UTAH JAZZ

Trent Forrest Makes Case For Guaranteed Deal With Jazz

Aug 6, 2021, 9:33 PM

Trent Forrest - Utah Jazz vs. San Antonio Spurs...

Dejounte Murray #5 of the San Antonio Spurs drives into Trent Forrest #3 of the Utah Jazz during a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on May 3, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – If there was any doubt that Trent Forrest deserves a spot on an NBA roster, he erased it playing for the Utah Jazz at the Salt Lake City Summer League.

The second-year guard averaged 14.3 points, 9.0 assists, and 4.3 rebounds while showing off his improved three-point shot in Salt Lake. Forrest knocked down 4-10 attempts from deep over three games, leading the Jazz white roster to an undefeated record.

Forrest played for the Jazz last year on a two-way contract after going undrafted despite a standout four-year career at Florida State. After signing with the Jazz, it didn’t take long to impress the coaching staff.

In Forrest’s preseason debut against Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns last year, Jazz coach Quin Snyder wasn’t shy about sharing his praise for the rookie.

“The thing that jumps off the page about Trent is he just wins,” Snyder said. “He’s the all-time winningest player in Florida State history. He’s a very cerebral player.”

Forrest’s evolution entering his second season made him one of the best players at the Salt Lake City Summer League, joining the likes of Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane and Spurs guard Devin Vassell, both former first-round picks.

While Forrest may have been on a two-way contract with the Jazz last season, it’s looking less likely he’ll be able to be brought back at such an enormous discount.

The Jazz extended a qualifying offer to Forrest making him a restricted free agent heading into his second season which could scare off potential bidders, but with the Jazz deep in the luxury tax and already carrying one of the deepest guard rotations in the NBA, it’s plausible an opposing team could pry Forrest away with a competitive offer.

Though the Jazz are deep at the guard spot which has yet to see rookie draft pick Jared Butler make his debut, Forrest’s legitimate 6’4 frame and 6’9 wingspan stand out among the group.

The Florida State grad made a name for himself in college with his ability to defend multiple positions, something the Jazz lack with the 6’1 Donovan Mitchell and 6’0 Mike Conley.

Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson both carry bigger frames than the Jazz starters, but neither are known as stout defenders at this point in their careers.

Adding further intrigue is Forrest’s innate play within the pick and roll, a skill not every young point guard has when entering the NBA.

“He’s always poised and under control and makes the right read,” Jazz assistant coach Bryan Bailey said. “That’s just in him. That’s his character and it’s his demeanor.”

For his part, Forrest said he’s not particularly nervous about the uncertainly about his professional future.

“I’ve had friends back home asked me like am I worried about it, I just go out and do what I’m supposed to do and live with the results.”

Though Forrest’s poker face allows him to stay cool under duress, he did say he’d welcome a return to the Jazz if given the opportunity.

“I love it here,” Forrest said. “I love the guys, it’s a good culture from top to bottom. I definitely love it so it would be great if I could be back here.”

The Jazz would probably love to have Forrest back, too, but they may have to be willing to pay the price.

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