Increased Roster Size Opens Options For Jazz

Jun 11, 2020, 5:50 PM | Updated: 5:53 pm
Joe Johnson...
Joe Johnson (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – NBA teams returning to Orlando may be able to bring 17 players rather than 15. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the league will expand rosters to help teams finish the season when games return. Furthermore, the number of eligible players will increase dramatically.

Charania tweeted that players who have signed G-League or NBA contracts either this year or last will be eligible to sign late season contracts. Previously, only players who had signed deals this year would be eligible. That would allow veterans like Jamal Crawford and JR Smith to rejoin teams this season.

For the Utah Jazz, that would open up the possibility of adding a more proven NBA veteran to fill the void of Bojan Bogdanovic. The Croatian forward opted for season-ending surgery on his wrist during the league’s hiatus. Now, players who signed one-year deals in the last two seasons and are no longer on an NBA roster could be signed.

Jazz Current Roster

Including two-way contracts Jarrell Brantley and Justin Wright-Foreman, the Jazz have 17 players under contract. Had the NBA only allowed 15 players to travel to Orlando, the team could have found itself picking between either of their two-way players to fill Bogdanovic’s spot.

However, with 17 players eligible to travel, and Bogdanovic out for the season, the Jazz will have an open roster spot to fill before beginning training camp on July 7. NBA teams can replace injured players with eligible free-agents to close the season.

The Jazz could choose to fill the empty roster spot with a proven veteran. For example, former Jazzman Joe Johnson is eligible to sign with the Jazz after signing a deal with the Detroit Pistons last summer. Johnson helped the Jazz defeat the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the 2017 NBA playoffs.

Or, the Jazz could use the spot to audition a player who may have a longer future on the roster. This is the route the Jazz have taken with Rayjon Tucker and Georges Niang. The Jazz could sign a player to a multiyear non-guaranteed contract, hoping he develops down the road.

Regardless, the Jazz will likely have to make their decision soon. The NBA transaction window opens the last week of June. Players are scheduled to rejoin their rosters on June 30.

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