SALT LAKE CITY — The reviews are in, and critics are raving about the Utah Jazz.
The team, which had just traded for award-winning point guard Mike Conley, signed sharpshooting forward Bojan Bogdanovic and big man Ed Davis. While the team lost Derrick Favors and Ricky Rubio, national NBA experts consider the Jazz one of the big winners of the summer.
Utah Jazz radio play-by-play announcer David Locke pointed out that the team vastly improved its 3-point shooting.
Here are a few quick takes:
“Ed Davis has been undervalued every single time he's been a free agent.”
“Utah gonna be a problem.”
“Give Utah all of the A+ grades this month.”
Most national experts agreed, giving the Jazz high marks, even as other teams made big splashes. The Ringer gave the Jazz an A- and an A for the Bogdanovic and Davis signings, respectively.
"Signing Bogdanovic moves the Jazz in the right direction; perhaps right to the top of the pecking order in the Western Conference. ... (Davis is) the perfect bargain-bin replacement for Derrick Favors (traded to the Pelicans) and backup to Rudy Gobert. Will set big screens, box out, and play his role to perfection."
Sports Illustrated gave the Jazz an A overall.
"The Jazz will have spacing for the first time in years, and Bogdanovic should be able to bury a lot of the shots that Jazz wings were missing during this year's closer-than-it-looked five-game loss to the Rockets. If they stay healthy and Mitchell continues his progress, the Jazz will enter next year's playoffs with a starting five that's more balanced than just about anyone in the league."
In a new Western Conference, the Jazz probably feel best after the first day of free agency, Yahoo Sports Ben Rohrbach writes.
"Having already traded for Mike Conley, they signed Bojan Bogdanovic and Ed Davis, two of the more underrated players on the market. The sign-and-trade of Derrick Favors to New Orleans mitigates the Davis move a bit, but a starting lineup with Conley, Bogdanovic, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles is a small-ball monster with Rudy Gobert mopping up on the back end."
Paolo Uggetti of the Ringer said getting Bogdanovic was a power move.
"Bogdanovic was one of the more underrated free agents on the market, and comes off a season during which he averaged 18 points a game and shot 42.5 percent from deep. Bogdanovic also improved his defense and was a valuable piece for a Pacers team that outperformed expectations once Victor Oladipo went down. He’s going to fit seamlessly in Utah and give the Jazz exactly what they need from a score-first wing."
Those moves mean the Jazz could win the West, CBS Sports' James Herbert wrote.8 comments on this story
"Already an elite defensive team, they addressed their offensive problems by nabbing Bojan Bogdanovic for a reported four years and $73 million. He and Mike Conley are potent offensive weapons individually, but together they will have a profound effect on the whole ecosystem."
That ecosystem will make the Jazz one the first teams to look for if you have NBA League Pass.
"I love Utah, man," Kevin O'Connor said on The Ringer NBA Show podcast. "If Kawhi (Leonard) doesn’t go to the Lakers, they are arguably the Finals favorites in the Western Conference … They are a deep, deep team.
"It’s going to be fun to watch this team this year."