BEN ANDERSON

Is The Jazz Roster Finished?

Aug 5, 2021, 3:07 PM | Updated: 3:08 pm

Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley dives for the ball against the team's newest roster addition Eric Pasch...

Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley dives for the ball against the team's newest roster addition Eric Paschall (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz have added three new players to the roster in the last 72 hours, pushing the total number of guaranteed contracts on the books to 12, one shy of the league minimum.

On Tuesday, the Jazz signed veterans Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside, and on Thursday, they traded for forward Eric Paschall.

As it stands, this is what the team’s depth chart looks likes:

PG: Mike Conley / Joe Ingles 

SG: Donovan Mitchell / Jordan Clarkson

SF: Bojan Bogdanovic / Eric Paschall / Elijah Hughes

PF: Royce O’Neale / Rudy Gay

C: Rudy Gobert / Hassan Whiteside / Udoka Azubuike

Rookie Jared Butler was selected by the Jazz with the 40th pick in the 2021 NBA draft and barring unforeseen circumstances, will likely sign a guaranteed contract with the team, pushing the roster to the league minimum 13 players.

NBA teams can carry as many as 15 players, plus two two-way players that can bounce between the team’s G-League and main rosters.

Miye Oni has a non-guaranteed contract with the team that won’t become fully guaranteed until early 2022 and served as the team’s 10th man and fifth guard for stretches last season.

The team can waive Oni at any point leading up to his January guarantee date and won’t pay the full luxury tax penalty for his contract at season’s end which may make him an attractive option to keep on the roster.

With the team operating above the luxury tax apron and the option to preserve roster flexibility, it seems unlikely that the Jazz would carry a full 15-man roster into the 2021-22 NBA season.

Last year, guard Trent Forrest and forward Jarrell Brantley occupied the Jazz two two-way spots, and have returned to participate with the team at the Salt Lake City Summer League.

Forrest has been truly dominant through the first two games of summer league averaging 14.5 points and 10 assists on 56 percent shooting from the floor and 40 percent from the three-point line.

Brantley is averaging 13 points, six rebounds, and two assists while shooting 36 percent from the floor and 33 percent from the three-point line.

The Jazz could attempt to bring back both players on two-way contracts next season, though, at his current pace, Forrest may be a candidate to join another team on a fully guaranteed contract worth at least double what he could earn as a two-way player.

Brantley could also receive interest from other teams depending on his play throughout the remainder of summer league.

The Jazz could choose to sign either player to a guaranteed contract and bring the roster to the 15-man maximum, but with Butler and Oni likely occupying the team’s fifth and sixth roster spots, and Paschall adding extra depth on the wing, both Forrest and Brantley could be redundant on guaranteed deals.

Juwan Morgan has spent the last two seasons with the Jazz and is on the team’s summer league roster, but recently had his qualifying offer pulled making him an unrestricted free agent and unlikely to rejoin the team on a guaranteed contract.

On Friday, the Jazz can announce the majority of their offseason signings so far, including Butler who can join the team in a full capacity. While the team will likely keep the roster one short of the maximum players allowed to maintain flexibility, the 2021-22 depth chart may be complete.

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