UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Host Suns In Preseason Opener

Dec 11, 2020, 3:10 PM | Updated: 8:32 pm
Jordan Clarkson - Devin Booker - Donovan Mitchell - Utah Jazz - Phoenix Suns...
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns attempts a shot between Jordan Clarkson #00 and Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz during a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 24, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz open their preseason campaign against the Phoenix Suns Saturday night.

The Jazz will welcome Derrick Favors back to the roster after the former Jazzman spent last season with the New Orleans Pelicans. Meanwhile, All-Star guard Chris Paul will make his highly anticipated debut for the Suns.

Phoenix went a perfect 8-0 during the NBA’s restart in Orlando, leading to the aggressive roster shakeup this offseason.

The Paul trade was one of the biggest moves across the NBA during the shortened offseason and is expected to push the Suns into the Western Conference playoff chase. Despite their perfect close to the season, Phoenix missed the postseason play-in tournament to the Memphis Grizzlies by way of a tiebreaker.

The Jazz last appearance was in their season-ending, game seven loss to the Denver Nuggets. Denver overcame a 3-1 series deficit,  winning the final three games of the series to close out the Jazz season.

In addition to signing Favors, the Jazz re-signed guard Jordan Clarkson to a four-year, $52 million deal. Clarkson was the team’s leading scorer off the bench averaging 15.6 points in 42 regular-season appearances.

In light of the team’s regular-season success, the Jazz opted to bring back much of the core roster from last year.

Udoka Azubuike and Elijah Hughes should make their rookie debuts when the Jazz host the Suns. The Jazz selected Azubuikie out of Kansas with the 27th pick in the first round of the NBA draft.

Hughes was drafted with the 39th pick in the second round. Both players have impressed their veteran teammates during training camp and could provide valuable depth depending on how quickly they adjust to the NBA game.

Fourth-year guard Shaq Harrison won’t appear in the preseason opener after signing with the Jazz on Wednesday. Harrison is recovering from a broken hand he suffered during the offseason which has prevented him from undergoing a full practice with the team.

Mike Conley and Royce O’Neale will also miss the opener due to rest.

The Jazz and Suns tip-off Saturday at 7 pm MT. The game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet and NBATV nationally.

Fans will not be permitted to attend the game due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

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Jazz Host Suns In Preseason Opener