Ranking the greatest Utah Jazz players of all time
The Utah Jazz have yet to win an NBA championship, but it isn't because of a lack of talent. Some of the greatest players in NBA history have called Salt Lake City home, including the league's most lethal pick-and-roll tandem.
Join us as we rank the top five Utah Jazz players of all time.
5. Rudy Gobert
Accolades: 2x All-Star, 3x All-NBA, 4x All-Defensive, 2x Defensive Player of the Year
Years active: 2014-present
"The Stifle Tower"is the greatest defender to ever don a Jazz uniform, and has been one of the very best defenders in the NBA over the last eight seasons. A fantastic rim protector, Gobert has also averaged a double-double for points and rebounds over the course of his entire career.
While Gobert isn’t an elite shooter, he is an intelligent player that plays within the offense in order to achieve a tremendously high 64.5% field goal percentage. Gobert truly impacts both ends of the court, and has been monumental in keeping the Jazz in playoff contention during his career in Utah.
4. Deron Williams
Position: Point guard
Accolades: 3x All-Star, 2x All-NBA
Years active: 2006-2017
I have long maintained that Deron Williams in his prime was the greatest point guard in the NBA. At 6’3" and with great strength, Williams overpowered almost all of his opponents during his years in Utah. His pick-and-roll prowess with Carlos Boozer was nearly unstoppable, resulting in Williams leading the Jazz to four straight playoff appearances, including the 2007 Western Conference Finals.
During those four years, he averaged 18.2 points and 10.2 assists per game. Williams would ultimately get traded away to New Jersey, but during his time in Utah he was a dominant offensive threat and a leader that guided his team to wins.
3. Adrian Dantley
Position: Small forward
Accolades: Hall of Fame, 6x All-Star, 2x All NBA, 2x scoring champion, Rookie of the Year
Years active: 1977-1991
Adrian Dantley was an elite scorer that spent much of the 1980s putting up points out west in Utah. A two-time scoring champion, "The Teacher" enjoyed a seven-season stint in Utah, and averaged over 30 points a game in four of them.
Adrian Dantley averaged over 30 points per game for 4 straight seasons with the Utah Jazz.— NBA Time Machine (@NBA_TimeMachine) March 23, 2018
1980-81: 30.7 ppg
1981-82: 30.3 ppg
1982-83: 30.7 ppg
1983-84: 30.6 ppg#AdrianDantley #UtahJazz #80snba #Utah #scoringmachine #theteacher pic.twitter.com/ebkyCfpCPT
Dantley averaged 29.6 points per game during his tenure with the Jazz.
2. Karl Malone
Position: Power forward
Accolades: Hall of Fame, 14x All-Star, 14x All-NBA, 4x All-Defensive, 2x NBA MVP
Years Active: 1986-2004
Karl Malone spent nearly two decades as not just one of the greatest Utah Jazz players of all time, but one of the very best basketball players of all time. Over his Hall of Fame career, "The Mailman" averaged over 25 points and 10 rebounds per game, which is a remarkable feat considering he played for 19 seasons.
Malone was a 14-time All Star and All-NBA selection, and is second on the NBA career points list behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He twice won the MVP, and was the absolute perfect compliment to point guard, John Stockton, with whom he appeared in the playoffs in 18 straight seasons.
1. John Stockton
Position: Point guard
Accolades: Hall of Fame, 10x All-Star, 9x assist champion, 11x All-NBA, 5x All-Defensive
Years active: 1985-2003
In truth, Malone and Stockton could be interchangeable 1 and 1A, as they were nearly inseparable throughout their respective careers. As the point guard, Stockton was the glue of the team, and specialized in setting up Malone in all of his sweet spots.
Stockton averaged a double-double over the course of his decorated career, and led the league in dimes every season from 1988-1996. He also played all 82 games in 16 seasons, and retired as the league's career leader in assists and steals. He understood the game of basketball like very few ever have, and remains one of the greatest points guards in NBA history.