The Utah Jazz have been using a bit of an unusual rotation through out the preseason, with rookie Grayson Allen recording over 20 minutes in each of the team’s first three games, before grabbing just 14 minutes against Portland over the weekend.
The Jazz will take on the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night, and unless the Jazz feel completely comfortable with the readiness of their team, and choose to rest starters, we should see a relatively accurate representation of what the team’s rotation will look like.
Allen didn’t see time against the Blazers until the second half, behind both Dante Exum and Alec Burks in the depth chart.
Through four games, Allen is shooting 18-36 from the floor for 50%, and 11-21 from the three point line, for 52%. Allen is averaging 12.2 points per game, but is turning the ball over more than three times per contest.
Meanwhile Burks has shot a similar 16-33, for 48%, and 8-18 from three, good for 44%. Burks is averaging 12.5 points per game, and just 1.5 turnovers per game.
Exum missed two games with leg soreness, but in his two outings, he’s averaging six points on 42% shooting (3-7 shooting) and 66% from the three point line (2-3 shooting). Exum’s averaging four assist per game, and 1.5 turnovers.
Exum appears to have locked down the back up point guard job, and rightfully so, any smaller role would be a major disappointment from the former top five who signed a big contract extension this summer.
That leaves Burks and Allen battling for minutes behind Donovan Mitchell, a spot which may also see Exum, Joe Ingles, and Royce O’Neale finding time depending on matchups.
With the Jazz unwillingness to play Burks over the past few seasons, and entering the final season of his contract, there isn’t a ton of incentive to play him.
Meanwhile, the Jazz are needing to win games to maintain upward trajectory in what should be an incredibly competitive Western Conference, and won’t be worrying about the development of a rookie drafted in the 20’s.
Despite seeing Allen and Burks playing significant minutes throughout preseason, don’t be surprised if neither crack the rotation for significant minutes early in the year.
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