Sexton, Agbaji Happily Embracing New Home With Jazz

Sep 13, 2022, 1:50 PM | Updated: 1:50 pm
Ochai Agbaji and Collin Sexton of the Utah Jazz (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY –  Ochai Agbaji and Collin Sexton have wasted little time getting to know the state of Utah after being traded to the Jazz last week.

Sexton, entering his fifth season in the NBA, and Agbaji, his first, were introduced officially on Tuesday after joining the Jazz in the Donovan Mitchell blockbuster, and both players carry big expectations with them into the state.

With the roster yet to be finalized, Sexton is the overwhelming front runner to assume the starring role for the young Jazz roster after a promising start to his career in Cleveland.

The guard averaged 24.3 points per game for the Cavaliers during the 2020-21 season before suffering a meniscus tear last November. Sexton said he was back to full health, but acknowledged the difficulties of getting back onto the court.

“It was some good days and bad days and some ups and downs but I got through some dark days where he felt like dang, I’m taking three steps back,” Sexton said of his rehab. “But at the end of the day — every day won’t be a good day, so I had to remember that and just continue to move forward.”

The Jazz signed Sexton to a four-year, $72 million deal which could be one of the league’s better bargains if he can regain his form prior to the injury to captain the less experienced roster.

“I’m excited just to just be one of the top leaders on the team and just be able to show the young guys away,” Sexton said.

Agbaji Enjoying Utah’s Scenery

While Sexton is looking to establish himself as the face of the Jazz, rookie Agbaji is already bonding with his teammates and taking in the state’s unique outdoor experiences.

“I like to go outside, just be in nature,” Agbaji said. “I actually went hiking yesterday with Johnny [Juzang].”

Like Juzang, Agbaji is one of four rookies on the Jazz roster along with Auburn product Walker Kessler and Italian forward Simone Fontecchio.

Having spent four seasons at Kansas and being named the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player after leading the Jayhawks to the national title, Agbaji likely carries the biggest expectations of any Jazz rookie into training camp.

Whereas in Cleveland Agbaji may have struggled to see the floor on a team that is likely to compete for the playoffs, the rookie will get plenty of playing time to develop his game for the Jazz this season.

The 22-year-old discussed his offseason growth and mindset since being selected with the 14th overall pick in June’s draft.

“Being on that Cavs squad for summer league was good, it was good for me and good for my development,” Agbaji said. “But transition here, having more opportunities more and more chances to see the floor and make more of an impact, just keeping the same mindset continuing to better myself.”

Sexton, Agbaji, and the Jazz will open training camp on September 27.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Ben Anderson

Mystery Surrounds Jazz, Raptors Preseason Opener

The Utah Jazz open their preseason on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors and have more questions than answers on what to expect. 
2 days ago
Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder coaching against the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Image...
Ben Anderson

Quin Snyder ‘Consulting’ Lakers New Coaching Staff

Quin Snyder has been consulting new Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham after stepping away from the Utah Jazz in June.
2 days ago
Ben Anderson

Jazz Release 2022-23 Broadcast Schedule

The Utah Jazz released their broadcast schedule ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season including radio broadcasts on the KSL Sports Zone.
4 days ago
Nickeil Alexander-Walker - Utah Jazz - Chicago Bulls...
Ben Anderson

Nickeil Alexander-Walker Standing Out Early At Jazz Camp

Fourth-year guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker has been an early standout at training according to Utah Jazz veteran Mike Conley. 
4 days ago
Utah Jazz home floor at Vivint Smart Home Arena (Photo: Ben Anderson/KSL Sports)...
Ben Anderson

Jazz Will Unveil New Court At Public Scrimmage On October 8

The Utah Jazz will host a public scrimmage on October 8 to give fans a chance to see the new team in action on the redesigned court.
4 days ago
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell defends Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks (Photo by Justin For...
Ben Anderson

Donovan Mitchell Plans To ‘Lock In’ On Defense With Cavs

Donovan Mitchell says he's planning to "lock in" on defense as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers thanks to improved offensive help.
4 days ago
Sexton, Agbaji Happily Embracing New Home With Jazz