67RIEFNS No. 60: Derrick Favors vs. Enes Kanter, Trey Burke vs. Dante Exum


The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order.

Between Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Trey Burke and Dante Exum, the Jazz have a solid amount of young talent.

That group will compete this season – but with opponents or each other?

It’s unclear whether Favors and Kanter can play together, so it’s possible Utah might eventually need to decide between the two. Ditto Burke and Exum.

When Favors and Kanter shared the court last season, the Jazz allowed more points per possession than the NBA’s worst defense and scored fewer than any team outside Philadelphia.

Burke and Exum didn’t immediately jell during summer league, either. They sometimes looked unsure of how to split guard responsibilities, as a big question going forward will be which position best suits Exum.

The questions are more imminent for the bigs. Favors already got his contract extension, and Kanter is eligible now. If he doesn’t sign one, he’ll be a restricted free agent this summer.

Before paying Kanter, the Jazz must determine whether he Quin Snyder can get them to play effectively together.

With the guards, there’s time, though there’s a risk Burke and Exum stunt each other’s growth. If they need the ball in the same spots, neither is developed enough to easily adjust, and both will stagnate. They have yet to play an NBA game together, though, so these concerns are more precautionary. There are real concerns about Favors and Kanter fitting, though both have talent.

Maybe all four will lead Utah to the playoffs in a few years. Or maybe the Jazz will have to trim the foursome by two.

A little internal tension could help Utah eventually learn how to best channel it externally against opponents.