UTAH JAZZ

Bogdanovic, Gay Dealing With Injuries At Jazz Training Camp

Sep 30, 2021, 3:48 PM
Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gay Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gay (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)...
Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gay Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gay (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz have yet to see their full team on the floor as forwards Bojan Bogdanovic and Rudy Gay are dealing with injuries to open training camp.

Bogdanovic is dealing with shoulder soreness as the team has retaken the floor in Las Vegas, while Gay underwent surgery on his left heel shortly after the San Antonio Spurs season ended last May.

The team announced that Bogdanovic’s rest is mostly precautionary and would be playing if the Jazz had already begun the regular season. Gay, however, will miss the preseason but is expected to return early in the regular season for the Jazz.

“We’ve got a couple of guys right now in Bojan and Rudy Gay that haven’t had a chance to do contact yet,” Coach Quin Snyder said on working through issues early in camp, “You don’t know when they’re going to be cleared, so that certainly has an impact.”

Bogdanovic appeared in all 72 regular-season games last season for the Jazz, and all 11 postseason outings. Gay meanwhile played in 63 of the Spurs’ 72 games, including 10 of the final 11 while averaging nearly 21 minutes per game before joining the Jazz.

Gay hasn’t played more than 69 games since tearing his left Achilles in 2017 as a member of the Sacramento Kings. Bogdanovic has been one of the NBA’s sturdiest performers, having missed fewer than four games in six of his seven NBA seasons.

Gay’s absence should create a greater opportunity for new Jazzman Eric Paschall who was acquired by the team in August. The third-year forward spent the last two seasons in Golden State where he earned All-Rookie honors in 2020.

The Jazz will open the preseason on Monday against Gay’s former team before opening the regular season on October 20 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Butler Speaking Jazz Language

Rookie Jared Butler said he’s had little trouble fitting in with the team, despite not knowing some of the faces on the Jazz roster.

The rookie missed the team’s summer league after returning from the NBA’s Fitness-To-Play protocol for a previously diagnosed heart condition but has retaken the floor with the Jazz at training camp.

“It’s just like being on a first date, I don’t know you, you don’t know me, you know what I mean?” Butler said. “So, that’s kind of been the biggest adjustment for me.”

Though he may not know all of his Jazz teammates quite yet, he said he’s fitting right in on the floor.

“One thing about high-level basketball is once you get on the court, you speak the same language,” Butler said.

Where the rookie is anticipating change however is off the floor where he’ll play an 82 game season with the Jazz, plus added games the pre and post-season. While Butler suited up for a total of 92 games during his three-year college career, he’ll likely have to prepare for that many games in the next eight months.

“I want to get acclimated to that, being able to adjust the schedules and flying here and there,” Butler said, “[playing] more than two games a week.”

The Jazz will return home from Vegas after their final practice on Thursday and prepare for a practice on Saturday that will be broadcast to fans over Zoom.

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