MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Al Jefferson proved to critics this season that he could rack up big numbers while helping his team win. The result was his first playoff trip since his rookie season of 2005. Big Al was the most consistent offensive player for the Jazz, and the closest thing the team had to a star.
MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER
Raja Bell hasn't lived up to expectations in his second stint with the Jazz since signing a three-year deal two summers ago. Aside from his deteriorated play, the 35-year-old's ongoing dispute with coach Tyrone Corbin is an unneeded distraction, so it's likely his desire to be traded will be acquiesced.
Outside shooting was nonexistent in the playoff sweep and at times during the season. Management hopes Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks continue work on their perimeter play, but that long-distance weakness is a high priority this offseason. The Jazz also need to determine whether Devin Harris is the long-term solution at point guard.
FREE AGENT FOCUS
Josh Howard, C.J. Miles and late-season D-League call-up Blake Ahearn will be unrestricted free agents. Miles will likely have to find a second NBA home after spending his first seven seasons in Utah, but the Jazz loved the experience and versatility Howard provided when he was healthy and have expressed interest in bringing him back. It would be a surprise if the Jazz didn't exercise team options on potential free agents Jamaal Tinsley and DeMarre Carroll while trying to retain athletic restricted free agent Jeremy Evans.
--F Derrick Favors played well at times throughout his sophomore season, but the athletic and powerful 20-year-old had a coming-out party during the playoffs. He was the Jazz's most consistent player against the Spurs.
"He feels like he can just jump over and dunk over everybody," Jazz center Al Jefferson said of his young teammate. "Once he learns how to play the game, it's going to be trouble. I hope I'm his teammate for the rest of my career."
--F Paul Millsap has spent the first six seasons of his NBA career in Utah, and he hopes to make it many more. Like Al Jefferson and Devin Harris, the 2012-13 campaign will be a contract year for the undersized-but-overachieving power forward.
"I'm hoping," he said, "to stay here (in Utah) forever."
--G Alec Burks is excited to have his rookie season in the rear-view mirror, if for no other reason than to be able to ditch the pink backpack his more experienced teammates made him tote around most of his first year.
His offseason plans for the backpack?
"I'm going to light it up on the Fourth of July," he said, smiling.
--G Earl Watson (left knee) continues to rehab from surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus on April 17. He hopes to resume basketball-related activities in July and is expected to be ready for training camp.
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