Utah Jazz: Inquiring minds want to know — who's going to start for Jazz?

Published: Saturday, July 28 2012 8:00 p.m. MDT

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor chats with Derrick Favors on the court following Utah's regular season-ending win over Portland.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Now that we know the Utah Jazz will begin their 2012-13 season on Halloween, an obvious question has been raised.

And, no, this one is not about whether you should dress up like Captain America, a hobbit, that sparkly vampire or a princess.

With three experienced additions to the Jazz roster, many are now wondering this simple question:

Who's going to start?

Assuming the squad remains intact over the next few months, that question will likely be debated on sports radio shows, in social media spheres and around water coolers until Oct. 31 arrives.

And then a new starting argument might break out.

When asked whether or not shooting guard Randy Foye would be in the opening rotation, Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor avoided answering directly.

"Coach Corbin's question," he said.

O'Connor also referenced a saying his longtime friend Larry Brown (not to mention Jerry Sloan) used to use.

"It's not a question of who starts," he said. "It's a question of who finishes. Who knows?"

For the record, nobody asked O'Connor if Foye would be a finisher.

Foye, a six-year veteran, said he hadn't talked to anyone in the Jazz organization about what his specific role would be with his new team, either. The 6-4 combo guard prefers playing shooting guard, a position in which he does well because of his outside shooting and tough defense. But he'll take the point if needed as well, and O'Connor commended his ability to work well in a structured system like the Jazz's.

Whether or not Foye will be the Jazz's starting two guard or back up either Gordon Hayward or Alec Burks in that position depends on what happens over the next couple of months, especially in training camp.

"I think (with) playing time, he recognizes there's an opportunity here," O'Connor said, "and he will compete for that."

Another point O'Connor wanted to emphasize about the organization's decision-making process when it comes to starters and minutes: "We don't play contracts. We play players."

And he's pleased with the amount the Jazz now have, saying, "I like our depth."

With that in mind, here's an overview of the players, not contracts, and how each position's potential starters and reserves might shake out:


For a little while this summer, it sure seemed like this starting spot was going to be a controversial topic. But shortly after the Jazz traded to bring Mo Williams back into the fold, management shipped previous starter Devin Harris to Atlanta (opening up another debate in another position, of course).

Utah still has oodles of experience at the point guard spot, but Williams is clearly the starter ahead of capable backups Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson.

It's not a reach to think Foye will see playmaking time. That could especially happen if Watson is not fully rehabbed from knee surgery when the season starts.

Lead man: Mo Williams

Supporting roles: Jamaal Tinsley, Earl Watson, Randy Foye


Foye's addition to the team crowds this position, but Gordon Hayward's progression last season and overall potential make him seem like a natural fit as the go-to man. That will especially be the case if Hayward finds more consistency from the outside and continues to be aggressive.

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