A fascinating case of searching for balance. Utah last season sported a great offense and a porous defense, mirroring the game of its highest-paid player. Utah's defense was off-the-charts better when Jefferson sat, but the bench-heavy units that held opponents down scored at laughably low rates; low-usage players such as Derrick Favors, Earl Watson, Enes Kanter, and others were stretched too far.
But Jefferson's post game is literally the hub of Utah's offense. He shoots a decent percentage and never turns over the ball, and many of Utah's pet sets involve sending cutters around Jefferson post-ups on the left side.
What would happen to Utah's offense if the Jazz let him walk in free agency this summer, re-signed Paul Millsap as their new hub, and built around a Favors-Millsap starting front line? Millsap has generally performed quite well without Jefferson, per NBA.com, but would that hold up? What if Gordon Hayward or Alec Burks, the latter on the fringes of Ty Corbin's rotation, made a leap? What if Favors developed a more controlled post game?
For now, Corbin is working with what he has, and that means mixing and matching his big men — including starting all three of Millsap, Favors, and Jefferson in recent games — to find the ideal two-way synergy.