Top 10 Players Utah Jazz of All-Time

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6. Andrei Kirilenko

Seasons in Utah:

10 (2001-2011)

Stats w/ the Jazz

12.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.8 APG, 3.4 Stocks, 47.0 FG%

If it wasn’t for the man previously mentioned, Andrei Kirilenko would go down as the best defender in Utah Jazz history. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive team three times and led the league in blocks per game during the 2004-05 season with an average of 3.3. For his career, Kirilenko’s teams have given up about three points per 100 possessions fewer when he has been on the floor. One of the keys to his defensive prowess in Utah was his length. The lanky 6’9″ Russian could make his way into passing lanes and recover for blocks that most small forwards couldn’t even dream of doing. Though defense became his main calling card, Kirilenko actually did a little bit of everything early in his career.  In fact, for about three years, he was one of the most versatile players in the NBA. From 2003 to 2006, he averaged 15.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 3.0 blocks and 1.7 steals per game. His PER during that stretch was 22.2. Don’t let his looks fool you, this dude could play with the best of them at his position during his prime.

PHOENIX - OCTOBER 12: Deron Williams #8 of the Utah Jazz in action during the preseason NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on October 12, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

5. Deron Williams

Seasons in Utah:

5 (2005-2011)

Stats w/ the Jazz

17.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 9.1 APG, 1.3 Stocks, 46.6 FG%

There was a three year stretch in the NBA when Deron Williams was regarded as one of the truly elite point guards in the entire league. In fact, there were plenty of people who thought he WAS the best. In four years as the full-time starting point guard in Utah, Williams averaged 18.2 points and 10.2 assists, led his team to four straight playoff appearances and outplayed consensus top point guard Chris Paul almost every time they went head-to-head. Before forcing a trade to the Nets and basically pissing in the face of his coach Jerry Sloan (sorry, I couldn’t help myself), Williams was 12-4 against Paul. In those contests, CP3 had a slight advantage in assists per game, but D-Will trumped him in points, field-goal percentage, three-point percentage and, of course, wins. Williams spent just five-and-a-half years with Utah, but still managed to make it into the top 10 in franchise history in 19 categories, including points and assists. I wish he stayed in Utah, he completely screw himself over. He and the Jazz could have done big things. Oh well.

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4. Pete Maravich

Seasons in Utah:

6 (1974-1980)

Stats w/ the Jazz

25.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.6 APG, 1.7 Stocks, 43.4 FG%

A true legend of the game of basketball, “Pistol” Pete Maravich had already reached a certain mythical status before ever joining the Jazz. His introduction to the basketball world took place at LSU, where he averaged more than 44 points a game over three seasons under his head coach and father, Press Maravich. The ridiculous ability that the younger Maravich showed in college translated to the NBA, as he ranks 20th in league history in career scoring average. After four years in Atlanta, Maravich was traded to the Jazz. He was the great first star for the new franchise in New Orleans. If you had to compare his game to a genre of music, it would almost certainly be jazz—free-flowing, spontaneous and fun – so it was a perfect match.

His knack for scoring was tied to an unprecedented level of flair and showmanship that he brought to the court. He also had a seemingly bottomless bag of tricks that he had developed as a youngster and that allowed him to get to the basket and fake out and lose defenders in ways few others have ever been able to duplicate. During the 1976-77 season, Maravich juked, spun, scooped and shot his way to the league’s scoring title, averaging a ridiculous 31.1 points per contest. That season contributed to his third-place ranking in Jazz history in points per game (25.2). However, don’t let all this talk of scoring fool you into thinking Pistol Pete was one-dimensional. He was also a creative and willing passer who led the Jazz in assists for four of the five full seasons he was on the team. He averaged 5.6 assists a game during his time in Utah, good for fourth in team history. When talking about the all-time greats, you better at least give this man a thought. He was that good.

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