The Utah Jazz sports franchise is an NBA basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz compete in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference. The franchise has been playing its home games in the Vivint Arena since 1991 but the building was formerly known as both the Delta Center and EnergySolutions Arena.
The “Jazz” might seem like a funny nickname for a sports franchise based in Utah since Jazz music is more commonly associated with the American south. But the team started out as the New Orleans Jazz, a name they were given in reference to the city’s vibrant musical scene. The Jazz franchise was based in New Orleans in 1974. In 1979, the franchise moved over to Salt Lake City and renamed themselves accordingly.
The Jazz naming themselves after the state that they are based in as opposed to the city is not unlike the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Indiana Pacers, and even the Golden State Warriors. When teams do this, it is often in an attempt to appeal to a wider geographical area than just city that they are based in.
In their time in the NBA, the Jazz have not won any NBA Championships. However, they have won the Western Conference championship twice. With Karl Malone and John Stockton leading the way, the Jazz had a strong supporting cast in the 1990s. In the latter parts of that decade, Utah fell in back-to-back NBA Finals against the Chicago Bulls, series results that ended the Bulls’ 1990s-era dynasty. Furthermore, the Jazz have won 10 division titles, including recent titles in 2021 and 2022.
The Utah Jazz lost the 1998 NBA Finals to the Chicago Bulls. However, they were the top seed throughout the NBA playoffs that season. Utah and Chicago both played .756 basketball through the regular season but Utah won the tiebreaker to be the home team in the final series. When they fell four games to two in the series, Utah missed an opportunity to close out the Bulls in Salt Lake City. Both games six and game seven, the latter of which was never needed, were scheduled to be played in Utah.
Salt Lake City does not have any other major-league sports teams. With no representation in the NFL, the NHL, or Major League Baseball, NBA basketball is the main sports show in town. Divisional rivals, Oklahoma City and Portland, have that in common with the Jazz. The NBA franchises in these cities are also one-team towns for the top leagues.
Utah Jazz: Management and Coaching
Owner: Ryan Smith
President: Jim Olson
General Manager: Justin Zanik
Head Coach: Will Hardy
The Utah Jazz and the 2023 NBA Draft
The Utah Jazz selected Taylor Hendricks with the 9th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Hendricks is a 19-year old power forward that played college basketball at the University of Central Florida. The Jazz also selected Keyonte George with the 16th overall pick. He is a shooting guard that played for Baylor University. The Jazz also had a late-round pick and took small forward Brice Sensabaugh with the 28th pick overall.
Utah Jazz Season Preview 2023/24
The Utah Jazz do not have a bad nucleus. The acquisition of John Collins was a good trade deal for Utah as they offloaded Rudy Gay, a player well past his best basketball. With Lauri Markkanen playing at all All-Star level, Utah should threaten for a playoff spot. They will need Walker Kessler to build on a very good rookie season with supporting players also contributing. But if the Jazz don’t sign Jordan Clarkson, they will be without a solid guard. Collin Sexton as their starting PG could end up being a problem, especially without a wingman.
Utah Jazz current players under contract
Vernon Carey Jr.
Utah Jazz free agents
As of late June 2023, Jordan Clarkson is the main free agent with the Utah Jazz. He is 31 years old and played well for them last season. He has a player option on his contract and it’s not clear whether he will stay in Utah or move forward.
Utah Jazz FAQs
Can I Bet on Utah Jazz Winning the Season?
Yes, depending on which state you are located in, there will be options to wager at many top sportsbooks. Simply look at the menu on the sidebar – Utah Jazz can then be typed into the navigation bar. All possible bets available for the Jazz will then be listed, including outright winners of the division, conference, win totals, to make the playoffs, or even to win outright.
Who Did the Utah Jazz Draft Picks This Year?
Taylor Hendricks, Keyonte George, and Brice Sensabaugh were all first-round selections that Utah made at the 2023 NBA Draft.