When the Jazz released their press conference, they took time to introduce Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and Ochai Agbagi to Utah, explain why key front office figures decided to start a rebuild and move Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert to Cleveland and Minnesota. respectively.
Utah sought out the three players after trading Mitchell to Cleveland eight days ago. Sexton has agreed to a sign-and-trade deal to help the Cavs complete trade negotiations. Sexton signed a four-year, $72 million contract with Utah.
Jazz CEO Danny Ainge said in a statement: “It was clear that we needed to change our roster to improve our chances of building a team that would truly contend and produce sustained success.” “By trading Rudy (Gobert) and now Donovan, it was a rare opportunity to maximize our ability to acquire quality talent and choose a better position to move forward. We have a plan in place to help us put together the championship team our fans deserve. It will take time to build our roster. We all understand the work ahead of us and are committed to our vision.” We are
GM Justin Zanik believes Sexton, Markkanen and Agbaji are three “exciting young players.” Zanik’s endorsement could be a sign of good luck for the three young stars who will play a big role in Utah’s rebuilding effort.
Sexton averaged 16.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists on 45.0 percent shooting from the field in 11 games last season before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus he suffered in November. Markkanen averaged 14.8 points. He averaged 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 44.5 percent from the field.
“We believe they are a strong, competitive brand of basketball from the Jazz culture we’ve built here in Utah,” Zanick said. “They will provide versatility and athleticism on both floors as we grow into the future. We look forward to getting to know them.
The Utah Jazz open the 2022-23 season against the Denver Nuggets on Oct. 19.