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Utah Jazz: Predicting Wins and Player Stats for 2013-14

Using Advanced Statistics to Forecast Utah's Upcoming Season

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | No team has had a more interesting offseason than the Utah Jazz.

General manager Dennis Lindsey passed on re-signing four starters, traded up to the No. 9 pick in June's draft, acquired three veterans who rarely played last season, signed a journeyman point guard, and grabbed the MVP of the Las Vegas Summer League championship.

He was like one of those guys in your fantasy league that unceasingly adds and drops just for the sake of it.

Now here's the $55 million question: What will these changes result in?

Win Shares

To make a decent guess, I used Basketball-Reference's 2013-14 per-36 projections to estimate win shares for each player on the Jazz's roster. Check it out:

Enes Kanter (31 min.): 4.0

Derrick Favors (35 min.): 5.2

Gordon Hayward (37 min.): 5.4

Alec Burks (28 min.): 2.2

Trey Burke (28 min.): 2.2

Rudy Gobert (10 min.): N/A

Jeremy Evans (10 min.): 2.2

Marvin Williams (16 min.): 1.9

Brandon Rush (17 min.): 2.1

John Lucas III (10 min.): 1.1

Ian Clark (10 min.): 0.7

Richard Jefferson (5 min.): 0.6

Andris Biedrins (3 min.): 0.4

Total: 28

Yikes. Last year, 28 wins would've tied Utah with Sacramento for the third-worst record in the Western Conference. (Note: I realize my guesstimate on minutes won't be perfect -- who knows how much time Ty Corbin will give to any of these guys, especially veterans like Williams and Rush -- but I think it's a decent approximation.)

Here's the good news: When compared with the ex-starting five, the new lineup looks pretty strong. They combined for 19 wins -- just seven less than what Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Gordon Hayward, Randy Foye, and Mo Williams collected last season. Not bad for group that has an average of just two years of experience per player.

Other Stats

Based on the same numbers, we can expect some solid per-game averages from Utah's collection of lottery picks.

Gordon Hayward, for instance, would up his scoring from 14.1 points per game to a team-leading 16.7. He'd also grab 4.2 rebounds and hand out 3.7 assists.

As for the bigs, Derrick Favors would collect a double-double -- 14.5 points, 10.6 rebounds -- and block 2.2 shots per contest, while Enes Kanter's averages would jump from 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds to 13.8 and 9.0, respectively.

And, although they come from the smallest players of the bunch, Burks' and Burke's stats would be big: No. 10 would average double figures for the first time with 11.8 PPG, while the rookie floor general would gather 4.7 assists an outing.

Jared Bray, a graduate of Brigham Young University's broadcast journalism program, has followed the Utah Jazz since 2008, when he covered the team as a sports correspondent for KBYU-TV's Daily News at Noon.

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