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Deseret News - Utah Jazz: 2 promising roster players who could become special


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Sarah Todd

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UCLA’s Johnny Juzang reacts during game against North Carolina in the Sweet 16 of NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Philadelphia. Now a two-way Jazz rookie, it will be interesting to see what kind of NBA player he turns into.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

This article was first published as the Jazz Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Friday.

I opened up the Utah Jazz mailbag this week and answered some questions from the fans and one topic that kept coming up was the younger prospects on the team and which player would take a big step developmentally or who I was excited about.

Which non-starter are you most excited to watch?

— Alex :) (@anxiousAND1) July 31, 2022

This is a subject that I get excited about every season and one that could be even more intriguing in the near future for the Jazz. Not only do I like watching the pace of development and seeing who succeeds and who fails, but I also like rooting for underdogs and watching hard work turn into happiness.

In my mailbag article I mentioned that the upcoming season would be huge for Jared Butler and could provide him with ample opportunity to become the player that the Jazz expected he would be when they drafted him.

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But, there are a couple of other players that I’m particularly interested in. First, the Jazz’s two-way signing, rookie Johnny Juzang. I watched him a little bit during his time at UCLA and then watched more when he played summer league ball with the Jazz last month, and he feels like someone who could really turn into a phenomenal role player with a lengthy NBA career.

The things that really stand out for me with Juzang are that he is a natural scorer who can score at every level and he never feels rushed or has his confidence shaken. Even when the ball wasn’t going in, he didn’t change up his shot selection or shy away from letting it fly and that’s a hard thing to teach even some veteran players, so it was nice to see in a rookie. Additionally, I noticed how fluid and consistent his shooting form was. Whether it was a 3-pointer or a 15-foot jumper, his form never changed and he always looked balanced with a quick release. Again, something that is not as common as you would think.

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The other player that really intrigues me is Leandro Bolmaro, the 6-foot-6 forward the Jazz got in the Rudy Gobert trade.

He’s a second-year player out of Argentina and he really seems like he has the tools to be a do-it-all-type player. He’s a good passer, he has a good handle, he has great length, he knows how to get himself out of tight situations without turning the ball over and he’s also a smart scorer.

So those are the two players on the roster that I’m interested in keeping a trained eye on, but I’m also excited to see who else the Jazz bring in at the end of the roster once the summer unfolds and who the Jazz might sign to another two-way or who they might add to the Stars roster. There could be some diamonds in the rough.

New with the Jazz​

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This week on ‘Unsalvageable’​


Check out “Unsalvageable” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster).

This week the crew pays tribute to the legend, Bill Russell, before touching on some other NBA news as well as the latest non-news on the Donovan Mitchell front.

The podcast has moved to a new feed so remember to follow or subscribe by searching for “Unsalvageable” through your podcast provider.

New episodes come out every week. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you stream podcasts.

From the archives​

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This week in Jazz history​


Though not specifically Jazz-related, I thought that this was an interesting piece of NBA trivia that would be nice to share.

On Aug. 3, 1949, the Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the NBA. The BAA included the Boston Celtics, Minneapolis Lakers (later LA Lakers), New York Knicks, Philadelphia Warriors (later Golden State Warriors), and the Rochester Royals (later Sacramento Kings). The NBL included the Syracuse Nationals (later Philadelphia 76ers) and the Tri-Cities Blackhawks (later Atlanta Hawks).

How to pass the time in the offseason​


Now that the Jazz season has come to an end, it means that I have some time to catch up on the things that I love but don’t have enough time for during the NBA season. Here I’ll suggest my latest way to pass the offseason time and also take your suggestions.

Spending time with good people is so good for the soul.

Sure, that’s probably one of the most obvious things that anyone could say, but I do feel like sometimes we get caught up in our day-to-day cycles and forget to replenish ourselves with good company and foster relationships that are important.

This week I spent a lovely evening with some of my favorite people. There was good food, conversation, hearty belly laughs and by the end of the night I was left thinking that it was exactly what I needed and that I should aim to do it more often.

I know that life can be busy and I know finding a time that works for a large group can be difficult, but if you have the ability to plan ahead and carve out some time to spend with the people that build you up and make you feel happy you should. Like I said, it truly feeds the soul.

Extra points​

  • The Utah Jazz will open up their preseason slate of games in Canada (Deseret News)
  • Jazz assistant Alex Jensen just got a new (part-time) gig with Team USA (Deseret News)
  • Donovan Mitchell’s top 5 moments with the Jazz (so far?) (Salt Lake Tribune)

Around the league​


Entering the final year of his deal, LeBron James and the Lakers are discussing an extension.

Oklahoma City Thunder re-sign Mike Muscala.

Examining the Celtics’ pursuit of Kevin Durant.

Leandro Bolmaro during a break in action against the Chicago Bulls during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 10, 2022, in Minneapolis. Bolmaro became a member of the Utah Jazz as part of the Rudy Gobert trade that sent Gobert to the Timberwolves.

Craig Lassig, Associated Press

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