive metrics can be tricky, but in all six seasons of his career, Ntilikina's teams have been better defensively when he's on the court as opposed to when he's off. He's a worthy reclamation project.
Despite being one of the league's biggest surprise teams, the Jazz still finished 23rd in defensive efficiency last season and might be wise to fill out the roster with plus defenders.
The Jazz may be content rolling with Dunn, but recent history would indicate that more depth in the backcourt is going to be needed. If Ish Smith is up for one last ride, or if Ntilikina can at least approach being an average offensive player, the Jazz would reap the benefits from a low-risk free agent signing this late in the offseason.