SALT LAKE CITY -- If the 2012-13 Utah Jazz were a coin, whose face would be on it?
Al Jefferson? Gordon Hayward? Derrick Favors? Paul Millsap?
None of the above?
More than likely, it'd be all of the above ... and then some.
Playing in a league driven by superstars, this season's version of the Jazz doesn't really have one. Instead, their roster is populated with puzzle pieces, each with his own skills and strengths. Rather than hanging their hopes on one or two All-Stars, its architects believe the team as a whole can be greater than its individual parts.
"I think the face of our franchise right now is collective, I think it's youthful, it's excitement," CEO Greg Miller said. "It's teamwork, it's chemistry."
Miller, whose late father, Larry H. Miller, was the driving force behind the John Stockton/Karl Malone/Jerry Sloan version of the Jazz, said it's possible the national sports media could discover a star on the roster and turn him into a household name. But more than likely, this team's success with come with a united effort.
"For me, right now, it's just a group of good young guys who are really excited to develop into the best players they can," he said. "I think they all feel a sense of responsibility to shoulder their part of the load and help us win games."
Last season's version of the Jazz struggled to find an identity, especially after the NBA lockout wiped away training camp and the preseason. Once the labor issues were settled, the 2012 season was crammed into just 66 games.
Although they finished with a record of 36-30 and made the playoffs at the No. 8 seed, the Jazz looked lost to start the season and didn't really settle in until late in the season, when they won nine of their last 13.
Jefferson, Hayward, Favors and Millsap all return from that team, as do second-year players Enes Kanter and Alec Burks. That solid nucleus was made even stronger over the summer with the additions veterans Mo Williams, Marvin Williams and Randy Foye.
Jefferson was Utah's leading scorer last season, averaging 19.2 points per game. Millsap was next at 16.6 and Hayward followed at 11.8.
With the new additions, plus the improvement of Kanter and Burks, the Jazz could easily have a different high-scorer each game this season.
"I like to think that we have a lot of superstars," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "not just one guy, we have a group of guys that will work extremely hard to prove themselves in this league and prove that we deserve to be in the league."
As the Jazz look to Wednesday night's season opener at home vs. the Dallas Mavericks, Corbin has an idea of what his starting lineup will be, but isn't saying for sure.
He went with Mo Williams at the point guard, with Hayward at shooting guard, Marvin Williams at small forward, Millsap at power forward and Jefferson at center throughout most of the preseason. That figures to stay in place at least to start the regular season.
Utah's preseason scoring leader was Kanter, who averaged 13.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. The center/power forward should be a key player coming off the bench this season, as will Favors, arguably the team's best defensive player.
With a full training camp and preseason behind them, Jazz players say they're anxious to begin the regular season. Indications are they'll be improved from last season and poised to make another run at the playoffs.
Of course in order to get there, they'll need key contributions up and down the roster.
Even without a superstar, Corbin believes that's possible.
"We're going to play hard and smart, together, every night we step on the court," he said.