Jazz Forwards To Face One Another In EuroBasket Playoffs

Sep 9, 2022, 12:58 PM | Updated: 12:59 pm
Utah Jazz forward Simmone Fontecchio will represent Italy in the EuroBasket playoffs (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz fans will get a rare opportunity to watch two players from the roster face one another in the EuroBasket playoffs on Sunday.

Bojan Bogdanovic and newly acquired Lauri Markannen will match up after leading their respective national teams to the EuroBasket knockout round after group play concluded on Thursday.

Bogdanovic and Croatia finished with a 3-2 record and in third place in Group C, while Markkanen and Finland finished in second place in Group D with a 3-2 record.

Both players led their teams in scoring with Bogdanovic averaging 18.4 points per game including back to back 27 points games to help Croatia qualify for the EuroBasket playoffs.

Markkanen finished group play as theย fourth-leading scorer of EuroBasket at 24.8 points per game for the Finnish roster.

Croatia will face Finland at 6:45 am MST on Sunday to begin knockout play.

Jazz free agent addition Simone Fontecchio will also compete in the EuroBasket playoffs after leading his Italian roster to the fourth seed in Group C.

Fontecchio led Italy with 19.2 points per game average, good for seventh best at EuroBasket.

The Italian squad will face a tough opening-round matchup against two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and Serbia who went a perfect 5-0 in group play. The two teams will tip off Sunday at 10 am MST.

If Fontecchio’s team can advance past Serbia, they may have an opportunity to face off against former Jazz star Rudy Gobert whose French National team will look to advance past Turkey on Saturday.

Fontecchio and Markkanen are expected to play significant roles for the rebuilding Jazz this season while Bogdanovic has been a hot commodity in the trade market.

The Jazz currently have 17 players with guaranteed contracts on the roster and must trim that number to 15 by opening night.

Markkanen and Fontecchio have multiple years left on their contracts while Bogdanovic is in the final season of his deal.

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