3 Jazz Players Who Will Benefit Most From Quin Snyder

June 9th, 2014 | by Denim Millward
(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

Central among the many frustrations Jazz fans struggled with last year was the seemingly slow or non-existent improvement and development of several young players on the roster.  Chock-full of potential and expected to be key components of an eventual competitive Jazz squad, the core players could use a coach with strong player development and communication skills to reach their full potential.  Ultimately, potential that is never converted into tangible ability and skill is worthless.

With the hiring of Quin Snyder, who received nearly-unanimous high marks in the player development and communication areas, it bodes very well for the cadre of young Jazz players who still have plenty of growing to do.  If Snyder lives up to his ambitiously high expectations, every player on the roster won’t be able to help but benefit.  However, three players stand to gain the most from their new coach:

3.  Trey Burke

While Burke played with plenty of poise and made decisions that belied his age and inexperience, he still has plenty of room for improvement, specifically with his shooting percentage.  Burke shot just 41% from the field and 33% from behind the arc in his rookie campaign.  While Snyder isn’t known for being a whiz with shooting mechanics, he can help Burke improve his decision making, which should lead to a reduction in contested-low percentage shots.  Also, when run correctly, Snyder’s intricate offense will lead to an increase in open shots for Burke. A lack of elite size and speed, two of Trey’s biggest weaknesses, can be lessened or even negated via a joint effort on the part of Trey and Snyder via adding specific wrinkles to Snyder’s offensive sets and the consistent effective execution of said offense.  Trey has demonstrated the moxie and basketball intelligence required in quickly picking up a complex offense such as the one Snyder is likely to implement, and a tweet sent out by Burke following his initial meeting with Snyder indicates the two hit it off right away:

2.  Derrick Favors

Favors’ combination of size, athleticism and Lamborghini motor have had NBA coaches and executives drooling ever since he declared for the NBA Draft following a year at Georgia Tech.  After a handful of years cutting his teeth in the NBA, Favors has developed into a disruptive force on the defensive end, but still has quite a ways to go to even be considered an above-average offensive player.  While he’s shown flashes of impressive offensive plays that fully utilize his impressive athleticism, he hasn’t perfected a reliable “go-to” move.  Such a move could single-handedly transform Favors from someone to whom the defense rarely needs to pay special attention to an immense headache and matchup nightmare to opposing defenses. This is where Snyder’s enyclopedic offensive knowledge would be greatly utilized.  Favors comes pre-loaded with the ability to execute within offensive sets such as pick-and-roll-based offenses and motion offenses: Snyder simply needs to teach Favors how to better utilize his tools.  By himself and with the assistance of previous coaches, Favors has cobbled together a less-than-ideal offensive identity and skill set.  Essentially, it’s Snyder’s job to disassemble the proverbial moped Favors has built and help him use the same tools and pieces to carefully craft a luxury car.

1. Enes Kanter

In terms of a coach who can develop players and a player who needs developing, Kanter and Snyder are a better combination than peanut butter and chocolate. Anyone who watched more than a few Jazz games last season should be keenly aware of the rollercoaster ride Kanter can take Jazz fans on on a nightly basis.

Kanter can wow fans and befuddle defenders with some impressive footwork on a post move and then look utterly lost on a defensive rotation on the subsequent trip down the floor.  The majority of Jazz fans still have a soft spot and a fondness for the gregarious and fun-loving Turkish kid, but the frustration level is slowly climbing.  Though his relative newness to the game of basketball (Kanter didn’t pick up a basketball until he was 14) and age-related lack of maturity and discipline all may be temporary impediments to Kanter’s eventual realization of his potential, Snyder will be charged with significantly hastening that process. Make no mistake, it’s a tall order.  Snyder is now responsible for getting Kanter, who mightily struggled at times with a system simpler than what Snyder will be likely to run, up to speed on not only basketball fundamentals, but also on every last bit of detail of what will largely be a brand new scheme.

It should also be pointed out that this isn’t a knock on Kanter’s intelligence, basketball or real-world.  Kanter’s grasp of the English language is a firm one and has noticeably improved each year.  Kanter also comes from good mental stock: his father received his medical degree from the University of Zurich and is currently a Histology professor at Trakya University in Turkey. Yes, it’s a tall order, but one that will reap huge benefits if fulfilled.

Denim Millward

Denim Millward

Denim Millward, before SCH, wrote for Bleacher Report about the Jazz and the NBA. Despite this, he is actually a good writer, and we promise we will eschew the slideshow format on this site. He also contributes to The Color Commentator Magazine, and strangely, likes wrestling.
Denim Millward


  1. LKA says:

    Thanks good post.. But I think every player will be the better for this coach. I hope Jazz keep Kanter. Let his know from day one he is the starter. I think he is teachable and will learn fast. With Gobert and Evans to help out I think the frontcourt is set. But all depends on the draft. Articles are saying Magic like Smart and take him in the daft. I hope the Jazz take Exum..I would then start Burks and Hayward and rotate Exum between the one and two. If this team can gell as a group I think great things can happen..

  2. Rodri says:

    Rodrigo Incháustegui I really don’t agree with Kanter’s analysis. And so what that his father has a degree?! Enes Kanter has a very very low basketball IQ. He has good low-post moves, I’ll give him that. But ofensively is a one-sided guy. Never looks to cutting teammates or free teammates on the perimeter. We have seen him turnover the ball endlessly this season while he was posting and not having a clue about what to do. His defensively fundamentals are inexistent. And that excuse of not picking basketball until he was 14, c’mon… At one point we’ll have to accept that the Jazz overrated his talent. He’s not a number 3 pick in any draft class. I think we should deal him this upcoming draft night, maybe we can gain something in return.

    • thatdoolinkid says:

      You have to remember that Kanter’s rookie and sophomore seasons he looked pretty good on defense (not to mention an absolute monster on the glass). It was only this past season that he looked bad on defense and totally lost his rebounding. He started to get his rebounding back at the end of the year. Perhaps we shall see a return of his earlier defense as well.

  3. Mewko says:

    I think our best draft fits are (in order) Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum, Marcus Smart.
    Those are the bests bets on becoming superstars in the draft. Wiggins and Parker seem like long shots by now. But I’m excited for Dante Exum if he comes to Utah. It’s a tough decision to choose which Jazzmen to invest in for the future, and which ones to bench and eventually part ways. But I see a really good fit with Dante Exum at point guard. He can score well because he is bigger and faster than other point guards. We need a good scorer who can get 22 a game to lead us to a title.

  4. Andrew says:

    As far as Kanter is concerned, I think it’s important to remember that he only just now turned 22. If he had stayed at the University of Kentucky for three years and left after his junior season, he would be in this year’s draft, not the 2011 one. He would have terrific command of the English language and would have had time to develop his game in a competitive conference (I personally dislike the SEC, but that’s not really relevant). Not only that, but he wouldn’t have been rotting on the bench while he waited for the Jazz to let go of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap He would no doubt have started every game. So be patient with Enes Kanter. Now that he has a developmentally-minded coach, it’s possible that this marriage may yet be saved.

  5. Clint Johnson says:

    I completely agree with two of the three you specify. Personally, I am concerned about Kanter’s fit in the offense. Snyder’s offense is really dependent upon players making decisions quickly and well, and Kanter struggles with that. Also, guys have to read teammates and defenders and make choices about where they move. I’m not saying it can’t work, but I think Snyder’s system will really test Kanter’s ability to think quickly on the floor.

    The third player I think will benefit most from Snyder’s hiring is Hayward. His diverse, balanced skill set should benefit immensely from a coach who emphasizes playing fast to try to produce advantages and getting good scoring opportunities through motion and good passing. Most importantly, I think the offense should get Hayward shots with a little more space to shoot, which he needs. He’s a good shooter, but not a good quick shooter under duress.

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