SALT LAKE CITY — The 2017-18 season was one heckuva ride for the Utah Jazz.
From drafting former Louisville star Donovan Mitchell to losing All-Star Gordon Hayward, the beginning of a new era happened right before the eyes of fans without any warning.
Then the Jazz completely turned around a 19-28 start to finish 48-34 with a fifth-seeded Western Conference playoff appearance.
Utah beat reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round 4-2 before falling to the Houston Rockets in five games during the Western Conference semifinals.
But now that run is over, and guys are already looking forward to next season.
As players catch up on rest and pre-draft workouts begin this weekend in Salt Lake City, here are some key dates to look out for this offseason.
May 15: NBA Draft Lottery (Chicago)
Only 14 teams will participate in the draft lottery, mainly for those who didn’t reach the postseason. The league’s worst team likely gets the best odds of top guys, which means the Phoenix Suns are projected to pick No. 1. This won’t likely affect the Jazz, but in last year’s case it certainly did as general manager Dennis Lindsey traded with the Denver Nuggets to score some kid named Donovan Mitchell with the 13th overall pick.
May 17-18: NBA Draft Combine (Chicago)
Sixty-nine of the top prospects are expected to attend the 2018 NBA Draft Combine at Chicago’s Quest Multisport. The NBA hopefuls will go through tests, strength and agility drills plus five-on-five games as the first step in the draft process. Jazz scouts will certainly be in attendance.
June 21: NBA Draft 2018
The Jazz are projected to pick No. 21 but as stated earlier, one of general manager Dennis Lindsey’s strengths has been making solid picks, like trading for Rookie of the Year contender Donovan Mitchell on draft night with the Denver Nuggets. Duke’s Gary Trent Jr., Boise State’s Chandler Hutchinson and Croatian League prodigy Dzanan Musa are a few of Utah’s rumored targets, according to NBADraft.net, Bleacher Report and NBC Sports mock drafts, but the Jazz franchise is famously tight-lipped about prospects so it’s rare that any information is being leaked, especially this early in the process. Utah also has pick No. 52 in the draft.
June 25: NBA Awards
The league will announce its yearly honors during the second annual awards show at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. Donovan Mitchell is in the running for Rookie of the Year, Rudy Gobert has a legitimate chance to win Defensive Player of the Year, Quin Snyder is in the discussion for NBA Coach of the Year while Ricky Rubio is a finalist for the NBA Cares Community Assist Award. The Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Player, Executive of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, and Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year awards will also get announced.
July 2, 3 and 5: Utah Jazz Summer League 2018
At least four teams will compete in the Utah Jazz Summer League this July. The Boston Celtics have declined to participate in this year’s event but the Jazz will announce the teams soon. Action is set to return to Vivint Arena this summer.
July 6-17: NBA Summer League 2018
For the first time ever, all 30 NBA teams will participate in the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018 in Las Vegas. The event will showcase many of the league’s young prospects at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus. There will be 82 games played over a 12-day span. In 2017, the NBA Summer League set records for total attendance and single day attendance.
October: 2018 NBA G-League Draft
An official date has yet to be announced for the 2018 NBA G League Draft, but the Salt Lake City Stars, Utah Jazz’s G-League affiliate, will have the No. 1 pick. Last year’s draft date was held on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, so it’s expected to fall around that same timeframe. The Stars can make history by drafting McDonald’s All-American Darius Bazley with the top pick. This move will mark the first time that a marquee prospect has ever elected to play in the G League rather than college or overseas. Bazley originally committed to Syracuse but then decommitted and decided to take the G League route to be better prepared for the NBA. In April, the G League also announced that player salaries will increase for the 2018-19 season where they can earn a base salary of $7,000 per month or $35,000 for the season with an opportunity for bonuses and additional pay.