This year the Utah Jazz will ask Gordon Hayward to go from the 3rd offensive option to the number one option. This is an enormous burden on a player. Last season, Hayward used 14 possessions a game it is fair to guess he’ll be near 19 or 20 possessions a game this season. Hayward’s move to the bench last year, increased his possession usage when he was on the floor from the previous year greatly. This will make the transition a bit easier than it would have been otherwise. For example, two seasons ago Hayward used 13.7 scoring opportunities per 40 minutes and last season he used 17.2 scoring opportunities for 40 minutes. At that rate Hayward would have to make almost no change to get to19 or 20 possessions a game assuming he plays 38 tonight.
However, defenses will make an adjustment to Hayward and this is what makes going from being the number three option to the number one option so difficult. Over the next few days we will look at those players who have had to have a similar jump in their game and see what it did to their efficiency productivity.
Our first piece of analysis will be current jazzman Richard Jefferson who on two different occasions in his career with asked to pick up the primary scoringload. Looking at the chart below you will see in the yellow highlights areas where Jefferson had an increase in possession usage. Both of those times Jefferson’s first year actually he increased is efficiency before slipping in the second year. Overall, Jeffersons performance in those two seasons at the number one option are not greatly different from what he did as a complimentary player to the stars he has played with. This is a very good sign for what the Jazz can expect for Gordon Hayward this upcoming season.
That next player will look at is Al Harrington. If you have any suggestions of players to look at please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me with #locketipoff