Salt City Hoops » Jeremy Evans http://saltcityhoops.com The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:09:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Salt City Hoops no The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Salt City Hoops » Jeremy Evans http://saltcityhoops.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://saltcityhoops.com/category/players/jeremy-evans/ Jeremy Evans: One More Chance? http://saltcityhoops.com/jeremy-evans-one-more-chance/ http://saltcityhoops.com/jeremy-evans-one-more-chance/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 22:03:29 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=11957 Author information
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett is a life-long Jazz fan and general sports fanatic based in Salt Lake City. He also writes for Nylon Calculus (Hardwood Paroxysm/Fansided Network), and can be heard on the airwaves for the SCH podcast and appearances with ESPN AM 700. With a strong background in both statistics and on-court fundemantals, he writes primarily as an in-depth strategic analyst. He can be found on Twitter at @Ben_Dowsett.
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(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

There’s so much going on this time of year for the Utah Jazz, from expected yearly events (next Thursday’s draft and the upcoming free agency period following it) to very rare occurrences for this franchise (a coaching search and a hire, followed by potential changes to staff and even general identity). With all the well-deserved speculation surrounding these more immediate moves, it’s easy to forget several other, perhaps more “known” commodities in Utah’s shop. Roster construction is largely thought of as a top-down art form, but assessing some of those pieces in the middle can make all the difference.

One of such pieces is the likable, if somewhat enigmatic, Jeremy Evans. Since landing in Salt Lake City as the 55th overall pick in 2010, Evans has endeared himself to Jazz fans with his gravity-defying dunks, contagious smile and flashes of sophistication rarely seen from young NBA players. The only problem: his gregarious nature and occasional appearances on Top 10’s around the country have not always shown up in the form of consistent on-court success.

While fans likely know him mostly for reasons above, he’s known for some interesting analytic distinctions within the stat community as well. In his first three seasons before last year, despite never cracking 10 minutes a game on average, Evans posted PER ratings well above league average, even in borderline “mini-star” territory for the ’11-12 and ’12-13 seasons. Using Win Shares per 48 minutes, another popular overall player metric, his showings were even more remarkable – for the 2012-13 year, if you eliminate minute thresholds, Evans finished fourth in the entire NBA for WS/48, behind only LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul.

Of course, the whole point of minutes thresholds for these sort of larger metrics is to weed out unsustainable results over small sample sizes, and most would assume there was a fair degree of this at work in Evans’ case. This past season appears to confirm as much, with Evans finally receiving “rotation” minutes (18.3 per game) for the first time in his career. The result: his PER dropped over three full points from the year before and his WS/48 were nearly cut in half.

But both those figures from the ’13-14 season are still above league average, and are more encouraging given the larger sample of minutes he played. And with the upcoming season set to be his last under contract before hitting unrestricted free agency, continued improvement and an ability to stay on the court will be paramount in determining whether he’s worth anything but a minimum contract going forward, either for the Jazz or elsewhere.

Part of the low-usage debate regarding efficiency metrics is centered specifically around players like Evans – bit players who have a couple above-average skills, but are fully aware of this and consequently stay within those strengths, raising their efficiency in ways that seem artificial to some. In Evans’ case, his remarkable leaping and above-the-rim abilities are his calling card, from his pick-and-roll prowess (he shot an even 50 percent last season on attempts as the roll man in such sets, per Synergy) to his work on the offensive glass and in transition (both areas, again per Synergy, where he ranked in the NBA’s top-20 for per-possession efficiency, likely because such a high number of attempts ended in earth-shattering dunks).

But as is typically the case in the evolving NBA, such one-dimensional players will find tough sledding as soon as opponents identify and adjust to their preferred game. Teams got the drop to a certain point last season, sending extra bodies at Evans when he rolled to the hoop, knowing his initiation of rotations when confronted on his way to the rim is badly lacking. And while transition and offensive rebounding opportunities can be situational and tough to specifically game plan against, they’re not enough on their own to qualify a guy for rotation status in today’s NBA.

And unfortunately, beyond these skills, teams have been able to expose some of Evans’ weaker areas. His jumper remains bad, shooting just 35.9 percent last season on all shots classified as “Jump Shots” by NBA.com. He can’t space the floor as a result, a problem when defenses load up to prevent him getting above the rim. He’s a solid rebounder who can certainly get up in the air for his boards, but lacks good boxing-out skills and won’t win too many rough-and-tumble contests down low. His per-minute and per-possession numbers would also seem to indicate that his rebounding has plateaued somewhat, a sign that he’s not introducing little bits of savvy one might hope to see.

Defensively, Evans again has a couple above-average skills while lacking in other areas. He’s a capable and willing helpside defender, and his freaky leaping and length allow for some highlight reel blocks:

He’s developed solid timing on these plays, though he can still be fooled by heady rim finishers with hesitations and counters built into their games. After posting ridiculous and unsustainable block numbers in small samples the previous two seasons, he settled into a still-above-average range this past year in a more realistic minutes distribution, and will always be a danger off the weak side. His long arms have also helped him limit opponent spot-up tries to a low percentage, another asset he’ll retain his entire career.

But again, the positives mostly stop at these limited-impact areas, especially when teams can game-plan for them knowing his particular strengths and, conversely, weaknesses. Evans never filled out since entering the league, and as a result has been brutalized consistently by stronger players:

Evans is listed at just 196 pounds, beanstalk status given his height (6’9), and plays like the one above are common, even from guys like Ersan Ilyasova who likely only rank about average on the size scale for their position. Evans allowed opponents a silly 56.3 percent shooting on finished post plays, per Synergy, and this came mostly against backup units. He’s 26 now, and the chances of him bulking up in any significant way are quite slim – it’s entirely possible this will remain a glaring weakness his entire career. He attempts to augment it by gambling for steals at unorthodox times with his long arms and quickness, and while he has had some success here (he forced turnovers on over 20 percent of finished post plays last year, according to Synergy, a high and unsustainable number), it’s nowhere near enough to offset all the implications of his huge strength disadvantage.

He’s not quite as lacking in other areas defensively, but he’s no stalwart either. His footwork in pick-and-rolls and isolation sets has been suspect, particularly in the latter case, where opponents got him off-balance easily and contributed to his high foul rate on such sets. He’ll frequently lose his man entirely for criminally easy looks, even down low in limited space, and will take silly touch fouls to compound the problem:

Apportioning responsibility for his lack of development in certain areas is difficult, and even more so when attempting to look at year over year improvement based on his limited samples. He spent basically his entire career thus far under Ty Corbin, who certainly had his share of questions regarding player development in his time at the helm, and this certainly may have contributed. In any case, making a few positive adjustments in some of the areas I’ve listed might at this point be a requisite to remaining in Utah given all the young talent and more on the way.

Jeremy Evans is a nice player and an even nicer person, and as a favorite of mine and many others, I write the above with a heavy heart. His ability to remain above league average PER with such a minutes jump last year is a big positive, and if he can seize the opportunity presented by a new staff and culture in his final season under contract, he may very well make me (happily) eat my words. But in such a smart and advanced league, the writing on the wall tells us that his limited high-skill areas will make this an uphill battle, and he may never be anything more than a bench player. I know one thing: I’m going to enjoy every highlight-reel dunk like it’s his last in a Jazz uniform, just in case one of them finally is.

Author information

Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett is a life-long Jazz fan and general sports fanatic based in Salt Lake City. He also writes for Nylon Calculus (Hardwood Paroxysm/Fansided Network), and can be heard on the airwaves for the SCH podcast and appearances with ESPN AM 700. With a strong background in both statistics and on-court fundemantals, he writes primarily as an in-depth strategic analyst. He can be found on Twitter at @Ben_Dowsett.
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First Trimester Awards, Utah Jazz Style http://saltcityhoops.com/first-trimester-awards-utah-jazz-style/ http://saltcityhoops.com/first-trimester-awards-utah-jazz-style/#comments Thu, 19 Dec 2013 17:25:40 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=9211 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Jeremy Evans' dunk face is worthy of recognition. But is his game worthy of one of the Jazz's first Trimester Awards? Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Image

Jeremy Evans’ dunk face is worthy of recognition. But is his game worthy of one of the Jazz’s first Trimester Awards? Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Image

Each season, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein comes out with his trimester awards–recognizing the NBA’s high achievers–always a fun read. Make sure to give it a perusal when it comes out. Because this is Salt City Hoops, why not have some trimester awards for the Utah Jazz? And like Stein, this is based on the thoughts and votes of this “committee of one.”

Most Improved Player: Given the fact that every player is filling a different role than they did last season, there were numerous candidates for this honor. Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors are clearly the players head coach Tyrone Corbin is relying on the most and both have taken nice strides in their progression (with many more strides yet to come). Enes Kanter had a stellar start to the season before his injury curtailed things a bit. He’s now trying to regain that same confidence.

Jeremy Evans was considered here, but this award goes to Alec Burks. He simply has been tremendous (Laura Thompson reflected on his play recently). While he had a few weeks where he struggled, he has simply taken his game to an entirely new level. In December, the athletic guard is cutting and slashing his way to 16.8 PPG (50.4% FGs, 47.6% 3s, 79.4% FTs) along with 3.2 RPG and 2.9 APG. Take out his two subpar games last week versus San Antonio and Denver (cherrypicking stats is fun!), and Burks climbs to 19.3 PPG (56.8% FGs, 62.5% 3s), 3.4 APG and 3.4 RPG. Taking a closer look, he has increased his points/36 minutes from 14.3 last season to 17.1 this year. His AST% has improved from 13.0 to 17.0, while his TOV% has gone from 14.3 to 12.1. Corbin made a nice move playing him predominantly at the shooting guard position, which plays to his strengths as a scorer, while still enabling him ample opportunities to create for his teammate.

Most importantly, Burks is making the correct basketball play the majority of the time. He knows when he needs to facilitate and he knows when he needs to take things into his own hands. All in all, Burks has been one of the brightest aspects of Utah’s season thus far.

Sixth Man: While Burks could easily garner this honor, too, the nod goes to Jeremy Evans. He has more than answered my question last month about his becoming a rotational player. Evans is producing 7.8 PPG and 6.3 RPG off the pine, while playing his trademark active defense. He leads the team with an 18.8 PER mark. He’s never rebounded the ball better (16.9 TRB%), particularly on the defensive boards (20.7 DRB%), which has been a thorn in Utah’s side this year. His remarkable shooting upon returning to the line-up has dropped considerably, to a “paltry” 52.7%. Evans has shown a much improved mid-range jump shot, which opens up his game tremendously (3-point range is the next step). Like usual, he’s been injected energy and excitement in the game, but not just in short spurts. Evans is making an impact on the court.

Defensive Player: There’s no way to sugar coat things: the Jazz’s defense has been dismal. The team is 30th in DRTG (110.7) and are low in the Defense Four Factors: 3rd in TOV% (13.3), 26th in eFG% (.517), 29th in DRB% (72.1) and 28th in FT/FGA (.242). If you’re not into advanced statistics, simply put, Utah is having major struggles. As a result, this award may not as illustrious as it normally would be.

That said, Derrick Favors signed his extension in October with the hopes of his becoming the defensive anchor and he is starting to show that he can fulfill that role. Favors is too learning his new role as the main presence in the middle and is showing improvement as the weeks pass. His Basketball Reference DRTG is the best amongst regulars at 106, with a DWS of 0.7. While his blocked shots are down (1.4 BPG), he is on track toward registering 100 steals and 100 blocks this season.

Comeback Player: Ah, yes, one of the ambiguous awards of yesteryear. It often went to players maligned by injury or severe off-court issues. No one has earned this more than Marvin Williams, and not for either of those reasons. When Utah obtain Williams, hopes were high. He was coming off a nice season in Atlanta where his perimeter shooting was key to their success. While he may never live up to the lofty billing associated with being the #2 pick in a draft, he was shaping up to be a solid 30+ MPG contributor. Last season was a let-down for Williams, he had career-lows in points, minutes, field goal percentage and rebounds. He was relegated to being a jump shooter, while ignoring his abilities to slash or post-up.

Skip to this season. While it took him some time to work back into game shape, he has been perhaps the most consistent player for the Jazz this year. Placed in the stretch four role, he has helped improve things for the starting lineup. He is shooting 40.3% from long distance, which would be a career-high. But beyond that, he is using his underrated repertoire of moves to score inside the arc. Williams is having career years in 2P% (52.1%), TS% (57.1%) and eFG% (56.2%). He’s bumped up his usage rate, cut down his TOV% and is passing (9.5 AST%) and stealing (2.1 STL%) well. He has been the consummate veteran leader. In the Jazz wins, Williams has made some huge plays. It is wonderful to see him playing this well.

Rookie of the Trimester: None other than Trey Burke, who has come on the scene and demanded respect right away. The Jazz are just a different squad with him at the helm. His leadership on the floor is evident and his abilities to get the ball to his teammates where they want and need it is getting better each game. Like others, his shot selection needs some work, but he has no fear when it comes to crunch time. He is rebounding the ball extremely well from the point guard position, a big plus for a team that lacks on the boards. He can get overpowered at times by opposing guards, but he is improving in his positional defense. If he continues his recent play, he will be right there with Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo for the league’s Rookie of the Year award at season’s end.

Most Valuable Player: Much has been said for his shooting woes and his occasional lackluster game. That said, Gordon Hayward is my choice for the Jazz’s MVP of the first 27 games. Cases could honestly be made for Favors and Burks, but Hayward’s all-around game has blossomed: 16.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.6 APG and 1.3 SPG. He is passing at an elite level (22.0 AST%) and has stepped up in major ways on the boards (career-highs with 14.7 DRB% and 8.4 TRB%). Hayward’s USG% is 24.5 and he is having some growing pains being the focal point of the offense. Burke’s addition has alleviated some of the burden, but he is still adjusting. His errant shooting has to improve (a mere 40.5% from the field and 26.3% on treys), with better shot selection being a necessity. Moreover, his consistency needs to be…well, more consistent. All in all, though, Hayward has showed his abilities to be a leader for Utah, both for the now and the future.

Feel free to share your thoughts on who you think might be deserving of each of these trimester awards.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Can Jeremy Evans be a Rotational Player? http://saltcityhoops.com/can-jeremy-evans-be-a-rotational-player/ http://saltcityhoops.com/can-jeremy-evans-be-a-rotational-player/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 19:17:38 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=8728 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

For a team in need of some good news, the Utah Jazz received some yesterday: rookie point guard Trey Burke made his official NBA debut versus the New Orleans Pelicans. While the highly-anticipated return by Burke from his broken finger is understandably receiving the most attention and accompanying headlines, there was a second boost in morale in the form of Jeremy Evans also being deemed healthy.

All eyes are naturally be focused on Burke, but many ardent Jazz fans are eager to see how Evans performs this season. During the off-season, given the turnover on Utah’s roster (particularly in the front court), it was believed that the high-flying forward might finally have a spot in the regular line-up. Now will be the chance to see if that happens.

All this leads to some big questions. Is Jeremy Evans a bonafide rotational player in the NBA? Can he be more than a situational guy who has the knack for making highlight reel plays?

Evans is a tremendous joy to watch. He is always flashing a smile and it’s clear that he has a love for the game of basketball. He seems to be the consummate locker room presence, always encouraging his teammates and never causing a bit of discord. His sheer athleticism and out-of-this-world leaping ability quickly made him a fan favorite. Earl Watson’s alley was nothing without Jeremy Evans’ oop. While some pundits minimize his Slam Dunk championship due to a somewhat diluted field of competitors, he still won it, fair-and-square. He’s had his fair share of in-game highlights, too. Who can forget this one?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_CVAJBIwTA&autoplay=0]

And while it didn’t count, here’s this, as well.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HBfdbxmKrk&autoplay=0]

Through his first three seasons, Evans has seen minimal court time. In fact, his playing time has decreased each passing season. All in all, he has registered a mere 895 minutes in 115 games–7.8 MPG. While his playing time has been inconsistent, Evans has managed to produce when his name has been called. He boasts a career 64.7 percent shooting mark for his career, while putting up 2.7 PPG and 1.8 RPG in his stints. There have been games where foul trouble or injuries paved the way for some appearances and he simply injected energy into the game.

He is an advanced stats’ darling. Over his three campaigns, Evans has a True Shooting Percentage of .659 and an Effective Field Goal Percentage of .647. He earns trips to the free throw line, too, as evidenced by his .750 Free Throw Attempt Rate last year. A smart shot-blocker with fine defensive instincts, Evans has a 4.8 Block Percentage, including 8.8 his second season. While some reserves have some sparkling advanced stats, he has produced his consistently over three seasons, which shows his potential to do some good things.

Evans could possibly play both forward positions for spells. Power forward has been where he’s logged the most time thus far in his career. While his slight frame causes issues inside–he can get pushed around and sometimes accrues fouls as a result–his speed and agility partially compensate. For him to play the small forward spot, Evans will have to evolve a bit. In the summer league and preseason, Evans displayed a much-improved jump shot, though his handle is a bit spotty. He will need to show that he can keep defenses honest if he is to assume some time at the three.

The Jazz’s front court depth could lead to Evans seeing an increased role. As expected, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter are getting the lion’s share of playing time. Richard Jefferson has had a mini rejuvenation, but has not been consistent. Marvin Williams’ return has helped and he’s seen time as a stretch four. Mike Harris has been a surprise, but is limited. Given this line-up, Evans could demand minutes once he gets more into game-shape and could quickly take the time that Harris has been given. It’ll then be up to him to demonstrate what he is capable of in a more expansive role.

This season has been branded by some as a season of discovery– a chance to see what each player on the roster can do. Every individual on the team has or will assume a new niche in the rotation, and Jeremy Evans is not an exception. Will he become a rotational player? We will find out over the coming months.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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JazzRank #8: Jeremy Evans http://saltcityhoops.com/jazzrank-8-jeremy-evans/ http://saltcityhoops.com/jazzrank-8-jeremy-evans/#comments Wed, 16 Oct 2013 16:41:07 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7988 Author information
Evan Hall
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Editor’s note: This is the sixth in the annual series from Salt City Hoops ranking the current players on the Utah Jazz roster. Throughout the preseason, we’ll count up through the current Jazz roster, from worst to first, profiling each player as we go along. The profiles are individually written by Salt City Hoops’ staff of writers, while the ranking was selected by me (Andy Larsen). To go through JazzRank articles from this or past preseasons, visit our JazzRank category page. Jeremy Evans is #8.

Jeremy Evans: In order to understand the gray area between a young player either busting out of the NBA entirely or becoming an established cog of NBA rosters, I deconstructed the 2010 draft class according to minutes played. I narrowed my search to exclude players who had never played in the NBA, or who had played such limited minutes that hardly registered as roster pieces. My arbitrary endpoint was 500 minutes played, and I thus eliminated from my consideration almost every player who has already busted out of the NBA. I also wanted to exclude players who had already become a consistent part of the year-to-year pool from which teams fill their rosters, as well as players who because of team need or pre-draft hype had been given enough minutes to quickly demonstrate they weren’t NBA-caliber. Including Jeremy Evans, there are seven players in the 2010 draft class with at least 500 minutes played but no more than 1000 minutes played for an NBA team: Luke Harangody, Devin Ebanks, Dominique Jones, Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward, Damion James, and Jeremy Evans. Of these seven players, only Luke Harangody (who is out of the NBA and playing in Russia) and Lazar Hayward did not rank anywhere in ESPN’s NBA Rank (a ranking of the 500 players in the NBA). Of these seven players, only one of them is still playing with the team that drafted him, having never been traded or waived: Jeremy Evans.

Jeremy Evans’ Jump Shot: In preparation for writing this profile, I spent about an hour looking at Jeremy Evans highlights on YouTube. I don’t say this to brag (and yeah, anyone with any proper awareness of what about life is meaningful and worthwhile would never consider it a brag), but I watched almost every minute of Jazz basketball last season. Yet as I sat at my computer thinking about Jeremy Evans about a week before the preseason started, I couldn’t for the life of me remember what his jump shot looked like. I sat there and thought and thought and tried to extract some previously useless memory of a Jeremy Evans jumper–I even tried to remember warm-ups at the ESA–and I couldn’t. So I went to YouTube, and not until I watched the video of his career high 14 points against Charlotte last year did I remember it (it looks a little like Kendrick Perkins’ jump shot, which isn’t meant to be but definitely could be interpreted as a deeply cutting insult). I say this not because I think the key to Jeremy Evans’ success this year is his jump shot–if he’s taking tons of jump shots, then something about the Jazz’s offense has gone wildly, irreparably off-course. I say this because Jeremy Evans has been on the Jazz roster for three years, since being drafted, and I cannot, on demand, recall his jump shot.

Jeremy Evans’ Everything Else: There’s a seductive beauty in unrealized identity, in not quite knowing what something is or isn’t. It’s why you can be happy in the first two weeks of a fundamentally flawed relationship with a pretty girl who might be crazy, or vindictive, or manipulative, and that happiness is valid. It may be fleeting, but it’s legitimate, because the not-knowing is beautiful all by itself. This is the place Jeremy Evans has lived for the last three years. The dunk contests and the paintings and the likable, choir-boy interview persona have perhaps made him comfortable there, comfortable as anyone can be just right of the spotlight. But we deceive ourselves if we think we know who he is, even in the limited way we can know a basketball player. I could proffer forth some vague conjectures like “poor man’s Serge Ibaka,” or “end-of-the-bench, towel-waving energy guy,” or perhaps more optimistically, “shot-blocking, electrically high-flying Dunkbot.” But they’d be speculative, and even if any of them could be true, even if they were Potential Jeremey Evanses in Hibernation, softly, blissfully snoring through their DNP-CD’s, they would still be foresight, and not sight. Because what I see when I see Jeremy Evans is still so unknown and uncharted that to say anything about him but just that–that I have no freakin’ clue what this guy would look like on a basketball court for 25 minutes a game–would be nothing more than your everyday, internet writer brand of hubris.

Jeremy Evans, Maybe: I suspect that he’s probably bad. That we don’t want to know what 25 minutes a game of Jeremy Evans looks like, that maybe we’ll get on Twitter fifty games into this season and half of the Jazz fans we follow have turned on him faster, and harder, and more viciously than any of them ever turned on Mo Williams or Paul Millsap. That who he was against Portland in Boise is who he will always be. But time passes and we keep rocketing through it, discovering stuff all the way: our gorgeous girlfriend likes to sleep with a python in her bed and she loathes our best friend, our favorite spambot Twitter account isn’t actually a spambot, Harry Potter really is over forever, and Jeremy Evans is a terrible NBA player. We’ll always have those moments, right before we learned how our dad did the magic trick or right before the opening crawl of Star Wars: Episode I began rolling, when things were still as great as we wanted them to be. But maybe we should have enjoyed them more. With Jeremy Evans at least, I think we did.

Author information

Evan Hall
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Jeremy Evans: Odd Man Out? http://saltcityhoops.com/jeremy-evans-odd-man-out/ http://saltcityhoops.com/jeremy-evans-odd-man-out/#comments Tue, 13 Aug 2013 19:21:03 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7394 Author information
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.
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When I think of Jeremy Evans and his role on the Utah Jazz for the upcoming 2013-2014, I think of Stephen Root’s character Milton Waddams from the cult classic Office Space. 

No, I don’t see the almost impossibly nice Evans as a softly-muttering sad sack who will eventually commit arson to avenge the wrongs done to him.  However, one scene in particular sums up the analogy perfectly.  In this scene, cake is being passed around to celebrate evil Initech boss Bill Lumberg’s birthday.  Milton takes a piece and is about to dig in, when he is accosted by another co-worker to pass the cake around.  Milton meekly protests that last time cake was served in the office he didn’t get a piece but passes the cake to the next employee.  The pieces of cake are continued to be passed around until predictably, the cake runs out, everyone but Milton enjoying a piece.

Jeremy Evans is Milton Waddams, and cake is playing time for the 2013-14 season.

Prior to the upcoming season, Evans’ lack of minutes was understandable and easily explained.  Evans was buried behind four extremely talented frontcourt players in Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, all of whom deserved playing time over Evans.  With the departures of Millsap and Jefferson earlier this summer, it seemed the time had come for Evans to be thrust into a consistent role with significant floor time.

You don’t get to eat that cake just yet, Milton.

A few issues present themselves with giving Evans serious run.  First, the starting frontcourt is locked up, with the dynamic duo of Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter filling the void left by Millsap and Jefferson.  It seems simple to just promote Evans to third big and be done with it, but it doesn’t seem to be quite that simple.  If Utah brings Evans off the bench as the third big, he’ll either always be playing alongside one of the starters or in tandem with another 2nd-tier big man.  If Utah shortens it’s rotation in the frontcourt to three players, Favors and Kanter’s minutes would see a huge increase, likely a larger increase than the Jazz front office wants to see.  Yes, we all want to see what Favors and Kanter can do this year with legitimate starter’s minutes, but we also don’t want them to wear down over the course of an already-lost season.

The other option that seems more likely is to play Evans with either Rudy Gobert or newly-acquired center Andris Biedrins.  While aesthetically amusing to watch, Evans and Gobert together would have serious issues scoring the ball and could be pushed around by bigger and bulkier frontcourt foes.  Logic also dictates the Jazz have much more interest in giving Gobert valuable NBA experience than giving it to Evans, considering the large chunk of change the Miller family plunked down to acquire Gobert on draft night.

Evans and Biedrins isn’t tremendously more appealing considering how one-dimensional the pairing would be.  Yes, the defense would likely be very good to great, but the offense would range from anemic to completely nonexistent.  Some may question giving Biedrins, whose game fell off a cliff last year, playing time in favor of Evans, but there are a few logical reasons this would be done.  First, Biedrins has showed his ability to play at or near an All-Star level in the past.  Yes, his dumpster fire of a season last year seems to indicate that his better days are a distant memory, but a mini-renaissance on a new team and with a new coaching staff that has every reason to right the Biedrins ship is not out of the question.  Revitalizing the lanky Latvian could make him a valuable asset the Jazz could deal at the trade deadline, either as simply an expiring contract or as added frontcourt depth and defensive prowess to a contending team, for even more assets.  Getting paid to take on Biedrins and getting paid to trade him away would make GM Dennis Lindsey a folk hero in the Beehive State.

Evans’ numbers per-36-minutes are unsurprisingly good (12.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.2 blocks), as Evans has always been very productive in the small amount of run he’s gotten so far.  There are arguments to be made on both sides whether or not those numbers would carry over to an increased workload against better NBA talent.  Evans also has to be the undisputed king of NBA preseason highlights.

Remember this one?

How about this one?

It’s no wonder Evans’ supporters are clamoring for a prominent role after watching him demolish Ronny Turiaf and Gerald Wallace.  Evans minutes should increase this year, but to what extent?  Is it improbable that we could see a Rudy Gobert/Andris Biedrins 2nd-team frontcourt succeed?  What if Utah splits the second-team post position minutes evenly between the Gobert, Biedrins and Evans?  This is not even mentioning the postulating that Marvin Williams could be utilized as a stretch 4 off the bench, further adding to the logjam behind Favors and Kanter.

Sorry Milton.  Not only did Lumbergh take your red stapler, but he could also be relocating your office to the basement.

Author information

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.
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2013-14 Utah Jazz: Figuring out a Rotation http://saltcityhoops.com/2013-14-utah-jazz-figuring-out-a-rotation/ http://saltcityhoops.com/2013-14-utah-jazz-figuring-out-a-rotation/#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 20:52:54 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7327 Author information
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.
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In a season that most anticipate to be a rebuilding effort for the Jazz, the prime objective seems to be giving the young core as much playing time as reasonably possible.  Despite this clear path, Utah’s rotation is, as my high school Geometry teacher Mr. Dolkhani so eloquently put it, “clear as mud.”

Barring injury, the starting lineup seems to be already determined.  It’s when you look at the second unit that things start to become muddled, with numerous possibilities to consider.  Who’s the first point guard off the bench?  How much playing time will the Overpaid Duo (Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson) get?  Exactly how good does the Jazz think Ian Clark can be?  When he returns, where does Marvin Williams fit in?

In an effort to bring a small modicum of clarity to the situation, I’ve broken down each position for the starting and second units and who will/may inhabit those positions.

Starting Point Guard:  Trey Burke

It’s a little ironic that the position of biggest need for Utah is among the surest things, at least in the starting lineup.  Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey traded up to nab the former Michigan Wolverine, and then brought in one average-at-best veteran point guard, John Lucas III, for depth.  It’s obvious Burke will get and keep the starting point guard gig barring injury, tremendous struggles at the position or a meteoric rise at point by Burks or Clark.

Starting Shooting Guard:  Alec Burks

Other Possibilities:  Brandon Rush, Gordon Hayward

Get ready, Burks fans.  Alec is about to have a bunch of minutes allocated to him, and will get a chance to showcase his talents.  I feel less confident about this spot, however, than I do about the point guard position for a few reasons.  Newcomer Brandon Rush is by far the most useful of the triumvirate acquired from Golden State.  Depending on how he performs and how much Utah’s second unit struggles to score, I could see Jazz head coach Ty Corbin opting to give Rush the starting nod for his perimeter defense and three-point shooting acumen and utilizing Burks’ scoring ability to inject life into a potentially anemic bench squad. No matter if he starts, Burks is in line for the biggest role increase on the team.  Gordon Hayward is another possibility at the starting 2-guard spot, but I can’t see him pushing Burks or Rush out of the position due to the lack of depth at small forward.

Starting Small Forward:  Gordon Hayward

Everyone’s favorite Starcraft player is now the Jazz’s elder statesman, and will be expected to have a much larger leadership role following the mass exodus of veterans from the Utah ranks this offseason.  Hayward is about as sure a thing to start at small forward as possible considering the dearth of true small forwards on the team.  Marvin Williams will miss the first portion of the season recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, and it’s already being postulated that Williams could be utilized as a stretch 4 off the bench.  Considering Richard Jefferson is the only other pure small forward (Rush can play 3 in a pinch, but seems better suited at 2), and Hayward’s starting position is solidified.

Starting Power Forward:  Derrick Favors

Starting Center:  Enes Kanter

It’s so inconceivable for a healthy Favors or Kanter not to start, I’ll just say this:  I’m all geeked up to see what they can do this season while given starter’s minutes.

Here is where things get messy.

Backup Point Guard:  John Lucas III

Other Possibilities:  Alec Burks, Ian Clark

I gave the nod to Lucas for the simple fact that he’s the only other pure point guard on the roster.  Even if Lucas starts the season as the floor general for the bench unit, it would not at all surprise me to see him supplanted by Alec Burks or even undrafted free agent Ian Clark.  Clark especially intrigues me at this position.   At 6’3” and 175 lbs, he may be undersized to guard the bigger shooting guards in the league, which may cause Corbin to play him at point if his performance demands significant minutes every game.

Backup Shooting Guard: Brandon Rush

Other Possibilities:  Ian Clark, Alec Burks

With Burks penciled in as starting shooting guard, logic dictates that Rush would be the first off-guard off the bench.  An established veteran with good defensive and shooting skills, Rush could prove to be a valuable piece for the Utah Jazz beyond this season.  Throw in the fact that it’s a contract year for Rush, and he has more than enough incentive to excel in any and every situation in which he’s put.

Backup Small Forward:  Marvin Williams

Other Possibilities: Richard Jefferson, Jeremy Evans

Until Marvin Williams returns from injury, it will be interesting (and probably a little ugly) to see what Corbin & Co. can cobble together.  Jefferson is coming off a year in which he was barely used, and certainly has seen his best days as a player.  Prior to last season, Jefferson had shot a good percentage from three.  If he can find his shooting stroke once again, he may be a serviceable replacement.  Evans saw a few minutes last year at small forward, and is a possibility, albeit a remote one, to fill in at 3.

Backup Big Men:  Andris Biedrins, Rudy Gobert

Other Possibilities: Jeremy Evans, Marvin Williams

For a young and raw player, Rudy Gobert appears to be headed for a significant amount of minutes and a crash course in NBA basketball.  With his unbelievable wingspan and high motor, his defensive presence should allow him to remain on the court, despite his fledgling offensive game.

Biedrins and Evans seem to be in competition for the final rotation spot at one of the posts.  It seems too offensively detrimental to play Biedrins and Gobert together, but Jeremy Evans is no Adrian Dantley himself.  Marvin could certainly be a passable stretch 4, but the aforementioned dearth of depth at 3 could force Corbin’s hand.

 

 

Author information

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.
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Jeremy Evans is still the best artist in the league http://saltcityhoops.com/jeremy-evans-is-still-the-best-artist-in-the-league/ http://saltcityhoops.com/jeremy-evans-is-still-the-best-artist-in-the-league/#comments Tue, 27 Nov 2012 17:01:47 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=5786 Author information
Spencer Hall
Founder Spencer Hall has covered the NBA, Team USA and NBA D-League since 2007 and launched Salt City Hoops in 2009. Spencer is now the news director at KSL.com
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jeremy-evans-salt-lake-temple

Besides being one of the nicest humans in history and reigning NBA Dunk Champion, Jeremy Evans is an impressive artist. Earl Watson posted the picture above that Evans said he drew sometime last summer. Evans said he was working on having prints available soon. Can’t wait.

Author information

Spencer Hall
Founder Spencer Hall has covered the NBA, Team USA and NBA D-League since 2007 and launched Salt City Hoops in 2009. Spencer is now the news director at KSL.com
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JazzRank 13: Jeremy Evans http://saltcityhoops.com/jazzrank-13-jeremy-evans/ http://saltcityhoops.com/jazzrank-13-jeremy-evans/#comments Fri, 19 Oct 2012 14:32:00 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=5612 Author information
Jackson Rudd
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No one was more talked-about in the NBA on Thursday than Jeremy Evans after his spectacular end-to-end-to-end block/dunk/steal exhibition on Wednesday against the Clippers. (Favorite headline: “Jeremy Evans is now the majority owner of Ronny Turiaf.”) Is it possible that Evans knew we were preparing to feature him at #13 in JazzRank? How else to explain the perfect storm of Evansonian Phenomena?

Somehow, on his chosen day, fate allowed him the opportunity to do the three things he is uniquely good at–ridiculous blocks and ridiculous dunks and ridiculous sprints–in one sequence with no one in the world but Ronny Turiaf to stop him. We already posted this video after the game, and you’ve seen it posted everywhere else, but I can’t help myself:

I don’t care how many times you’ve watched this. It’s worth watching a hundred more times. Why? The play itself it worth more than a few views, but looking for everyone’s reaction is worth that and more. In fact, I’m going to rank the top five reactions:

5. Enes Kanter: Started yelling after the dunk and did the walk-into-your-teammate-while-yelling thing right after the ball was whistled dead. He would rank higher but I’m pretty sure this is what he does after every play.

4. DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre Carroll seems like he always knows exactly how to react. He’s a true professional. He’s even a professional in his mega-dunk reactions.

3. Alec Burks: He gets all the way up to third just for looking so ticked off after he congratulates Jeremy–in a “let’s do that to them 1000 more times right now” way. Burks has that killer instinct and appreciates the swagger of a Jeremy Evans mega-dunk. He also gets props because he ran the floor really well and then just stopped because he clearly thought, “Jeremy Evans is more likely to pull up from half court and crank a 50-footer than he is to pass the ball in this situation.”

2. Randy Foye: Watch the slo-mo replay at 0:26. One of the many hidden treasures of this clip is seeing a shocked Foye watch Evans sail through the air as his expression turns to astonishment. It totally redeems him from not hustling down the floor on the fast break.

1. The Color Commentator (Michael Smith, I think): The most impressive reaction to Jeremy Evans’ dunk, far and away, goes to Smith (a BYU alum, by the way), who was so blown away by the play that he temporarily went completely insane. His comments after the dunk happened: 1) “That was with the off hand, too!” First of all, this is totally not true in any sense. Evans blocked with his right hand, dribbled with his right hand, and dunked with his right hand, and he actually does everything related to basketball with his right hand, so… huh? Second, as a Clippers commentator, does he really pride himself on knowing whether Jeremy Evans is left- or right-handed? Third, who reacts to a mega-block/dunk combo like that? I’m full of questions about this. 2) “It is not that often that your teammates react to a play like this.” What could this possibly mean? No one knows. Maybe he meant that it isn’t often that teammates react to this kind of play, which obviously isn’t true and is a completely nonsensical thing to say. Maybe he meant that it isn’t often that teammates react in the manner that they were reacting, which makes a little more sense but is still a very weird thing to say. Then the clip ends as he starts talking about Evans’ elbow and comparing him to Julius Erving. Winner!

Okay… anyway:

Offseason Accomplishments: In some order, he signed a 3-year, 5.5 million dollar contract, lost a dunk contest in Latvia, and got hitched. So yeah. He stayed busy.

Patronus: Panda Bear

Stat to Watch: Field goal percentage outside the basket area. Last year, Evans shot 1-of-11 outside the basket area. As in, for the entire season. We can all love Jeremy Evans but if he can’t score at all except for his dunks, he can’t be a rotation player.

Three Potential Outcomes of the Season:

1. After an injury or two thins out the mighty Jazz front line, Evans gets a chance to show his stuff in the rotation. Suddenly putting in 12 minutes a game, Evans validates his fan support by averaging 6 points, 4 rebounds, and a block. He channels this new-found success into a magically appearing jump shot, which only goes in 30% of the time but is still way better than 1-of-11. As the injuries subside and he goes back to the bench, the #FreeJeremy campaign consumes the Utah Jazz twitterverse.

2. He rides the pine all season and mostly just looks forward to the chance to defend his dunk contest championship. He is by far the most impressive dunk artist there, but only takes second because of politics (and partly because everyone is a little embarrassed that he won last year despite having only one great dunk). He still puts together enough amazingly athletic plays across the season that his highlight reel that pops up on YouTube next summer will be three minutes long.

3. The Jazz are plagued by injuries of a different kind. Ten games into the season, the Jazz Bear breaks his tailbone by falling backwards off of those crazy stilts he sometimes walks around on. Looking for a replacement, the Jazz decide to search internally. Jeremy Evans, suddenly filled with inspiration, applies for the job and dominates the “interview” by doing a double somersault dunk off of the trampolines. Instead of Jazz Bear, there becomes Jazz Jeremy. And everyone loves it. He is inducted to the Mascot Hall of Fame by the end of February and Disney purchases the movie rights to the story by June.

UPDATE: Check out Jeremy Evans discussing The Play before practice on Friday. Evans points out that he and Turiaf share the same agent and that he respected Ronny at least hustling to get back on defense. He also said that the best comment came from his cousin, who suggested he should have given his jersey to Turiaf afterwards.

Author information

Jackson Rudd
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Jeremy Evans Loses a Dunk Contest in Latvia http://saltcityhoops.com/jeremy-evans-loses-a-dunk-contest-in-latvia/ http://saltcityhoops.com/jeremy-evans-loses-a-dunk-contest-in-latvia/#comments Mon, 27 Aug 2012 14:31:05 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=5424 Author information
Spencer Hall
Founder Spencer Hall has covered the NBA, Team USA and NBA D-League since 2007 and launched Salt City Hoops in 2009. Spencer is now the news director at KSL.com
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While spending time searching for gifts for Jeremy Evans from his wedding registry, I stumbled across the odd information that Evans spent time the week before his wedding participating in a dunk contest in Latvia.

Evans was apparently participating in an event in Riga known as Krasts pret Krastu, a 24-hour basketball tournament that is part of a larger Riga Festival.

Former Florida State point guard and current VEF Riga player Luke Loucks tweeted from the event, too:

It’s been a great summer for Evans: He signed a new contract, got married, took a tour of rural utah promoting Jr. Jazz, and somehow found time to visit Latvia. Excellent work all the way around.

Author information

Spencer Hall
Founder Spencer Hall has covered the NBA, Team USA and NBA D-League since 2007 and launched Salt City Hoops in 2009. Spencer is now the news director at KSL.com
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Congratulations to the newly-married Jeremy Evans http://saltcityhoops.com/congratulations-to-the-newly-married-jeremy-evans/ http://saltcityhoops.com/congratulations-to-the-newly-married-jeremy-evans/#comments Sun, 26 Aug 2012 18:57:31 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=5404 Author information
Spencer Hall
Founder Spencer Hall has covered the NBA, Team USA and NBA D-League since 2007 and launched Salt City Hoops in 2009. Spencer is now the news director at KSL.com
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Jeremy Evans may look super young, but he’s grown enough to marry the lovely Korrie Walters yesterday in Savannah, Georgia. By all accounts it was a beautiful day, attended by coach Tyrone Corbin and Jazz-bestie Gordon Hayward. Check out some pictures from the wedding and reception that were posted by friends and family in the wedding party.

First dance Korrie walking down the aisle Evans and Korrie with his brother and mother Wedding venue Wedding cake Reception Reception Reception Evans Korrie and Jeremy with friends Jazz couples Korrie walking down the aisle Corbin-and-Evans-at-the-wedding

Congratulations to Jeremy and Korrie.

Author information

Spencer Hall
Founder Spencer Hall has covered the NBA, Team USA and NBA D-League since 2007 and launched Salt City Hoops in 2009. Spencer is now the news director at KSL.com
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