Four months ago, the Utah Jazz set in motion a busy offseason that brought veteran experience to a young team that just missed out on reaching the postseason last year.
The moves helped build hype — both locally and on a national scale — that the Jazz could finally make a strong push to return to the playoffs for the first time in five years.
Now, Utah will finally have its chance to see the fruition of these moves when the Jazz open the 2016-17 NBA season on the road at Portland Tuesday night (8 p.m. MDT, ROOT, 1280 AM).
So, how will new guys like George Hill, Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw perform?
With star player Gordon Hayward sidelined until around Thanksgiving with a broken finger, the hope is the new players will step in quickly and provide veteran leadership. But who else could be affected?
It won't take long to figure out what kind of team the Jazz have this year, as the early season slate, especially with Hayward sidelined, is particularly tough.
Still, there is optimism that Utah has the depth at point guard — led by the vet Hill and a young, developing Exum — and along the wing to provide the team with a stable force in the backcourt.
Inside, Utah's big men are again expecting to have an impactful season. Diaw joins expected stars Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert, as well as up-and-comer Trey Lyles, to give the Jazz a defense-minded frontcourt.
No matter the outcome, Jazz coach Quin Snyder's team is already creating quite the buzz even before the season kicks off. Now the time to find out if that hype will turn into reality.