Utah Is A ‘Top-Ten Market’ In The NBA

SALT LAKE CITY – Jazz owner Ryan Smith said he believes Utah is one of the top ten markets in the NBA.

The tech mogul caught up with DJ and PK at the KSL Sports Zone on Tuesday morning to discuss the state of jazz, including the rapidly evolving Utah landscape.

You can listen to the full interview in the player below.

According to Smith, jazz exists in the top ten market

While Utah has long been considered one of the smallest markets among the NBA’s 30 franchises, Smith has taken back some of the traditional measurements.

“We’re really not a small market,” Smith said. “If you look at Utah’s growth, I think we’re in the top ten markets in the league in terms of what we can support.”

According to a recent study, Utah is the fourth fastest growing state and regularly posts above-average employment figures.

“Look at our fan base, season ticket renewals, the economic environment, where we are [with] Unemployment, growth, the colleges and universities,” argued Smith.

The Jazz were one of seven teams whose arena was 100 percent full last season, a mark that has remained unchanged since the 2018-19 season.

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Another overlooked but important factor is the Salt Lake International Airport.

“Simone [Fontecchio] can hop on a plane, or Rudy Gobert could just fly straight to France,” Smith noted. “Most small markets don’t have much of it.”

Is the market preventing Utah NBA stars from landing?

The importance of market size is often attributed to whether the league’s top free agents are ready to sign in Utah.

This was not traditionally the case with the receptions by Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur and Bojan Bogdanovic.

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However, Smith argued that the market size and success of free agents may be more of a myth that his narrative would suggest.

“There’s only maybe four markets that have been able to successfully build through free agency more than once,” Smith told the DJ and PK.

The Los Angeles Lakers won titles after signing Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James. The Miami Heat also won a title after securing James as a free agent. But Smith is right that most teams become champions by recruiting elite talent or making blockbuster trades for players.

The Jazz owner said he believes the league is moving further away from free agency build-up.

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“A lot of teams have basically just become draft teams and trade teams, and that’s a trend you’re seeing,” Smith said. “You’re not ruling out free agency, it’s just a little bit more difficult when you look at the free agent class next year and say, ‘How many top 20 or top 40 players are there?’ There are very few.”

With that in mind, Smith hasn’t given up on the idea of ​​selling NBA players in Utah State and plans to capitalize on it in February.

“I still really believe that with Utah we have such an amazing opportunity to show what we’re about,” Smith said. “The All-Star Game will be a great opportunity to do that.”

Catch DJ and PK at 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone Monday through Friday from 6:00am to 10:00am.


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